Marijuana: Perception of Harm vs. Use

First published 2014. To view the latest Heads Up content, click here.

Science shows that smoking marijuana on a regular basis can impair development of the teen brain, lower IQ, and also increase the risk for addiction. But recent studies show that fewer young people now think marijuana is harmful than in the past. To find out more, study the graph below and then answer the questions that follow.

SOURCE: University of Michigan, 2013 Monitoring the Future Study.

Questions (Write your answers on separate paper as needed.)

  • 1. a) According to the graph, around what year did high school seniors increasingly start thinking of marijuana as harmful? When did this trend change?
  • 1. b) When did past-year use of marijuana among high school seniors begin to rise?
  • 2. According to the graph, how does understanding the harms of marijuana affect use?
  • 3. Referring to the article “Marijuana: Breaking Down the Buzz,” identify at least two harmful effects marijuana could have on teens.
  • 4. Referring again to the article, why might teens today be confused about how safe marijuana is?

Click here to download and print a copy of this Work Sheet (PDF)

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