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(Books Pot Safari and Marijuana Alert, Peggy Mann, McGraw Hill)


Known >300 years for its psychoactivity

delta-nine tetrahydrocannabinol

a) regular grade

b) Sensimilla

c) Hashish

d) Hash oil

Needs heat activation (smoking, tea or brownies)

Currently, plain marijuana up to 9x stronger than in 1973.

1973 1983

reg 0.5% THC 3.5% THC

sensi 6% 10-12%

hashish 8% 15%

oil 15-30% 20-60%

Regular grade...seeds etc. Backyard variety

Sensimilla "preferred" mature seedless female plants grown away

from male. The largest cash crop of California, Oregon and Hawaii

and second nationally behind corn. One plant costs $200 to grow,

worth up to $2500. 25% is grown in US national forests, often

booby-trapped. In 1975 worth $400 per pound, now $3500 per pound.

In Ohio in 1987 25% of plants confiscated, about 255000 plants

left or $540 million.

Hashish...made in Pakistan/Afganistan and imported. Deteriorates

at about 10% per month.

Hash Oil is the concentrated form which is put on a cigarette to

double the potency.


More carcinogens than tobacco. More lung irritation than tobacco.

More number of carcinogens than tobacco.

If ingested has erratic absorption and is deactivated in the

liver like narcotics are...thus less potent but longer high.

If smoked, about 100% of the THC is absorbed into the

pulmonary system and then into the fatty system ie. brain,

testicles and ovaries, heart.

See reddened eyes and increased heart rate due to THC.


THC attaches to the cerebellum, spinal cord and hippocampus.

Hippocampus is responsible for short term memory. If removed--

global amnesia. THC in rats causes brain cell death.

Monkey studies...smoke 5 days/week x 1 year then free x 1

year caused profound lack of interest in learning and no memory.

Same experiment smoking weekend only caused moderade damage and

loss of memory. These were permanent changes.

Does it do this in humans? Our current users will be the

guinea pigs for this experiment. Scientists expect the answer to

be yes.


Affects behavioural mood and memory functions. Decreases cerebral

blood flow while smoking.

Of students failing or leaving school, 1/25 were not pot

users, 3/5 of students regularly smoking pot failed.

Flight simulator and pilors after 1 cigarette...each pilot

did significantly worse with one pilot missing the runway.

Significantly, all pilots thought they were doing very well.

The single greatest risk factor for cocaine abuse is

marijuana use before age 15.


1. Loss of interest, apathy, desire to work

2. Fatigue, loss of energy/tiredness

3. Depression/attacks of rage when provoked

4. Slovenliness in habits and appearance

For chronic users, clearly has been shown that memory tests and

auditory and visual retention tests were poorly done even after 6

weeks of sobriety.

In a study of alcohol/pot related accidents, suggested pot may be

responsible for more accidents than alcohol (due to impaired

judgement etc)

In a number of cases, heavy use 4-5x a week up to 15 cigarettes

per cay caused amnesia for the first 7-8 days of sobriety.

Amnesia was not recognized by the user.

Sheba=PCP added. Smells like embalming fluid

Few drops of vinegar in urine will give negative marijuana test

Drug screen 50-75 level CANNOT BE PASSIVE. No false positives. It

is like a fingerprint. In a job screen should always do a

confirmation titer if a screen is positive.


421 chemicals. 65 are different cannabinols which are

psychoactive (delta-nine most) Others include non-cannabinols

such as toxins, carcinogens (such as tar, just like the tar on the

road) and inactive or potentiating agents

Alcohol takes 6-8 hours to get out of body

THC is fat-soluble, and 50% will be in the body 1-2 weeks later.

May take up to 4 months to get all out. Heavy use for 6-12 months

will give positive drug screen 4-6 weeks later.

A chronic pot user is raraly sober. Subclinical

intoxication. 2-3 times a week sufficient for this. Level

released from fat as acute level drops. Stored in all fat and

also in the basic building cells of the body.

Damage is DOSE RELATED. Depends on frequency and on

concentration. The more mature the person the less permanent

damage. Symptoms are insidious and subtle and can parallel

adolescent adjustment symptoms. THC exaggerates these symptoms,

makes them more profound and often permanent. Saturation in the

brain causes memory impairment, concentration impairment and

motivation impairment. Can be a major personality change. As the

brain level decreased THC moves from other body fat to the brain

to keep the brain saturated. Can actually prevent the cognitive

changes needed for an adolescent to change to an adult, leaving

him/her with poor social judgement, poor attention span, confusion

and anxiety and loss of train of thought. Occasionally produces

hyperactive/aggressive/agitated person instead of apathy. This

damage can occur in MONTHS rather than years. ALL USERS


TO THEIR POTENTIAL ABILITY. Regression to immaturity can occur

and can be irreversible. A teenager can develop, for example, a

mental age of 11 and thus not be able to complete school work

causing a dropout from school.

