It is illegal for anyone under age 21 to purchase, obtain, posses, or use marijuana products without a legal medical card.

What is marijuana?

Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from a cannabis plant. You might have also heard it called "pot", "weed", or "Mary Jane". While some believe that marijuana is safe because it's "natural", it still has incredibly harmful side effects such as increased heart rate, respiratory (lung and breathing) problems, or psychosis.

What is THC?

THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is one of the more than 500 chemicals in marijuana and is responsible for many of the mind altering effects. It effects the endocannabinoid system by binding to receptors and changing your body and mind with varying consequences. For example, it might help with pain management or appetite, but it can also simultaneously cause paranoia and intense anxiety. Heightened levels of THC can result in sickness and hospitalizations.

What is CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is the "non-psychoactive" ingredient in marijuana and hemp. While there are currently no known harms of taking CDB on its own, it's only approved by the FDA to treat two types of seizure disorders in children. Any other uses for CBD are still being researched and it's too early to confidently state that there are no long term effects. Any topical products that have CBD in them have not proved to be effective medical treatments.


How do people use marijuana?

Marijuana is most commonly smoked in a joint, pipe, or bong. These items are consistently sold as "for tobacco use only", but can still be used for marijuana. Another popular form of marijuana is "dabbing", which means smoking marijuana concentrates in the form of hash oil or wax. This is generally four times stronger in THC content than "high grade" or "top shelf" marijuana, which normally measures around 20% THC levels. Marijuana concentrates are also used in "edibles" (food/drink), oils, salves, lotions, and many other products. In edibles, the THC isn't always spread evenly, so the THC dosage varies per serving. Concentrates are particularly dangerous because they look like typical every day items. Children may eat a cookie or brownie without understanding the consequences.

How does marijuana affect my brain?

When marijuana is smoked or vaporized, its effects begin almost immediately and can last for 1-3 hours. However, when marijuana is eaten or made in a tea, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to begin taking effect and then will last for many hours. Many people who don't know their tolerance will continue to eat or drink more to feel the "high" and end up in the hospital. Marijuana effects the cannabinoid receptors in the parts of the brain that regulate movement, coordination, learning and memory, higher cognitive functions such as judgment, and pleasure.

Is it possible to get addicted to marijuana?

Yes! Anyone can become addicted to marijuana. Approximately 10 percent of people who use marijuana develop marijuana use disorder, where a person can't stop using marijuana even though it gets in the way of daily life. There are many factors when it comes to becoming addicted to marijuana, but there has been no proven way to predict who will become addicted, anyone is at risk.

What about medical marijuana?

Marijuana as a plant has not been approved for medical use by the federal government, however THC and CBD have been extracted and made into pills or liquid medications that can be prescribed by medical professionals. The plant itself is currently not regulated or researched enough to definitively state that it is safe and effective. The cross breeding of plants and strains has made it so that it's difficult to get an exact dosage to accurately track marijuana's effects, short term or long term. 

Local Statistics


Percentage of high school students in Churchill County who have never used marijuana


Percentage of high school students in Churchill County who had not used marijuana during the 30 days before the survey


Percentage of high school students in Churchill County who had not driven a car or other vehicle when they had been using marijuana during the 30 days before the survey

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