Reach Your Potential

The Power to Say “No”

Even though it may seem like everybody’s doing it, they’re not. Four out of five Colorado high schoolers said they haven't used marijuana in the past 30 days. See the stats here. Here’s some info to help you understand how marijuana affects your body, and to give you the power to say “no.”

01Here’s What You Should Know

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is the dried leaves and flowers of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. It is usually smoked with a bong, pipe, joint or vaporizer. It can also be ingested in the form of edibles.

Marijuana may be a natural substance, but that doesn’t make it safe, just like tobacco and lead aren’t safe.

What is THC?

THC, aka Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical in marijuana that makes the user feel “high.”

Learn how marijuana can affect your health below.

02Health Effects

Make Good Decisions

Since marijuana affects the part of your brain responsible for your awesome decision-making skills, using it can cause you to make some not-so-awesome decisions, like getting in the car with someone who is high or has been drinking.

Reach Your Full Potential

Your brain is still developing until you’re 25 years old. For the best chance to reach your full potential, you should not use marijuana while you're young because it can mess up the crucial growth going on in your brain.

Effects on Your
Learning & Memory

When you use marijuana regularly, you're more likely to have difficulty learning, memory issues and lower math and reading scores. Studies show that the effects can last weeks after using.

03Physical (Your Body)

Keep Your
Brain Healthy

Daily or near-daily use of marijuana can damage your memory. Marijuana, especially in high doses, can cause temporary psychosis (not knowing what is real, hallucinations and paranoia) while you are high.

Marijuana is Addictive

Marijuana is addictive, and it's even harder to stop using marijuana if you start at a young age. Also, young people who start using marijuana, alcohol or other drugs may be more likely to continue using later in life.

Letting marijuana get in the way of everyday life, including school, sports or a job; using more or longer than planned; and repeatedly trying to quit can all be signs of addiction. If you’re worried about a friend or family member, visit

Coordination is Key

THC can interfere with your reaction time and how you experience time and space. Using marijuana in any form will likely impair your ability to drive, play sports, bike or do other activities that you love.

Take Care
of Your Lungs

Just like tobacco, smoke from marijuana can irritate your lungs and make it harder for you to breathe. This includes secondhand smoke. Heavy marijuana smokers can even develop a cough or wheezing.

Marijuana can become habit-forming, and it’s harder to stop using marijuana if you start at a young age.

A Bad Reaction

Some people have a bad reaction after using marijuana, which can make them feel paranoid, or cause them to see or hear things that aren’t there. Between a racing heart and a paranoid mind, a bad reaction to marijuana can feel very scary. It can also be a sign that the person has had too much.

If this happens to someone you know, stay with them and call the Poison Control Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. If the reaction seems severe, call 911 immediately. A minor can be protected from getting in trouble for underage use if they are taking the right steps to get someone help.

Consequences of Using