Table of Contents
Introduction & Directions | Marijuana Fact 1 - Questions & Answers  | Long Term Effects of Marijuana Use
How Can You Tell if Someone is Using Marijuana? | Is Marijuana Used as a Medicine? | What Does Marijuana Do to the Brain?
Is Marijuana Addictive? | In Your Own Words | Meet a Pot-Head: The Lows of Getting High: Alby's Story | Marijuana Photo Gallery
Contact & Credits | Teacher Links

Yvonne Mc Cann, Health Education Teacher and
Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones
Library Media/Technology Specialist
Murray Hill Middle School, Howard County Maryland


Introduction & Directions:
Marijuana - often called pot, grass, reefer, weed, herb, mary jane, or mj - is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of Cannabis sativa, the hemp plant. Most users smoke marijuana in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints, among other names; some use pipes or water pipes called bongs. Marijuana use with teens has risen dramatically since the 1990's - learn more about this addictive and damaging drug by doing the following atctivity. Read the questions on your worksheet and look up the answers by reading the text linked on this web site.
Go back after each question. Don't be tempted to look only for the answer that fills in the the whole thing, some of these questions are tricky...

Using the Facts for Teens Internet site complete your worksheet filling in the blanks that correspond to the  questions and links below.

Marijuana Fact 1: Most teenagers ___  __________  ______ marijuana.

Fewer than one in _____________ high school seniors

is a current marijuana user.

Q: How many teens smoke marijuana?

A: Contrary to popular belief, most teenagers __________ marijuana. Among students surveyed in a yearly national survey, only about one in five 10th graders report they are current marijuana users (that is, used marijuana within the past month). Fewer than one in four high school seniors is a current marijuana user).


Marijuana Fact: Marijuana can mess up your performance

in __________________________________________.

Q: What are the short-term effects of marijuana use?

A: The short-term effects of marijuana include: 

These effects are even greater when other drugs are mixed with the marijuana; and 
Q: Does marijuana affect school, sports, or other activities?
A: It can. Marijuana _____________________________________ . The drug can make you mess up in school, in sports or clubs, or with your friends. If youíre high on marijuana, ______________ ________________________________. If you use marijuana a lot, you could start to lose interest in ________________ and how youíre getting along at school or work.

Athletes could find their performance is off; timing, movements, and coordination are all affected by THC. Also, since marijuana can affect judgment and decisionmaking, its use can lead to _____________________, resulting in exposure to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Q: What are the long-term effects of marijuana use?

A: Findings so far show that regular use of marijuana or THC may play a role in some kinds of cancer and in problems with the respiratory and immune systems.


Itís hard to know for sure whether regular marijuana use causes cancer. But it is known that marijuana contains some of the same, and sometimes even more, of the __________________________found in tobacco smoke. Studies show that someone who smokes five joints per day may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day.

*Lungs and airways

Lungs and airwaysóPeople who smoke marijuana often develop the same kinds of breathing problems that cigarette smokers have: coughing and wheezing. They tend to have _______________ than nonusers. They are also at greater risk of getting lung infections like pneumonia.

*Immune system

Animal studies have found that THC can damage the cells and tissues in the body that help protect against disease. When the immune cells are weakened you are ______________________.


How can you tell if someone has been using marijuana?

A: If someone is high on marijuana, he or she might


seem silly and giggly for no reason; 

have very red, bloodshot eyes; and 


When the early effects fade, over a few hours, the user can become very sleepy.

Q: Is marijuana sometimes used as a medicine?

A: There has been much talk about the possible medical use of marijuana. Under U.S. law since 1970, marijuana has been a Schedule I controlled substance. This means that the drug, at least in its smoked form, has ______________________________.

THC, the active chemical in marijuana, is manufactured into a pill available by prescription that can be used to treat the nausea and vomiting that occur with certain cancer treatments and to help AIDS patients eat more to keep up their weight. According to scientists, more research needs to be done on THC's side effects and other potential medical uses.

Marijuana Fact: Marijuana and driving do not mix.

Users often have ____________________ to sights and sounds drivers need to notice.

Q: What does marijuana do to the brain?

A: Some studies show that when people have smoked large amounts of marijuana for years, the drug takes its toll on mental functions. ______________________ of marijuana affects the parts of the brain that control memory, attention, and learning. A working ______________________________________ 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.

Q: Can people become addicted to marijuana?

A: _____. Long-term marijuana use can lead to addiction in some people. That is, _______________________________________, even though it negatively affects their family relationships, school performance, and recreational activities. According to one study, marijuana use by teenagers who have prior antisocial problems can quickly lead to addiction. In addition, some frequent, heavy marijuana users develop ìtoleranceî to its effects. ________________________________________________as they used to get from smaller amounts.

In Your Own Words

On your worksheet, explain how your knowledge of marijuana has remained the same or changed based on the information you read.

Locate the section titled" How many teens smoke marijuana?" On your worksheet, tell which of these statistics do find most disturbing?

Explain your response.

Meet a Pot-Head
The Lows of Getting High: Alby's Story
Read the story and answer the following questions:
(Hint: the story is on two pages look for >>>Next Page)

How old was Alby when he went to a maximum-security jail? ______

Alby wants to persue a career as a _____________

What do you think Daytop is? (choose one)

a] a jail b] a school c] a rehab center

Albyís mother died of ___________

Now that Alby is off of pot he feels ìa lot _______about myself. I feel a lot ___________. I don't feel lazy anymore."

In Your Opinion: Do you think the title is the best title for Alby's story? Support your response using information from the story.

Marijuana Photo Gallery

Contact and Credits:
for more information/correction or additions please feel free to contact: gwyneth jones, media specialist.

a special thanks to:

Teacher Links:
For the MS.Word Marijuana Facts for Teens Worksheet click here.

first created: 12.09.03
last updated: 10.25.04

made on a mac, baby!