There are several commonly held beliefs about marijuana which aren't true. With the proposed ballot initiative coming to a vote in November, these are the facts you need to know. 

Myth: Marijuana is not addictive.

  • Marijuana is both addictive and harmful to the human brain, especially when used as an adolescent.
  • One in every six 16 year-olds (and one in every eleven adults) who try marijuana will become addicted to it.
  • The majority of adolescents who receive treatment for substance use at Maryhaven use marijuana.

Myth: Smoking marijuana doesn’t make you dumb.

  • Adolescents who smoke marijuana regularly are almost 6 x’s more likely than nonsmokers to drop out of school and over 3 x’s less likely to enter college.
  • Using marijuana regularly before the age of 18 resulted in an average IQ of 6 to 8 fewer points at age 38 versus to those who did not use the drug before 18.

Myth: No one has ever overdosed from marijuana.

  • Marijuana may not produce direct overdoses, but we would not say it can’t hurt you.
  • Emergency room admissions in states that have legalized marijuana use now are continuing to rise.
  • Marijuana infused products like candy, food and beverages pose a significant risk for youth.

Myth: Marijuana users are clogging our prison systems.

  • About 0.7% of all state inmates were behind bars for marijuana possession only (with many of them pleading down from more serious crimes).
  • In total, one tenth of one percent (0.1 %) of all state prisoners were marijuana-possession offenders with no prior sentences.
  • In Ohio currently, possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor with $150 fine.

Myth: Everyone is already using marijuana.

  • Marijuana is used by only 8% of Americans.
  • Alcohol use is used by 52% of Americans and tobacco is used by 27% of Americans.

Myth: Medical marijuana is important.

  • We need more research to determine the benefits of marijuana use.
  • Marijuana may contain medical components, like opium does. But we don’t smoke opium to get the effects of morphine. We don’t call morphine “medical heroin”.
  • We don’t vote on other medications like Percocet or Vicodin. Why do we vote on marijuana as medicine?

Myth: Medical marijuana helps the sick and dying.

  • Very few people (2-3%) of those seeking a recommendation for medical marijuana use have cancer, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, or multiple sclerosis.
  • Medicines developed from cannabis have been around for decades – Marinol and Cesamet. Other cannabis-based medicines are in clinical studies.
  • Ohio currently has a pending legislation HB 33: Seizure disorders-authorize use of cannabidiol and other cannabis- derived drugs and substances. Otherwise known as the “Charlotte’s Web” it is a strain of cannabis used for medical purposes. It does not induce a “high” associated with recreation marijuana and has a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of less than .3%.

Myth: Lots of people smoked marijuana as kids and turned out fine.

  • The psychoactive ingredient in marijuana—THC—has increased almost six-fold in average potency during the past thirty years.
  • Edible marijuana-infused products didn’t exist decades ago. With the ability to extract high level THC oils, waxes and other products the “high” effect of marijuana is very different than just smoking.