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Drugs Marijuana

Words Can Work offers these facts as reminders that marijuana is not a harmless drug.

• Researchers found that children who use marijuana before age13 lag behind all other groups in earnings and level of education when they were surveyed again at age 29. 1

• Marijuana contains more than 400 chemicals, including most of the harmful substances found in tobacco smoke. Smoking one marijuana cigarette deposits about four times more tar into the lungs than a filtered tobacco cigarette.3

• Harvard University researchers report that, within the hour after smoking marijuana, the risk of a heart attack is five times higher than usual.4

• The risk of using cocaine is estimated to be more than 104 times greater for those who have tried marijuana than for those who have never tried it.5

• Smoking marijuana can injure or destroy lung tissue. In fact, marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more of some cancer causing chemicals than tobacco smoke does.6

• Reaction time for motor skills such as those used in driving is reduced by 41 percent after smoking one joint, and is reduced 63 percent after smoking two joints.7

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1 U.S. Dept. of Justice.
2 U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services.
3 Drug Enforcement Administration.
4 "Marijuana & Heart Attacks," Washington Post, (March 3, 2000).
5 "Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know" by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
6 American Lung Association.

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