Cuyahoga County Title


What is Marijuana? 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried, shredded leaves and flowers of Cannabis sativa- the hemp plant.

The main psychoactive (mind-altering) chemical in marijuana, responsible for most of the intoxicating effects sought by users, is delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC). The plant also contains more than 500 other chemicals, including more than 100 compounds that are chemically related to THC, called cannabinoids.

The ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County's Position on Marijuana Legalization

The ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County opposes any attempts to legalize, promote, grow and sell marijuana for recreational purposes in the State of Ohio

This decision is congruent with the Board’s efforts to prevent mental illness and addictions and ensure that recovery services are available.

The Board believes that the use of marijuana is not benign -- which is consistent with major medical organizations -- as studies clearly outline the physical harm of marijuana including increasing the risk of psychotic disease by 5 times, and that adolescents are especially vulnerable to its many known adverse effects.

In addition to physical effects, the Board also believes that there would be ramifications on society, including worsening a current problem of employers not being able to hire candidates or retain employees because of failed drug tests, decreased adolescent perceptions of marijuana’s harmful effects, and a potential increase of individuals developing addictions to marijuana and other drugs.

Concerning medical marijuana, the Board believes that it should be subject to the same research, consideration, and study as any other potential medicine, under the standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Click here to read the Board's official position on the legalization of marijuana.

Facts about Marijuana

Marijuana is harmful
-- which is the consistent view of major medical organizations. Studies clearly outline the physical harm of marijuana, especially since its potency has almost tripled over the last 20 years.

In addition, below are some additional facts about marijuana:

  • Marijuana is addictive for some people: 9% of adults will become addicted, while 17% of adolescents will become addicted.
  • People who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than adults.
  • In 2015, about 4.0 million people in the United States met the diagnostic criteria for a marijuana use disorder; 138,000 voluntarily sought treatment for their marijuana use.
  • Smoking marijuana increases the risk of psychotic disease by 5 times.
  • Chronic marijuana abuse may lead to brain changes resembling schizophrenia. 
  • Marijuana use increases rates of anxiety, depression, mood and psychotic thought disorders.
  • Marijuana use decreases cognitive functioning.
  • Adolescents are especially vulnerable to its adverse effects, including an IQ lowered on an average of 8 points later in life.
  • Regular marijuana use may lead to respiratory illnesses. 
  • Marijuana smoke is more toxic than cigarette smoke with 483 chemicals; 4 to 5 times more tars and cancer causing agents.


National Institute on Drug Abuse

The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact, Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area

Drug Free Action Alliance

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