420 and Marijuana Facts

The following information was provided by Power to the Parent:

420. What do these numbers mean? Many parents are unaware that 420 has become a term associated with marijuana use and that April 20th has become a sort of “counter culture” holiday where people gather to celebrate and consume cannabis. Knowledge is power and Power to the Parent is Westchester’s source to help parents get the facts to help keep their teens safe and drug-free.

Learn the facts. Gain the knowledge.

  1. Marijuana and driving do not mix
  2. Marijuana negatively impacts a number of skills required for safe driving – alertness, concentration, coordination and reaction time – it is not safe to drive high or ride with someone who has been smoking. (NIDA)
  3. “If parents who are spending thousands of dollars on SAT prep courses knew about the cognitive effects marijuana has on their kids’ brains, they would be up in arms” Dr. Evins, director of the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston (as quoted in the NY Times, January 7, 2013)
  4. Marijuana’s negative effects on attention, memory, and learning can last for days and sometimes weeks. (NIDA)
  5. “Teenagers may be more vulnerable to addiction. Those who start smoking at a younger age are at higher risk. Approximately one in six will become addicted.” (Nora Volkow, NIDA)
  6. Marijuana is much more potent today than it was in the past which may “explain why we’ve seen a pretty dramatic increase in admission to emergency rooms and treatment programs for marijuana,” (NY Times 1/7/13)
  7. Today’s marijuana is also likely to be laced with other substances. And there are synthetic forms of marijuana out there now that have intense side effects as well.
  8. Teens that choose to remain drug free report that their parents are the number one influence in their decision. (Columbia University, Center on Alcohol and Substance Abuse (CASA)
  9. Studies show that parents who talk to their children about drugs, and set and follow through with clear rules about drug use, have teens that are less likely to use drugs. (Pride Survey)
  10. Everyone is NOT doing it. Many teens are making healthy decisions to remain marijuana-free. 84% of Westchester high school students do not use marijuana (30-Day use numbers).
  11. Marijuana use has been associated with panic attacks and depression in teens and young adults. In one study, girls who use marijuana once a week are twice as likely to develop depression.


The Ardsley SAYF Coalition consists of community members dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Ardsley's youth. Our vision is to create a community where our youth have the tools and the confidence needed to make healthy substance-free decisions for themselves. The Ardsley SAYF Coalition is a member of CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America).