Marijuana Quiz
for Parents 

Test your smarts!
Take this quiz to separate marijuana fiction from fact.


Marijuana isn’t all that harmful.  

Marijuana is not a harmless little plant.  The drug is more potent than ever and can lead to significant health, social, learning and behavioral problems at a crucial time in kids’ lives. Marijuana contains the same cancer-causing chemicals as tobacco.  It impairs the ability of regular users to concentrate and retain information.  And it leads to some changes in the brain similar to those caused by cocaine and heroin.

Marijuana, unlike some other illegal drugs, is not addictive.

Research shows that marijuana is addictive.  In fact, more teens enter treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependency than for all other illicit drugs combined.  Sixty percent of teens currently in drug treatment have a primary marijuana diagnosis.  A recent study also found that when abstaining from marijuana for just three days, regular users experienced withdrawal symptoms, including drug cravings, decreased appetite, sleep difficulty and weight loss, along with increased aggression, anger, irritability and restlessness.

Kids are more likely than adults to become dependent on marijuana.

Research shows that marijuana use is three times more likely to lead to dependence among adolescents than adults. And the earlier they start using it, the more likely they are to develop problems later in life.

Marijuana is less popular among kids today because of ecstasy and other new club drugs.

Far more youth use marijuana than ecstasy or any other drug.  Among kids who use drugs, approximately 60 percent use marijuana only. 

Smoking pot only makes people feel mellow.

Marijuana can cause paranoia, panic attacks, anxiety and depression.  For those who are already anxious or depressed, using marijuana may make things worse.  The drug can also double a person's normal heart rate and raise blood pressure — two physiological signs of stress.  Heavy marijuana use has even been linked with increased aggression, rebelliousness and violent behavior.  One study showed that among youth, the incidence of physical aggression, destroying property and stealing increased in proportion to the number of days marijuana was smoked in the past year.

Marijuana doesn’t have any long-term effects.  

Marijuana use can have many long-term effects.  In addition to the health risks, using marijuana can lead to failure in school, trouble with the law or risky behaviors that could have lifelong consequences.  Young marijuana users in their later teen years are more likely to have multiple sexual partners, and have problems with cigarettes and alcohol and other illegal drugs.


Smoking one marijuana joint is as harmful as smoking how many cigarettes?

  •  Five
  •  Four
  •  Two
  •  One

Smoking one marijuana joint is equal to smoking five cigarettes – smoking four joints is like smoking an entire pack.  The amount of tar inhaled by marijuana smokers and the level of carbon monoxide they absorb are also three to five times more than tobacco smokers.  And like tobacco, marijuana contains hundreds of carcinogens that can lead to cancer.

What happens when a person uses marijuana, other than feeling high?

  •   Loss of motor coordination
  •   Distorted perception
  •   Increased heart rate
  •   Trouble with thinking and problem solving
  •   All of the above

ANSWER: All of the above
These effects are even greater when other drugs are mixed with marijuana.  A user may also experience dry mouth and throat.

What percent of 12th graders say that marijuana is “fairly” or “very” easy to obtain?

  • 27
  • 46
  • 52
  • 67
  • 88

The vast majority of high school seniors find marijuana “fairly” or “very” easy to obtain. Moreover, more than one-third of teens ages 14-17 say they could purchase marijuana within a five-block radius of their home.

How long does marijuana stay in your body?

  • Up to 3 days
  • Up to 10 days
  • Up to a few weeks
  • Up to several months

ANSWER: Up to a few weeks
Even after users stop feeling the effects of marijuana, the drug can linger in the body for a few weeks.  That means it can be detected by a standard drug test long after its initial use.

The majority of kids who enter drug treatment are there for addiction to:

  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • Marijuana
  • Alcohol

ANSWER: Marijuana
More teens enter treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependency than for all other illicit drugs combined.
  Marijuana is addictive.  Among those who have used the drug at least five times, the rates of marijuana dependence are estimated at 20-30 percent.

A marijuana joint can contain:

  • PCP
  • Pesticides
  • LSD
  • Cocaine or Crack
  • All of the above

ANSWER: All of the above
Many things can be added to marijuana leaves without users knowing it.  Chemicals, such as pesticides, may be sprayed on the marijuana plants before they're harvested or people may mix the marijuana with other drugs.  PCP and LSD can be placed on dry leaves, while joints can be laced with crack or cocaine.

Marijuana use has been associated with:

  • Cancer
  • School failure
  • Traffic accidents
  • Sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS
  • All of the above

ANSWER: All of the above
Users inhale cancer-causing carcinogens when they smoke marijuana, and marijuana smoking could contribute to the early development of head and neck cancer in some people.  Research also shows that adolescent marijuana users are less likely to attain at least a high school education.  In addition, marijuana affects alertness, concentration, perception, coordination and reaction time, many of the skills required for safe driving.  In fact, a roadside study of reckless drivers (not impaired by alcohol) showed that 45 percent tested positive for marijuana.  Marijuana users are also more likely to have multiple sexual partners and engage in unsafe sex.  

What percent of 12th graders believe occasional marijuana use is harmful?

  • 23
  • 30
  • 42
  • 55
  • 66

Less than one-third of 12th graders surveyed think occasional marijuana use is harmful.

According to kids ages 13 to 17, what’s the number one reason they don’t smoke marijuana or use other drugs?

  • Risk of getting kicked off a sports team
  • Losing their parents’ respect
  • Worry they’ll look silly or stupid in front of their friends
  • Concern about being suspended from school

ANSWER: Losing their parents’ respect
Parents are the most important influence on children when it comes to drugs. Two-thirds of youth say losing their parents’ respect is one of the main reasons they don’t smoke marijuana or use other drugs.

Score Yourself:  How Did You Do?

14-15 correct answers.  You’re an expert!  Congratulations on your knowledge of marijuana.  Now go out and share your knowledge with your kids.  It may be one of the best things you’ve ever done.

10-13 correct answers.  Very good.  You know a lot about marijuana, but there’s more to learn.  Check out the Web site listed below for more information or call 1-800-788-2800.  Help America ’s kids stay away from marijuana and learn a little more to better understand why.

5-9 correct answers.  Good.  Go back and check your answers to see where you need more information.  Visit the Web site listed below and check out the sections on marijuana or call 1-800-788-2800 for free information.

1-4 correct answers.  Not so good, but give yourself a pat on the back for trying.  Get more information from the Web sites and study the marijuana section.  Or make the call for free information at 1-800-788-2800.  You’ll be glad you did. 

For information about marijuana, visit or call 1-800-788-2800 and ask for free information about marijuana. Or contact MAWSAC at 203-294-351 or