Pot more potent than in past years, age of onset much earlier

and thus the profile of a marijuana user is changing.

a) much higher suicidal ideation and depression

b) 1/3 show borderline schizophrenia traits with disorganized

thought patterns.

c) Paranoia increasing

d) Lots of similarities to a senile adult. Difference in time

perception (10 minutes seems like 1 hour). Erratic junk foods.

Poor judgement. Cannot self-correct. Much like Altzheimer's


e) As use continues with subacute intoxication, decreasing

cognitive ability, decline in emotional life, much increase in

stubbornness. More fatigue, decreased ability to do complex

tasks, no self-insight, no idea of time and dates, impaired short-

term meory and occasionally long-term as well. With Moderate dose

get profound gross impairment of motor skills. (See how much like

brain-damaged adult?) With high dose can get hallucinations.

Feel that THC may be the cause of massive adolescent psychiatric

problems. MUCH PROOF HERE and much refusal of the user to take

this information seriously...still relying on the information from

the 1960s that THC was not harmful. User does not wish to look

the data straight in the eyes.

Major driving impairments..."behavioural toxicity". The

stoned person does not perceive the dangers. He can briefly hide

the influence and pay attention but easily loses focus. Coming

down from a high may be the worst for motor skills. Occasionally

get a triggered unexpected after-high.

39% more likely to have a driving accident if smoke THC and

drive. Reckless driving, failure to yield, failure to stop.

How to tell if the memory/behavior is THC? STOP for two

months and see if symptoms go away.


1. First stage is exposure.

2. Second stage...the person learns the mood swing, starts to use

it as a drug and seek it and plan for its use = second stage of


3. Third stage..user becomes preoccupied with the mood swing.

Develops tolerance. May use 3-4 x per day up to 15 per day = much

increased tolerance. Develops a preoccupied with chemical

dependence life style.

4. In the fourth stage the addict is using the drug to be NORMAL.

Uses first in the AM, last at night, using it just to function.

*Stages three and four...the patient usually cannot stop on his

own but needs a formal treatment program.

For those who have smoked more than 1000x in three or four years:

70-80% have tried cocaine

1/3 have tried heroin

Only 0-1% of heroin users never smoked pot.

The percentage of use of cocaine is directly related to the

frequency of use of pot.

In stage four with increased tolerance the addict uses more

of the higher grade THC, starts mixing drugs, seeks out more heavy

using friends. The addict is very seriously disabled with social

and psychological disabilities, panic attacks, nausea et.c Ego

deterioration develops (with the denial that the drug causes the

problem, it follows that the person himself must be causing the

problem. This brings out guilt and shame which recycles to use of

more drugs).

See social and school deterioration, dropping off team,

dropping hobbies. Finally psychotic-like fog in thinking.

**This can last as long as two or more years after drug cessation.


Three predominant symptoms are

a) progressive chemical use

b) chemically oriented lifestyle

c) increasing tolerance

Parents should be aware...addicted teenager will use avoidance

techniques, visine in eyes, frequently changes the room (more drug

oriented pictures etc) dropping grades.

Often a strong family history of chemical dependency or alcohol

dependency. Usage of THC not hereditary but the addiction

development probably is.


Marijuana is an isolator. Questions asked are "Where did you

get it" and "How can I get some". NOT a drug that explores

feelings. Feelings (mad glad sad) tend to be suppressed.

Treatment must explore feelings and teach its vocabulary. Group

therapy can help.

Treatment must teach alternative ways to to handle

a headache (user does not handle pain well...has avoided the

feeling of pain in the past). Must set rules and limits. Must

address the amotivational syndrome in the treatment program.

Avoid the assignment to "read a book and write how to talk

with people" but give the assignment to DO the behavior. Remember

the immaturity and the age level caused by the drug when making


Treat the denial. "No big thing" is not true. You have

school failures, family dysfunctions etc.

Work with the twenty harmfuls to get to deal in reality.

encourage that what is real within the group can occur outside of

the group as well.

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