Topics > Other Drugs > Marijuana

Marijuana is a dry, shredded green and brown mix of leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. In a more concentrated, resinous form, it is called hashish, and as a sticky black liquid, hash oil. The main psychoactive (mind-altering) chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

Marijuana is the most common illicit drug used in the United States. After a period of decline in the last decade, its use has generally increased among young people since 2007, corresponding to a diminishing perception of the drug’s risks. More teenagers are now current (past-month) smokers of marijuana than of cigarettes, according to annual survey data.

NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse


Drug Facts: Marijuana (NIH-2012), Spanish

Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know (NIH-2011), Spanish

Marijuana Resource Center (Office of National Drug Control Policy)
This Web-based resource center provides the general public, community leaders, and other interested people with the facts, knowledge, and tools to better understand and address marijuana in their communities. This resource center will be regularly updated and expanded to address emerging issues, research, and prevention tools, and highlight successful local efforts to reduce marijuana use.

Toolkit for States Facing “Medical” Marijuana & Marijuana Legalization Initiative (CADCA-2012)

Learn About Marijuana (Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute-2013)
Science-based information for the public.

Marijuana: Know the Facts (Office of National Drug Control Policy-2012)

Marijuana and Impaired Driving – Fact Sheet (MN Dept. of Health-2014)

Marijuana Legalization (Office of National Drug Control Policy-2010)

“American Weed” – National Geographic program

Medical Marijuana/Cannabis

Medical Cannabis in Minnesota (MN Dept. of Health-2014)

Drug Facts: Is Marijuana Medicine? (NIH-2012), Spanish

Medical Marijuana in Certain Neurological Disorders (American Academy of Neurology-2014)

Recent Research on Medical Marijuana (NORML-2014)

Medicinal Cannabis and Chronic Pain Project (ADAI-2015) – Toolkit, Training Modules

For Teenagers

Marijuana: Facts for Teens (NIH-2011)

Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body (NIDA-2012)
2011-12 Compilation for Students, Teacher Edition

Mind Over Matter: Marijuana (NIDA-1997), Spanish

Marijuana (NIDA for Teens-2012)


A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Underage Marijuana Use (2014)
Created by Seattle Children’s Hospital and Foundation to assist parents with the issue of marijuana use now that recreational use is legal for adults in Washington. Provides information about marijuana use and guidelines on how to talk to teenagers about the risks of use.

Underage Marijuana Use Prevention Toolkit (2014)
From Washington State. Example of a useful website that can provide a variety of prevention resources to coalitions, communities, or organizations.

Preventing Youth Marijuana: An Annotated Bibliography (CAPT Decision Support Tools) (2014)
This annotated bibliography was developed for use by substance abuse prevention practitioners charged with providing guidance or technical assistance to grantee communities seeking to address youth marijuana use in their communities.

Strategies and Interventions to Prevent Youth Marijuana Use: An At-a-Glance Resource Tool (CAPT Decision Support Tools) (2014)
This document provides brief summaries of substance abuse prevention strategies and associated interventions that have been evaluated to determine their effects on marijuana outcomes for youth populations; and should be considered a resource for state- and community prevention practitioners seeking information on interventions to reduce marijuana use among youth. 

Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Youth Marijuana Use (CAPT Decision Support Tools) (2014)
Understanding those factors associated with marijuana abuse helps us know how to assess, plan for, and select interventions designed to address these factors. This document provides a summary of research findings on factors associated with marijuana use among youth. These factors have been organized according to the socio-ecological model, a multi-level framework that allows us to consider the different contexts in which shared risk and protective factors exist.