The following information comes from the National Institute on Drug Abuse
Myth: Marijuana is harmless.
Fact: In the short-term, marijuana can cause problems with learning and memory, distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch), poor coordination, and increased heart rate. The impact varies because of biology (genetic makeup), marijuana’s potency, how the drug in used (smoked versus ingested) and whether alcohol or other drugs are involved. Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same breathing and lung problems that tobacco smokers have.
Myth: Marijuana is not addictive.
Fact: Marijuana can be addictive for some people when the body and the mind become dependent on it, and users are not able to control their consumption of it.
Myth: Marijuana won’t hurt my grades.
Fact: Marijuana is linked to school failure because of its negative effects on attention, memory and learning. It becomes more difficult to learn something new or do complex tasks that require focus and concentration when using marijuana.
Myth: Since marijuana is legal in Washington if you are 21, using it won’t hurt my chances for employment.
Fact: Wrong! If you are required to take a drug test as a condition of employment, marijuana will impact your ability to be hired for federal positions or other contractors for the federal government. Many non-federal positions also require drug testing. If you can’t pass the drug test, you can’t have the job!
Marijuana is illegal under federal law even in states that legalize it. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug, meaning it is perceived to have no medical value and a high potential for abuse.