Created By: Erika Rash
Heavy or daily use of marijuana affects the parts of the brain that control memory, attention, and learning.[11
] A working short-term memory is needed to learn and perform tasks that call for more than one or two steps.
Smoking marijuana causes some changes in the brain that are like those caused by cocaine, heroin and alcohol. Scientists are still learning about the many ways that marijuana can affect the brain.
Marijuana and driving
Marijuana and driving do not mix. It has serious harmful effects on the skills required to drive safely: alertness, concentration, coordination, and reaction time. Marijuana use can make it difficult to judge distances and react to signals and sounds on the road. The effects on driving can last for at least four to six hours after smoking a single joint.
] Studies have shown that while smoking marijuana, people have shown the same lack of coordination on standard “drunk driver” tests as do people who have had too much to drink.
What are the Risks?
] •Can decrease your performance in sports as timing, movements, and coordination are all affected by the THC in marijuana.
 •You could do things that embarrass you or even hurt you such as driving under the influence or engaging in risky sexual behaviours leading to sexually transmitted diseases.
 •You could lose interest in how you look and how you do in school or work.
 •Risk of getting in trouble with the law.
 •Weekly marijuana use can double the risk of depression later in life. The risk is even higher for girls; female marijuana users are five times more likely to be depressed at 21 than non-users.
 •Teens age 12 to 17 who smoke marijuana weekly are three times more likely than non-users to have thoughts about committing suicide.
•Marijuana use is also linked to an increase in panic attacks.
•Marijuana use during adolescence can increase the chance of schizophrenia. The risk of developing schizophrenia is greater with users who begin at an early age.
 •The earlier teens start using marijuana, the more likely they are to become dependant later in life.
 •Using marijuana regularly can lead to using drugs as a main way of coping with life, making it more likely that the user will use other drugs.
•Using marijuana while you are pregnant can cause premature births and children may develop learning problems as they get older
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