Roughly 30% of Idaho students have admitted to using marijuana at least once in their lifetime

People who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder

6% of students using marijuana had started using before age 13


In 2017, about 16% of all high school students in the state of Idaho admitted to marijuana use in the past 30 days


Almost three-fourths (71%) of high school students do not view marijuana use as being very harmful

Teens who view marijuana as harmless are more likely to try it and are at greater risk of developing an addiction.


Marijuana use has changed in significant and dangerous ways. Marijuana plants have been genetically altered to produce higher and higher levels of THC (the substance responsible for the euphoric high). The  average THC content of marijuana in the 1960’s was between 3 and 6 percent. The THC content of marijuana today is much higher, between 30 and 60 percent, with concentrated products containing as much as 98 percent THC.


THC (the active substance in marijuana) makes its effect on cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system, which can be found in various areas of the brain. 




Increased perception of novelty

Easily distracted

Decreased processing speed

Short-term memory loss

Motor impairments



Lasting impairments in executive functioning and learning

Significant decrease in IQ

There is evidence to suggest that prolonged use could result in structural changes in the brain

Increased risk of developing psychotic disorders

Possibility of passing on molecular and behavioral abnormalities to offspring

Damage in certain brain pathways linked to a decrease in goal-oriented behavior



Dabs are concentrated doses of cannabis that are made by extracting THC and other cannabinoids using a solvent like butane or carbon dioxide. This results in sticky oils also commonly referred to as wax, shatter, budder, and butane hash oil (BHO). These are ingested by heating up the wax and breathing in the emissions.

These offer more intense highs than regular marijuana, and can be vaped.

Dabbing has become a popular trend among youth who often use


Edibles are food products infused with marijuana. Though smoking marijuana is the most prevalent method of consumption, eating marijuana is quickly becoming a popular way to consume the drug.

Brownies are among the most common food products infused with marijuana, however, almost any food product may be infused with marijuana and eaten.

There is a high potential for overdose from edible marijuana as it is slower to absorb into the blood stream, so users may consume more of the drug thinking that it isn’t working. The amount of THC in edibles is difficult to measure and is not regulated.

In states where marijuana use has been legalized there has been an increase in the number of children hospitalized after accidentally ingesting large amounts of marijuana in the form of candy.


Vaping is becoming an increasingly popular method of ingesting marijuana among teens and adults. The myth that vaping is harmless has led many to assume that vaping marijuana is safer than smoking it. Regardless of method of ingestion, marijuana has serious long-term health effects.

Vaping is also popular among youth as it is discrete and concealable. Many adults are uneducated about vaping and either do not recognize vaporizers for what they are, or they are under the impression that vaporizers don’t contain harmful ingredients. Please visit our vaping page to learn more about this dangerous trend



The chances of a car accident are doubled when a driver is under the influence of marijuana (more than any other illegal drug)

Marijuana use puts teens at risk of participating in risky sexual behavior, and therefore unplanned pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases

Teens using marijuana are more likely to drop out of high school

Teens using marijuana are also more likely to develop an anxiety disorder


Talk to your child. Teens whose parents regularly talk to them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol are 40 percent less likely to use drugs. It may not seem like it, but they are listening.

Monitor your child. There is a strong, reliable link between parental monitoring (knowing who their child is with, where they are, and what they are doing) and decreased marijuana use in adolescents


Educate yourself. There is a billion dollar industry that is trying to convince you to use their product and they are making all kids of claims. Use reputable sources to fact check and be sure you know who is behind the information you are learning.

Educate your friends. Once you have educated yourself, educate your friends.

Be an example. Many teens report using drugs because of peer pressure or boredom. Take the time to search out healthy drug free activities in your community and invite your friends along.

Decide ahead of time that you won’t partake. It is far easier to make an educated and rational decision ahead of time than it is to make one in a peer pressure situation.

Think ahead. Come up with a few ways to turn down drugs or alcohol in a peer pressure situation. Often a simple  “no thanks” will be sufficient, but it never hurts to have a few nonchalant and/or humorous statements in mind before a party or other situation where you may be offered drugs. Here are a few favorites that teens have shared: “no, man, my parents would kill me,” “not my thing,” “no thanks, I’m driving,” “naaaah,” “I’m all good,” “money is my favorite drug,” “no thanks, I’m high on life.”


Use Rates


The National Institute on Drug Abuse

Impaired Driving

Governors Highway Safety Association

More Drivers Killed Under the Influence of Drugs than Alcohol

Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA)

The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact Volume 5 Update  September 2018

The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact Volume 5 October 2017

Idaho Office of Drug Policy

Marijuana Position Statement Adopted February 2017, Updated August 2018

CBD Position Statement February 2018

Impaired Driving Among Idaho Youth 2017

Opioids and Marijuana

Cannabis Use and Risk of Rx Opioid Use Disorder in the U.S. American Journal of Psychiatry

Medical Marijuana Users are more likely to use Rx Drugs Medically and

Nonmedically American Society of Addiction Medicine

Effect of cannabis use in people with chronic non-cancer pain The Lancet

Editorial: It is premature to expand access to medicinal cannabis in hopes of solving the US opioid crisis Addiction