Bookmark this page

Marijuana - FAQ

Marijuana Header

I heard marijuana is a natural plant. Does that mean it is okay to use?

Marijuana is made out of the dried leaves, flowers, stems and seeds from the plant Cannabis Sativa but that does not mean that it is harmless. It contains a chemical called Tetrahydorocannabinol (THC) as well as 400 other chemicals. THC can alter how the brain works and impair judgement. Marijuana can have a negative effect on attention, motivation, memory and the ability to learn. Using it can increase the risk of being in an accident. Marijuana may also increase the risk for poor mental health (i.e. panic attacks, depression, and psychosis).

Is it true that all marijuana is the same?

No. Not all marijuana is the same. Studies have shown that the levels of Tetrahydorocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana can vary greatly from plant to plant. Marijuana may be dipped in Phencyclidine (PCP) or mixed with other substances, which are not known to the user.

Is marijuana addictive?

Yes it can be. A person’s risk of becoming addicted increases if they begin using marijuana at a young age or if they use it every day. Long-term marijuana users who try to quit often experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving.

I heard marijuana’s effects don’t last long. Is this true?

The effects of marijuana can last several hours. Tetrahydorocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, can stay present in a body for days or weeks. During this time someone who has used marijuana could test positive on a drug test.

Does marijuana have any long term effects?

Marijuana smoke contains more tar than tobacco smoke and some cancer-causing chemicals. These chemicals can cause a chronic cough, bronchitis, and increase the risk for cancer. Marijuana can bring on symptoms of schizophrenia in those who are high risk. It can also make it harder to pay attention, remember things and learn.

Is marijuana legal?

Possession of marijuana is still illegal in Canada. Being in possession of marijuana can lead to prison time, a fine, and a criminal record.

I know that drinking alcohol before driving is illegal but is using marijuana before driving illegal?

Drugged driving, or driving under the influence of any substance, is illegal. Using marijuana before driving can cause impairment and has been found to roughly double a driver’s chance of being in an accident. Police officers in Ontario are trained to tell if a person is high and can lay charges. Charges for drugged driving can include fines, imprisonment and suspension of driver’s licence.

What are the criteria to be able to use marijuana medically?

To use marijuana medically in Canada you need a valid Authorization to Possess (ATP). To receive this you have to have a medical document signed by a physician. In Canada, some of the reasons marijuana is prescribed are to decrease nausea, decrease pain, and promote weight gain during illness.