The Truth Is…

Kirstie Bakke

Marijuana is becoming more and more prevalent today. It’s in our schools, our colleges, our workplaces and our places of recreation. As of August 1, 2013, 20 of the 50 United States and Washington DC allow the use of medical marijuana. More than likely we are going to be seeing a lot more of the green stuff with 11 other states including, Minnesota and Iowa, considering medical marijuana legislation in the year 2014.

The truth is I’m not convinced that this pro-medicinal marijuana legislation is the answer. There are a large number of studies, articles and statistics that come out every week warning those of the effects of marijuana use. Are we prepared for what’s to come next?

Here are some of the most eye-opening facts I was made aware of during an educational marijuana seminar at the 2013 CADCA Mid-Year Training Institute.

The Truth Is…

Marijuana is addictive!

  • According to the National Institutes of Health, The National Institutes of Health found that the earlier marijuana use is initiated, the higher the risk for drug abuse and dependence. Approximately 10% of users will become addicted to marijuana. This number increases to 17% among those who start young—that ends up being every 1 in 6 users.

States that allow medical marijuana use have higher rates of abuse and dependency.

  • According to the 2008-2009 State Estimates of Drug Abuse residents of states with medical marijuana have marijuana abuse/dependence rates almost twice as high than states without such laws.

Marijuana is unhealthy for people with glaucoma.

  • According to the American Glaucoma Society, marijuana has a short duration of action (only 3-4 hours), meaning that to lower the IOP around the clock, marijuana would have to be smoked every three hours.  Furthermore, marijuana’s mood altering effects would prevent the patient who is using it from functioning at maximum mental capacity.

The use of marijuana lowers your IQ

  • A study published in the National Academy of Sciences shows that a person’s IQ drops 8 points when they begin using marijuana before the age of 16 and uses the drug four or more times weekly.

According to, marijuana is the most prevalent illegal drug detected in impaired drivers, fatally injured drivers and motor vehicle crash victims.

  • Marijuana use impairs a person’s driving ability and will lead to more traffic accidents, serious injuries, deaths and higher insurance rates.

Increased marijuana use in teens will lower the standardized test scores within our country’s school systems.

  • It is proven that marijuana use lowers a person’s IQ. Lower standardized test scores affects not only the student but also the school district, the teachers and the community.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, drivers who tested positive for marijuana in fatal car crashes DOUBLED between 2006 and 2010 while all other fatal car crashes declined during that same period of time.

It's time to educate yourself, educate your family and educate others about this increasingly popular drug and its effects.