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How is Marijuana Harmful?

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Updated August 17, 2013

Question: How is Marijuana Harmful?
Answer: Marijuana can be harmful in a number of ways, through both immediate effects and damage to health over time.

Marijuana hinders the user's short-term memory (memory for recent events), and he or she may have trouble handling complex tasks. With the use of more potent varieties of marijuana, even simple tasks can be difficult.

Because of the drug's effects on perceptions and reaction time, users could be involved in auto crashes.

Other Risky Behaviors

Drug users also may become involved in risky sexual behavior. There is a strong link between drug use and unsafe sex and the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Under the influence of marijuana, students may find it hard to study and learn. Young athletes could find their performance is off; timing, movements, and coordination are all affected by THC.

Some of the more long-range effects of marijuana use are described in another section of these FAQs.

Back to: Marijuana FAQ for Parents

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