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Marijuana 20 Questions

December 12, 2014  |  Falmouth Enterprise

Dr. Michael Bihari

Thanksgiving is over and we’re slowly devouring what’s left. Before your kids go back to school and your company jumps in their cars to head back to the Boston suburbs gather around the dining room table with a piece of leftover pumpkin pie, a cup of coffee or a glass of milk and see if you and your family members can  answer the 20 questions about marijuana.

In the election held earlier this month, 73 percent of voters on the Lower Cape made it clear that they want marijuana legalized, regulated and taxed like alcohol. The ballot question was nonbonding and similar results in six other districts around the state showed strong support for the legalization of marijuana. It is likely to be on the ballot in 2016.

Previous Risky Business columns have been devoted to the pros and cons of marijuana use and numerous articles have been printed and circulated in social media. Have you been paying attention? Take the Falmouth Prevention Partnership Marijuana Quiz and find out how much you know about the issue.      

Question #1 

Is marijuana addictive?

A.  Yes, marijuana dependency occurs in some users

B.  No, addiction to marijuana is not possible

C.  Yes, but only psychological addiction

Answer A: About 9 percent of people who use marijuana will become dependent.

Question #2

What percentage of people who use marijuana become addicted?

A.  0 percent, marijuana is not addicting

B.  9 percent

C.  17 percent

D.  32 percent

Answer B: About 9 percent of marijuana users become dependent on the drug, but young and daily users are more susceptible. About 1 in 6 people, or 17 percent, who start using marijuana at a young age become addicted, and that jumps to 25 to 50 percent for daily users.

Question #3

The potency of today’s marijuana is?

A.  About the same as the marijuana from the 1970s

B.  A little stronger than the marijuana from the 1970s

C.  About 10x stronger than the marijuana from the 1970s

D.  At least 100x stronger than the marijuana from the 1970s

Answer C: Marijuana potency has been steadily rising over the years. In the mid-1970s, average THC levels of marijuana were less than 1 percent, by 1985: 3.5 percent, by 2006: 8.8 percent, and by 2009: 10.1 percent. This 10 fold increase in potency has coincided with an increase in emergency room admissions and an increase in admissions to drug treatment programs for marijuana addiction, especially among teens.

Question #4

Which of the following is not a nickname for marijuana?

A.  Pot

B.  Junk

C.  Mary Jane

D.  Weed

Answer B: Junk is a street name for heroin.

Question #5

One ounce of marijuana yields?

A.  Approximately 3 cigarette sized joints.

B.  Approximately 8 cigarette sized joints.

C.  Approximately 15 cigarette sized joints.

D.  Approximately 84 cigarette sized joints.

Answer D: The states that have passed legalization measures allow for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.

Question #6

What percentage of Americans think pot should be legal?

A.  72 percent

B.  34 percent

C.  58 percent

D.  13 percent

Answer C: A 2013 Gallup poll showed that 58 percent of Americans favored marijuana legalization.

Question #7

Is it possible to fatally overdose on marijuana?

A.  Yes, overdose is possible on marijuana

B.  No, a marijuana overdose is not possible

C.  Yes, but only when mixed with other substances

Answer B: According to the National Institutes of Health, it's not very likely a person could overdose on marijuana and die. Users can, however, encounter dangerous situations from the effects of the drug, and can experience psychotic reactions and extreme anxiety.

Question #8

What neurotransmitter in the brain does marijuana affect?

A.  Acetylcholine

B.  Norepinephrine

C.  Serotonin

D.  Dopamine

Answer D: Dopamine helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, along with movement and emotional responses.

Question #9

Research indicates that people who start smoking marijuana in their teens and continue as adults show decreased IQ levels.

A.  True

B.  False

Answer A: THC, the psychoactive substance found in marijuana, interacts with the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is essential to many forms of learning.

Question #10

Can smoking pot regularly lead to damaged reproductive function in men?

A.  Yes

B.  No

C.  Inconclusive – not enough studies exist

Answer A: Smoking pot regularly can lead to reduced sperm count and decreased or impaired sperm function in men.

Question #11

In addition to causing trouble in the brain, smoking marijuana may increase the risk of?

A.  Obesity

B.  Kidney stones and ruptured appendix

C.  Heart attacks and respiratory illnesses

D.  It has no other effects

Answer C: In addition to causing trouble in the brain, smoking marijuana may increase the risk of heart attacks and respiratory illnesses.

Question #12

Drivers on marijuana have an increased risk of getting into a car accident because of?

A.  Slowed reaction time

B.  Impaired judgment

C. Both A and B

Answer C: Driving under the influence of marijuana slows reaction times, impairs judgment, and causes problems with responding to signals and sounds.

Question #13

When was marijuana officially made illegal for non-medical use in the United States?

A.  1914

B.  1937

C.  1945

D.  1966

Answer B: The Marijuana Tax Act was made into law in 1937.

Question #14

The Massachusetts Medical Marijuana legislation allows the use of medical marijuana for all of the following conditions, except?


B.  Cancer

C. Asthma

D. Multiple Sclerosis

Answer C: According to the state law, “A patient must obtain a written certification from a physician for a debilitating medical condition. The law specifies: cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician.”

Question #15

Which country has the highest per capita lifetime cannabis use?

A.  Canada 

B.  Netherlands

C.  France

D.  United States

Answer A: Canada is #1 and the United States is #2.

Question #16

Who was the first president to acknowledge having possessed cannabis?

A.  Barack Obama

B.  Bill Clinton 

C.  William Howard Taft

D.  George Washington

Answer D: George Washington cultivated cannabis plants for use as industrial hemp, as did presidents Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Pierce, and Taylor; however, there is no evidence that any of these men sought to take advantage of the plant's psychoactive properties. As for presidents who have done so, Bill Clinton famously claimed that he "didn't inhale," George W. Bush was secretly recorded admitting that he had tried the drug in his youth, and Barack Obama noted in his 1995 memoir that he had smoked marijuana.

Question #17

Which group has the greatest influence on a teen’s decision to use marijuana?

A.  Local police

B.  Parents and grandparents

C.  Friends and peers

D.  School personnel and coaches

Answer B: Although all of these groups have significant influence, recent studies document that parents are primary.

Question #18

According to the Pride Survey given to students at Falmouth High School last year, what percentage of kids in the 9th through 12th grades said they used marijuana in the past month?

A.  Less than 10 percent

  B.  Between 10 and 20 percent

  C.  Between 20 and 30 percent

  D.  More than 30 percent

Answer C: The survey results documented that 27.9 percent of Falmouth High School students used marijuana in the past 30 days. This is down from 37.1 percent in 2011 and is above the national average of 23.1 percent.

Question #19

The federal government believes marijuana is as dangerous as heroin?

A.  True

B.  False

Answer A: As a Schedule I substance, the federal government believes marijuana is as dangerous as heroin.

Question #20

Patients who use marijuana for medical purposes can benefit from which of the following?

A.  Smoking marijuana

B.  Eating marijuana-infused foods

C.  Topical application of marijuana-derived oil.

D.  All of the above.

Answer D: All of those methods can be used to access the medical benefits of marijuana.

Bonus Question

How was cannabis used by the Office of Strategic Services, a World War II-era US intelligence agency?

A. As a gateway drug

B. To assassinate targets

C.  As a truth serum

D.  To frame political enemies

Answer C: The Office of Strategic Services was an intelligence agency formed during World War II (and the forerunner to the CIA.) At their lab at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., a concentrated form of marijuana was deemed the most effective "truth serum" available.

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