Just Facts is dedicated and determined to provide factual, documented information to the people of Illinois, educating them on the real risks involved and societal impact of legalization of cannabis.

Marijuana and Cocaine Use in Young MI Patients Linked to Mortality Risks

A new statewide study examines cocaine and marijuana use in patients presenting with MI [Myocardial infarction]. One in 10 patients age 50 or younger at the time of first MI have a recent history of cocaine and/or marijuana use, and individuals with this history have worse long-term survival than nonusers, new data show. Given the increasing legalization and use of marijuana, the researchers say more efforts are needed to identify users and convey the seriousness of the cardiovascular risks involved.

“There’s been a lot of data for a long time that cocaine is bad for the heart in various ways and that it is associated with increased mortality, but there is much less data available about marijuana despite its increasing use in the population,” said Ersilia M. DeFilippis, MD (Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA).


tctMD. “Marijuana and Cocaine Use in Young MI Patients Linked to Mortality Risks” http://www.tctmd.com. 4 June 2018. Web. 21 June 2018.

Drugged Driving—What You Should Know

In 2016, 44 percent of drivers in fatal car crashes (with known results) tested positive for drugs, according to the recent report entitled “Drug-Impaired Driving: Marijuana and Opioids Raise Critical Issues for States” by the Governors Highway Safety Association. This is up from 28 percent in 2006. See a graphic from the link below for more information about drugged driving and marijuana and opioids.

What happens when you use drugs and drive? Marijuana can decrease a person’s ability to drive a car. It slows reaction time, impairs a driver’s concentration and attention, and reduces hand-eye coordination. It is dangerous to drive after mixing alcohol and marijuana. Driving after using prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicine, such as cough suppressants, antihistamines, sleeping aids, and anti-anxiety medications may impair driving ability.


Get Smart About Drugs. “Drugged Driving—What You Should Know” http://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov. 1 June 2018. Web. 19 June 2018.

School resource officers report increase in marijuana usage in schools

A survey of school resource officers are giving a closer look at marijuana use by students.

30 percent of officers taking part in the survey said they have seen an increase of marijuana-related incidents in their schools.

The survey also showed 58 percent of drug incidents reported to the State Board of Education were marijuana-related.


News Channel 20. “School resource officers report increase in marijuana usage in schools” http://www.newschannel20.com. 12 June 2018. Web. 14 June 2018.

In the new world of legal recreational marijuana, don’t flood teens with pot ads

Teens don’t get the risks of pot, and ads make them more likely to use it. We need guidelines and parental guidance in the recreational marijuana era.

The ads for recreational marijuana have gotten out ahead of regulations that could restrict where and how teens are exposed to advertising of the drug. Studies have already shown that the more teens are exposed to cigarette and alcohol ads, the greater the likelihood they will use those substances. That’s where advertising regulations come in.


USA Today. “In the new world of legal recreational marijuana, don’t flood teens with pot ads” http://www.usatoday.com. 30 May 2018. Web. 12 June 2018.

Prenatal marijuana use can affect infant size and behavior, study finds

As regulations crack down on the dangers of cigarette smoke, a new study is warningSmoking during pregnancy has well-documented negative effects on birth weight in infants and is linked to several childhood health problems. Now, researchers at the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions have found that prenatal marijuana use also can have consequences on infants’ weight and can influence behavior problems, especially when combined with tobacco use.


SciemceDaily. “Prenatal marijuana use can affect infant size, behavior, study finds” http://www.sciencedaily.com. 10 May 2018. Web. 7 June 2018.

More Parents Smoking Marijuana Around Children, Study Says

As regulations crack down on the dangers of cigarette smoke, a new study is warning that many parents are undoing all of this progress by exposing their children to secondhand marijuana smoke.

According to researchers from Columbia University, the number of cigarette-smoking parents who said they used marijuana increased from 11 percent in 2002 to over 17 percent in 2015. “Overall, cannabis use is much more common among cigarette-smoking parents versus nonsmokers, but it is increasing in both groups,” lead researcher Renee Goodwin said, via UPI.

The study adds that as tobacco laws increase, states have loosened the laws governing marijuana use. Dr. Karen Wilson says the ability for more parents to smoke pot legally could create a dangerous environment for children breathing in secondhand smoke. “We do suspect kids exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke, their nicotine receptors are primed to make them more susceptible to cigarette smoking,” Wilson said. “It’s too early to say whether the same is true for marijuana smoke.”

Whether marijuana smoke is as addictive as tobacco smoke may be up for debate, but the damage from inhaling it has already been studied. A recent study by biologist Matthew Springer found that marijuana smoke is three times worse for the arterial walls than cigarette smoke.


