Marijuana Fact Sheet
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Myths About Medical Marijuana
Myth #1 – Marijuana is natural.
In reality, hybridization has created new strains of marijuana which are much more potent, are often toxic, and have widely varying levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the psychoactive drug in marijuana). The THC levels of marijuana have risen from a common level of three-to-four percent in the 1970s to 20-percent today – and even higher in hash oil and other marijuana-infused byproducts.i Synthetic strains of marijuana have caused a significant – and growing – number of deaths in many marijuana-legal jurisdictions.ii
Myth #2 – Medical marijuana is used only by those who are ill, elderly, or infirm.
According to a 2014 study by the Arizona Department of Health Services, the largest demographic for a medical-marijuana “patient” is actually a healthy, white male between the ages of 18-30.iii
Myth #3 – Marijuana is well-regulated
Marijuana is an agricultural product which varies greatly in THC content, consistency, and contamination. There are more than 400 different chemical compounds typically found in marijuana according to the National Institutes of Health.iv In addition, marijuana now exists in many forms – from smoked marijuana to edible marijuana (typically candy or cookies) to vapors (essentially purse sprays) to liquid “hash oil.” It is nearly impossible to regulate the complex and fastgrowing pot industry, and it is – in practice – highly unregulated.
Myth #4 – Marijuana is safe
The U.S. Poison Control Centers report that 1,969 children under the age of 12 were hospitalized from 2000 to 2013 due to marijuana ingestion.v Marijuana contributes to psychosis and schizophrenia, results in addiction for one-in-six youths who use it once, and reduces IQ among those who started smoking before age 18 by an average of eight percent according to research by the National Academy of Sciences.vi
Myth #5 – Marijuana legalization will reduce prison populations
Very, very few people are in prison for marijuana use. The Bureau of Justice Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Justice, reports that less than 0.7 percent of all state inmates were behind bars for marijuana possession only.vii
i University of Mississippi, National Center for Natural Products Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Quarterly Report #124, Potency Monitoring Program (March 21, 2014).