Uncommonly used by adolescents prior to the 1960s, marijuana experienced a dramatic increase in popularity among teenagers over the next 2 decades. At its peak, approximately 60% of high school seniors reported some lifetime use of marijuana. Although use declined during the 1980s, the past few years have witnessed a resurgence in popularity among adolescents in the United States. Currently, approximately 40% of high school seniors report some lifetime use of marijuana, with 35% reporting use during the past year, and nearly 5% using on a daily basis. Approximately 20% of 8th graders has had some lifetime experience with marijuana, with 75% of these young students reporting use during the past year.

Marijuana is derived from the hemp plant(cannabis sativa). The psychoactive compound within marijuana,delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is found in differing concentrations within the plant and, in particular, the leaves and flowering shoots. Hashish, containing a much higher concentration of THC,...

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