Home » Our Prevention Efforts » Cannabis/Marijuana


Marijuana’s potency has increased over the past few decades. The majority of products have THC levels higher than 15%.¹ There is growing scientific evidence that heavy, regular use of cannabis products and marijuana that begins during the teen years may lower a person’s IQ. It can also increase the risk for several mental health problems including depression, anxiety, and psychosis.²

In both youth and adults, the perceptions around the risk of marijuana use has decreased dramatically. This is true not only in Connecticut but all over the United States. Some of this shift is in response to changes in social policies and laws.

All these reasons are why prevention of marijuana use among young people is a priority for STEPS .

Data on Southington

Marijuana use once or more in last 30 days

7th graders
9th graders
11th graders
of Southington students chose NOT to use marijuana in the last 30 days!

Southington students who think marijuana is harmful


in 2009



11th graders in Southington


believe that their parents would disapprove of marijuana use


report that it would be easy to gain access to marijuana

Southington Town-Wide Effort to Promote Success

STEPS Prevention Efforts

  • Meet with state legislators and educate them about the risks of marijuana to adolescent brain development
  • Education for parents and community members
  • Public Service Announcements and prevention campaigns
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  1. Mehmedic Z, Chandra S, Slade D, et al. Potency trends of A9-THC and other cannabinoids in confiscated cannabis preparations from 1993 to 2008. J Forensic Sci.2010;55(5):1209-1217. doi:10.1111/.1556-4029.2010.01441.x.
  2. NIDA. “Cannabis (Marijuana) DrugFacts.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 24 Dec. 2019, https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/cannabis-marijuana Accessed 8 May 2022.
STEPS Cannabis/Marijuana Prevention

Resources on Cannabis/Marijuana

Cannabis/Marijuana Drug Facts: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/cannabis-marijuana 

Learn about Marijuana Risks: Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)  https://www.samhsa.gov/marijuana 

Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) https://learnaboutsam.org/ 

Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) https://www.drugfreect.org/marijuana/