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.

Know the Risks of Marijuana

Facts about Marijuana According to SAMHSA

Marijuana use comes with real risks that can impact a person’s health and life.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in the U.S. and its use is growing. Marijuana use among all adult age groups, both sexes, and pregnant women is going up. At the same time, the perception of how harmful marijuana use can be is declining. Increasingly, young people today do not consider marijuana use a risky behavior.

But there are real risks for people who use marijuana, especially youth and young adults, and women who are pregnant or nursing. Today’s marijuana is stronger than ever before. People can and do become addicted to marijuana.

"Approximately 1 in 10 people who use marijuana will become addicted. When they start before age 18, the rate of addiction rises to 1 in 6."

Know the risks before you use.

Marijuana use can have negative and long-term effects:

Brain iconBrain health: Marijuana can cause permanent IQ loss of as much as 8 points when people start using it at a young age. These IQ points do not come back, even after quitting marijuana.

Gears iconMental health: Studies link marijuana use to depression, anxiety, suicide planning, and psychotic episodes. It is not known, however, if marijuana use is the cause of these conditions.

Bicycle icon Athletic Performance: Research shows that marijuana affects timing, movement, and coordination, which can harm athletic performance.

Driving sign Driving: People who drive under the influence of marijuana can experience dangerous effects: slower reactions, lane weaving, decreased coordination, and difficulty reacting to signals and sounds on the road.

Baby carriage icon Baby’s health and development: Marijuana use during pregnancy may cause fetal growth restriction, premature birth, stillbirth, and problems with brain development, resulting in hyperactivity and poor cognitive function. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other chemicals from marijuana can also be passed from a mother to her baby through breast milk, further impacting a child’s healthy development.

Arrow iconDaily life: Using marijuana can affect performance and how well people do in life. Research shows that people who use marijuana are more likely to have relationship problems, worse educational outcomes, lower career achievement, and reduced life satisfaction.

Other Resources

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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