Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic


  • Timothy P. Johnson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_485

Marijuana is a psychoactive substance derived from the cannabis plant. Its documented use dates back several thousand years, and it is currently considered the most commonly used illicit substance in the world. It can be ingested in several ways, most commonly being smoked as a cigarette or in a pipe. It can also be smoked as a “blunt” (i.e., a cigar that has been emptied of tobacco and repacked with marijuana and sometimes other drugs), mixed with food, or brewed into a tea. Acute effects of marijuana use may include impaired motor coordination and balance, increased heart rate, short-term memory loss, and other impairments to cognitive functioning. Chronic use may lead to several long-term effects, including respiratory problems such as chronic cough, bronchitis, and emphysema, a weakened immune system, heart problems, and increased risk for some cancers. Marijuana is considered to be addictive and it may also be associated with several mental health conditions, including anxiety,...

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Suggested Readings

  1. Borges, G., Medina-Mora, M. E., Orozco, R., Fleiz, C., Cherpitel, C., & Breslau, J. (2008). The Mexican migration to the United States and substance use in northern Mexico. Addiction, 104, 603–611.Google Scholar
  2. Marsiglia, F. F., Kulis, S., Luengo, M. A., Nieri, T., & Villar, P. (2008). Immigrant advantage? Substance use among Latin American immigrant and native-born youth in Spain. Ethnicity & Health, 13(2), 149–170.Google Scholar
  3. Nagasawa, R., & Wong, P. (2001). Theory of segmented assimilation and the adoption of marijuana use and delinquent behavior by Asian Pacific youth. Sociological Quarterly, 42(3), 351–372.Google Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. Brown, J. M., Council, C. L., Penne, M. A., Gfroerer, J. C. (2005). Immigrants and substance use: Findings from the 1999–2001 national surveys of drug use and health. DHHS Publication No. SMA 4–3909, Analytic Series A-23. Rockville: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. Retrieved April 30, 2011, http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/immigrants/immigrants.htm
  2. Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR). Marijuana. Retrieved April 30, 2011, http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/drugs/marijuana.asp
  3. U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Marijuana. Retrieved April 30, 2011, http://www.nida.nih.gov/DrugPages/Marijuana.html, http://www.marijuana-info.org/
  4. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. World drug report. Retrieved April 30, 2011, http://www.unodc.org/unodc/data-and-analysis/WDR.html

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy P. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Survey Research LaboratoryUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA