Dr. Grace M. McGorrian, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 24, 2015

Old-fashioned natural marijuana had low or moderate amounts of THC, along with cannabidiol, a chemical that shields the brain against THC’s effects. Modern marijuana has been genetically modified to be more potent – six to 10 times higher THC. And it has very little cannabidiol, which means there is little protection against intense psychoactivity, including psychotic experiences.

High levels of THC can:
• Distort reality and consciousness.
• Cause poor balance.
• Compromise memory.
• Make it difficult to hold a job.
• If used regularly for any period, increase the odds of developing schizophrenia for those under 18.

Statistically, heavy marijuana smokers struggle more with staying sober than users of any other drug. Peers and family members simply don’t believe that weed can create such dependency, so they often provide little support.

Read more: Pot used to be pretty harmless, but it’s plenty dangerous today

Gabrielle Cintorino, CNSNews.com, May 21, 2015

The state is finding the residents of Colorado to be ignorant of the dangers of smoking pot and are having to develop public health campaigns to educate them.

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) has a campaign that warns of the serious consequences of driving under the influence.

“CDOT’s website lists a significant increase in drug-related accidents since 2008. In 2008, 10.1 percent of drivers involved in accidents were found to be drug-impaired. By 2013, that figure had risen to 14.2 percent.”

A Good To Know Campaign forewarns of the health risks marijuana poses to young people.

“An animated video featured on the ‘Good to Know Colorado’ website uses quips such as ‘For those underage, it’s just not okay. Their brains are still growing, so keep it away’ to relay the warning message that marijuana poses health risks to youngsters, particularly teenagers.”

Read more: Colorado Campaigns Warn Residents About Dangers of Legalized Pot

Brian Maass, CBS Denver, May 18, 2015

Daniel Juarez, an 18-year-old from Brighton, died September 26, 2012 after stabbing himself 20 times. In an autopsy report that had never been made public before, but was obtained by CBS4, his THC level – the active ingredient in marijuana- was measured at 38.2 namograms. In Colorado, anything over 5 nanograms is considered impaired for driving.

Juarez was nearly eight times the legal limit.

Police and witnesses then say Juarez literally ran wild, stripping off most of his clothing and running into his nearby apartment. There, he got a knife and stabbed himself 20 times, one of the stab wound piercing his heart. Juarez’s autopsy report lists his manner of death as suicide with ‘marijuana intoxication’ as a ‘significant condition.’

Read more: Marijuana Intoxication Blamed In More Deaths, Injuries

Jason Law and Pat LaFleur, abcactionnews.com, March 17, 2015

Police charge College Hill woman with murder for beheading her 3-month-old infant. The woman was said to be high on marijuana and “speaking in tongues,” according to a police report.

The woman had said that she had started “speaking with demons…”

Read more: Ohio woman accused of beheading 3-month-old was reportedly ‘speaking with demons’

Gail Paschall-Brown, Wesh.com, March 16, 2015

At least four Spruce Creek High School students were hospitalized after eating hash oil laced brownies. Deputies arrested a 17-year old boy and charged him with four counts of sale and delivery of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and seven counts of culpable negligence.

At least 10 students ate the laced brownies, which were sold to them by another student, investigators said.

Read more: 4 Spruce Creek High School students hospitalized after eating hash oil brownies, deputies say

Daily Mail Reporter, Daily Mail, February 15, 2015

Those using “super strength” marijuana every day are three times more likely to have a psychotic episode than others who had never tried “super strength” marijuana. The THC can be four-times stronger than what older generations smoked.

Psychosis is defined as a form of mental illness where people experience delusions, hallucinations, or both at the same time. Associated with conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar, some victims are so badly affected that they end up committing suicide or seriously harming others because they believe they are being ordered to do so by voices in their heads.

As many as a quarter of new cases of psychotic mental illness can be blamed on super-strength strains of cannabis, scientists will warn …

Read more: Strong cannabis causes one in four cases of psychosis: Users three times more likely to have an...

Madlen Davies, Daily Mail, February 11, 2015

Dr. Steven Marwaha, of Warwick University in the UK, studied over 2,000 people and found a ‘significant link’ between cannabis use and manic behavior: depression, anger, aggression, hyperactivity, difficulty sleeping, being delusional and hearing voices.

The research found that marijuana use “tended to precede or coincide with episodes of mania.”

The study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, raises particular concerns about adolescents and the problems cannabis use can have on their development.

Read more: Smoking cannabis can lead to manic behavior: Hyperactivity, aggression and delusions are all...

Brandon Klein, Vindy.com, February 9, 2015

A pro marijuana group in Ohio is attempting to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to legalize marijuana for recreational use. If the amendment gets placed on the ballot and should it pass, employers fear that with more people using marijuana the pool of drug-free employees will decline and safety in the workplace will be compromised.

"I’m absolutely opposed to [legalizing marijuana]," said Don Crane, president of Western Reserve Building Trades, which represents more than 6,000 workers in the skilled trades. Many trade jobs have dangerous components.

Read more: Marijuana legalization poses challenges for employers

John Walters & David Murray, Real Clear Politics, February 8, 2015

The unintended consequences of marijuana use go unabated.

  • Marijuana infused edibles are marketed to youth. The edibles account for nearly half of Colorado’s sales.
  • Daily use of marijuana is 35 percent higher than the national average.
  • Selling marijuana on the black market continues because there are no taxes.
  • Marijuana potency has climbed sharply.

Read more: One Year of Colorado’s Marijuana Law

Keith Coffman, Reuters Denver, August 8, 2014

A man ends up in the hospital after overdosing on THC from a marijuana chocolate candy bar given to him by a County Fair vendor promoting the drug. The Denver County Fair had a “Pot Pavilion” where Jordan Coombs was offered the marijuana food product.

Read more: Colorado lawsuit alleges cannabis overdose from fairground candy