Physician Assistant M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Hanson, Christina

Second Reader

Cynthia Goetz;


This community service project discusses short- and long-term effects of recreational marijuana use in adolescents, the most vulnerable audience to this psychoactive drug. According to the latest research, these effects include compromised physical and mental health, and diminished overall socioeconomic success and life satisfaction. Persistent marijuana use in adolescence negatively affects normal brain development, cardiovascular, immune and reproductive health. It also increases the rates of unplanned pregnancies, depression and anxiety, self-injurious behaviors, suicidal ideation and attempts. As a result of recreational marijuana intoxication, the user’s cognition, memory and perception are significantly affected, resulting in decreased IQ and employment opportunities, increased rates of high-school dropout, motor-vehicle accidents, juvenile delinquency, social isolation, and welfare dependence later in life. As these effects are frequently down-played by the media and supporters of recreational marijuana legalization, the researchers attempted to provide adolescents with scientifically valid information for them to make informed decisions when faced with a chance to try/use recreational marijuana. The products of this research are an educational PowerPoint and a brochure (a more detailed summary of the PowerPoint), and flyers providing information on the terms used in the PowerPoint and the brochure, useful resources on how to quit and find some support in this process, a list of suggestions on how to protect oneself and the close ones from effects of recreational marijuana, and references. These materials were originally developed to educate New Richmond Middle School students.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis