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Marijuana is now legal in some areas of the U.S. What is the impact of taking marijuana for the teenager or young adult with ADHD?

In a December 2012 news release, Nora Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) had this to say:  "We are increasingly concerned that regular or daily use of marijuana is robbing many young people of their potential to achieve and excel in school or other aspects of life...THC, a key ingredient in marijuana, alters the ability of the hippocampus, a brain area related to learning and memory, to communicate effectively with other brain regions. In addition, we know from recent research that marijuana use that begins during adolescence can lower IQ and impair other measures of mental function into adulthood."

Thus, as far as we know, there is no scientific evidence that indicates smoking marijuana is helpful, and in fact, it can be harmful. Research indicates that there can be serious side-effects from THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) -- the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana -- for adolescents and young adults whose brains are still developing and maturing. For more information, please see this news release (referenced above) from NIDA.  For a more complete overview of marijuana's impact on health, see NIDA's DrugFacts: Marijuana information sheet.

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Frequently Asked Questions
My daughter has ADHD and is a junior in college. There is a course requirement she must meet to graduate and so far she's failed the course three times. Is there any way she can get a waiver for this requirement so she can graduate?
What is Executive Function?
Can you help me find a doctor or mental health professional?
Is there a simple test to diagnose ADHD?
What is Section 504?
If I request an evaluation, doesn't the school have to do it?
The school says my child has ADHD; now what do I do?
The school says my child needs Ritalin; where do I get it?
My child has been diagnosed with ADHD; isn't he automatically qualified for Section 504 services?
What is FAPE under IDEA?
What is FAPE under 504?
What is the difference between Section 504 and IDEA?
My child has ADHD but doesn't qualify for an IEP; can he still qualify under Section 504?
Can someone with ADHD join the military?
I need information on ADD, not ADHD! Do you have any information on ADD?
I've heard of auditory processing disorder (APD.) Could my child have that instead of ADHD?
Are Charter Schools required to follow IDEA?
Does my child need to be physically disabled to get services?
Is it safe for a woman with ADHD to receive stimulant medication treatment when she is pregnant or breastfeeding?
I'm an adult; doesn't ADHD only affect children?
What is LRE?
Is it illegal to carry ADHD medications?
If my child has an IEP or gets special education, does she have to be in a different classroom?
My child started taking medication and has developed tics. What do I do?
My daughter wants to play college basketball. Will NCAA rules force her to stop taking her ADHD medication?
My child is very bright. He can't have ADHD, too, can he?
Are children who take stimulant medications more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol later in life?
Can you help me find a summer camp for my child?
Now that the holidays are over, how do I get things back to normal?
I get really stressed over the holidays. Do you have any suggestions to help me cope?
Obesity and ADHD: What's the connection?
Smoking and ADHD: What's the connection?
My child goes to a private (non-public) school. Do I have a right to see my child's educational records?
My child was just diagnosed with ADHD.
Is she eligible for SSI?
My child has been diagnosed with ADHD and I believe she may be eligible for SSI.
What do I need to do to apply?
I've been told that an educational advocate could assist me at my child's IEP meeting. What is an educational advocate and how can I find one?
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