marijuana and teens


The human brain actively develops until a person reaches their early twenties. Studies suggest that adults who smoked pot regularly during adolescence exhibit reduced neural connectivity in regions responsible for memory, learning and inhibitions.

Tips for Talking to Your Teen about Marijuana

  1. Talk to your child about marijuana BEFORE you suspect they are experimenting. Studies show that youth are most likely to initiate marijuana use between the ages of 13 and 15 — and during this time you have the most influence over their behavior. After age 15, teens tend to base their decisions more on peer influence.
  2. Before you talk to your teen, make sure you speak their language. Check out teen room for insight into modern marijuana lingo and paraphernalia, and tips for recognizing the obvious and not-so-obvious signs of teen marijuana use.
  3. If you think your teen has been using marijuana, ask them about it immediately. Kids say that losing their parents’ respect and trust are the most important reasons not to use drugs.
  4. Help your teen to understand ALL of the consequences of marijuana use — both physical and legal. In Maine, possession of less than 2.5 ounces of marijuana is a civil violation with a fine ranging from $350-$1000. Possession of more than 2.5 ounces is a misdemeanor or felony, and is punishable with jail time.

Community-Based Behavioral Health Resources

Community-Based Behavioral Health Services

Mental health and substance abuse disorders affect millions of Americans each year, but there are several local organizations that provide hope and healing. If you are in need of behavioral health services, this PDF will show you the organizations in our community that can offer help for your teen and other family members.

Community-Based Behavioral Health Services

mental health marijuana underage drinking prescription drug resource


PLOS Research News

Alcohol and marijuana are the two most abused substances in U.S. colleges. It might seem obvious that excessive consumption of these substances can be bad for students’ health, but what about the effect on their work? U.S. college students who consume medium-to-high levels of alcohol and marijuana have a consistently lower GPA over two years, according to a new study.

Lower GPA

PLOS Research news

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

More drivers admit to using marijuana, and it is showing up more frequently among people involved in crashes. Though there is evidence from simulator and on-road studies that marijuana can degrade some aspects of driving performance, researchers haven’t been able to definitively connect marijuana use with more frequent real-world crashes. Some studies have found that using the drug could more than double crash risk, while others, including a large-scale federal case-control study, have failed to find a link between marijuana use and crashes.

Highway accidents increase

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website

Science Daily

When high school students started smoking marijuana regularly they were less likely to get good grades and want to pursue university, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.

The study, published in the Journal of School Health, found that when students started using marijuana at least once a month they were about four times more likely to skip class, two-to-four times less likely to complete their homework and value getting good grades, and about half as likely to achieve high grades, than when they had never used the drug.

Poor School Performance

Science Daily website


Get facts on marijuana—the most commonly used illicit drug in the U.S.—including its effects and information on marijuana surveillance, laws and policies, and prevention guides.

The short-term effects of marijuana include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception, difficulty in thinking and problem-solving, and loss of coordination. Among youth, heavy cannabis use is associated with cognitive problems and increased risk of mental illness.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health

SAMHSA marijuana website

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is committed to helping families struggling with their son or daughter’s substance use. They empower families with information, support and guidance to get the help their loved one needs and deserves. And they advocate for greater understanding and more effective programs to treat the disease of addiction.

Help for Addicted Teens

Partnership for Drug-free Kids website

Power to the Parent

Power to the Parent is here to empower you, to give you the hardcore facts, strategies and information, and to help you get through to your teens. Together we can do this.

Teenagers have their whole life ahead of them. Education and career. Friends and family. One wonderful chapter after another. As parents, there is nothing in our own lives that we will ever do that is as important as making sure our kids have the chance to make that journey. On this website, access information and get inspiration.

Parenting Skills

Power to the Parent website

Your Teen & Marijuana

Nearly 4 out of 10 students, grades 9-12, have tried marijuana. Even if you don’t think your child is experimenting, it’s important to talk to them about the risks and consequences of marijuana use. Marijuana use changes teens’ brains, bodies, and behaviors. Help Maine teens have safe, healthy and successful futures.

Key Messages for Parents about Marijuana and Tips for Talking to Your Teen.

IMPAIRMENT: Marijuana use lowers teens’ good judgment and self-control. This may lead to bad decisions and risky behavior.