CBS Denver. “More Parents Smoking Marijuana Around Children, Study Says” www.denver.cbslocal.com. 16 May 2018. Web. 5 June 2018.

Exposure to Advertisements and Marijuana Use Among US Adolescents

Hongying Dai, PhD


This study examined whether exposure to marijuana advertisements was associated with current marijuana use and frequency of use among US adolescents in grades 8, 10, and 12.


Exposure to marijuana advertisements was associated with higher odds of current marijuana use among adolescents. Regulations that limit marijuana advertisements to adolescents and educational campaigns on harmfulness of illicit marijuana use are needed.

 To see the full details on the study, click here.


National Center for Biotechnology Information. “Exposure to Advertisements and Marijuana Use Among US Adolescents” www.ncbi.gov. 30 November 2017. Web. 31 May 2018.

Marijuana recreational use and its dangers

Delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive that is a mind-altering ingredient in marijuana and is responsible for the majority of the effects of using marijuana. THC is a highly lipid soluble, which means that it can cross the blood-brain barrier and reside in certain body tissues for extended periods of time up to 30 days.

When looking at heavy recreational marijuana use, there are adverse effects on cardiovascular health in some individuals, including the development of new onset arrhythmia and even heart attacks. Additionally, heavy and or long-term marijuana use can have negative effects on certain neurologic functions, and these consequences have been reportedly quite long term, if not irreversible. Cognitively, marijuana may diminish the user’s ability to:

  • Reason.
  • Use short-term memory
  • Learn new tasks.

On a molecular level, marijuana affects the formation of new connections between neurons, which is essential to the cognitive tasks mentioned above.

Marijuana use at a young age, that is 18 years and below, is also correlated with episodes of psychosis later in life, and there has been historical mention in the literature of a possible “cannabis psychosis” that can accompany years of heavy use. The respiratory system may also be affected by marijuana abuse. Similar to tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke is a lung irritant.

From my experience as a psychiatrist, the use of marijuana increases the incidents of mental disorder. The benefits of use versus the risk of problems are incomparable. True, not everybody who uses it will become ill but you do not know your risk level. The recent move is regrettable. We will help those who need our help and more people will need marijuana detox and rehab services.


The Herald. “Marijuana recreational use and its dangers” www.herald.co. 17 March 2018. Web. 29 May 2018.

Marijuana Use is Linked to Increased Suicide Risk

Daily marijuana use below age 18 is connected to 7x the risk of attempted suicide before age 30. In today’s world, students have challenges even if they don’t abuse substances.  Marijuana is the most likely drug of abuse for teens. Any substance abuse –marijuana, alcohol, opiates, other drugs, or a combination – generally makes the depression more difficult to overcome.

The town of Pueblo, Colorado has had an alarming trend of suicides among its teens, at least five this year. Although local officials link these deaths to bullying, Pueblo is infiltrated with marijuana and other drugs. Dr. Steven Simerville, head of pediatrics at a Pueblo hospital, has spoken about the connection between marijuana and teen suicide.   In October 2016, he said that all but one of teens who attempted suicide had THC in their toxicology reports.

Suicide rates in Colorado have reached all-time highs, according to a recent report by the Colorado Health Institute. Each one of Colorado’s 21 health regions had a suicide rate higher than the national average.


Parents Opposed to Pot. “Marijuana Use is Linked to Increased Suicide Risk” www.poppot.org. 9 March 2018. Web. 24 May 2018.

Marijuana Involved in Fatal Crash in Fremont

The CHP is investigating a deadly collision involving five vehicles on Interstate 880 in Fremont that killed three people, including two juveniles. The CHP believes the driver who was responsible for the crash may have been under the influence of marijuana.

There was devastation after a five-vehicle crash left three people dead. The three of them were ejected from their Cadillac Escalade. Five others were inside the Escalade, including four children who were injured and taken to the hospital.

The CHP says it appears the three who died were not wearing their seatbelts.

CHP investigators believe 21-year-old Dang Tran of San Jose was responsible for the crash and driving under the influence of marijuana. Witnesses say Tran was speeding and driving his Toyota Camry erratically before the crash.

Tran faces several charges, including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated as well as counts for DUI and causing bodily injury.

“The decision this person made to drive under the influence changed these people’s lives forever,” CHP Officer Manuel Leal added.

Compared to last year the CHP expects DUI marijuana arrests in the Bay Area will be up by 70 percent by the end of 2018


ABC 7 News. “Teenager, 9-year-old among those killed in triple-fatal crash on I-880 in Fremont” www.abc7news.com. 16 May 2018. Web. 21 May 2018.