Your Teen and Marijuana

Your teen and marijuana website

The NIDA Blog Team: NIDA for Teens

On average, teens are more likely to take risks than any other age group. Some risks can be good, like going for the final goal of the game with seconds to spare. Other risks aren’t so good, like driving while distracted. In fact, many causes of teen injury and death are linked to taking dangerous risks.

Drugs and health

NIDA for Teens website

National Institute on Drug Abuse for parents

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is to help the public understand the causes of drug abuse and to prevent its onset. Drug abuse has serious consequences in our homes, schools, and communities. From NIDA’s prespective, the use of all illicit drugs and the inappropriate use of licit drugs is considered drug abuse.

Help for parents

NIDA for parents website

VIDEO: Marijuana—The Facts and Fiction

The following is part of the narrative which accompanies this animated video:

“Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in America and it comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant. And, like the tobacco plant, its smoke contains a mixture of gasses and particles that are harmful to your lungs. It’s time to separate fact from fiction…”

Facts and Fiction

Smart Approaches to Marijuana

A “War on Drugs” approach to marijuana is ineffective and counterproductive. It simply doesn’t make sense to spend limited resources going after individual non-violent drug users.

But the other extreme – legalization – is also a serious mistake. Commercializing marijuana will create the next “Big Tobacco” industry of our time. A new industry of lobbyists and special interests intends to put profits and special interests over public health and safety.

Learn About “Smart Approaches to Marijuana”

Smart approaches to marijuana website

PDF Brochures on Marijuana Use and Teens

Marijuana Facts Parents Need to Know

Why do young people use marijuana? Children and teens start using marijuana for many reasons. Curiosity and the desire to fit into a social group are common ones. And children and teens who have untreated mental disorders (such as ADHD, conduct disorder, or anxiety) or who were physically or sexually abused are at heightened risk of using marijuana and other drugs at an early age.

For some, drug use begins as a means of coping—to deal with anxiety, anger, depression, boredom, and other unpleasant feelings. But in fact, being high can be a way of simply avoiding the problems and challenges of growing up. Research also suggests that family members’ use of alcohol and drugs plays a strong role in whether children/teens start using drugs.

Marijuana Facts Parents Need to Know

Marijuana facts parents need to know

Marijuana Facts for Teens

Did you know that teen marijuana use has dropped dramatically since the late 1990s? So…if you were thinking everyone smokes marijuana, they don’t. Statistics show that about 15 percent, or roughly 1 in 7 teens, report using marijuana in the past month. Still, this rate is up from a few years ago, perhaps because fewer teens consider marijuana to be a harmful drug. Some believe
marijuana cannot be harmful because it is “natural.” But, not all natural plants are good for you—take tobacco, for example.

Marijuana Facts for Teens

Marijuana Facts for Teens

Marijuana Talk Kit

“When I was a kid…” doesn’t really work when talking with your kids about marijuana today. It’s a whole new ballgame. Marijuana — legal or otherwise — is a hot topic. It’s more important than ever for parents to protect their kids’ health and development by addressing this issue early and often. That’s why we created this talk kit. We want to help families navigate through a changing marijuana landscape; one that includes new policies like legalization, as well as new products, like “edible” candies and cookies. Here, you’ll learn how to set the stage to have an open dialogue with your teen — about any issue, but marijuana in particular. Your teens are likely asking you some tough questions and challenging you on the topic of marijuana. We’ve worked with top experts in health and parenting to help you talk with your teen. We know you have questions, and we’re here to help.

Marijuana Talk Kit

Marijuana Talk Kit

Medical News Today

Depression is more than just feeling a bit sad now and again. It diminishes many aspects of daily living, such as sleeping, eating, working, enjoying hobbies, and socializing.

Major depression is a common mental disorder among teenagers in the United States. National estimates for 2015 suggest that 3 million young people aged between 12 and 17 had experienced “at least one major depressive episode in the past year.” This figure represents 12.5 percent of that age group in the U.S.

The likelihood of developing marijuana-use disorder is four to seven times higher in people who start using the drug before the age of 18.

Depression Linked to Marijuana Use

Marijuana Mental Health resource

Parents: Talk to your children about Marijuana

According to the Community AntiDrug Coalitions of America (CADCA), addiction rates among 12-17 year olds are the highest levels in states that have approved “medical” marijuana programs. Surveys of teens across Michigan show that they increasingly see marijuana use as “safe.”

Parent Fact Sheet

Parents: Talk to your children about MARIJUANA