High Expectations: Marijuana & Vaping-Notes


Marijuana 101:  The Current State of Marijuana in Arkansas

Farmington, AR – October 17, 2019


Ray Lozano, CEO, Prevention Plus, LLC


Video 1 (1st half of morning session)
Video 2 (2nd half of morning session)
Video 3 (afternoon session)


Marijuana has been on planet longer than humans have used fire

Found in Egyptian pyramids

Ancient Romans used cannabis and hemp

Military used hemp for raincoats, arrows, bows (sinew and hemp gave farther pull), and sails on ships.

White house – found in fields around White House when it was being built.

Just because it’s been around so long, doesn’t mean that it’s safe.

Marijuana 101 Facts

  • THC is used by naturally by the marijuana plant to repel animals/insects.
  • Marijuana is a “thinking” plant
  • Marijuana is a “social” plant (similar to willow trees). Has to grow around other plants.
    • All connected to one another
    • They want one another to be the best so they work as a team. When attacked, they send a message to other plants to change flavor of leaves so whatever’s attacking (bugs, etc.) won’t
    • That’s how it’s survived 1.5 billion years on the planet
  • Female plants produce THC. Male plant is just “hanging around to reproduce.”
  • People discovered in 1970’s how to increase THC by isolating female plants.
  • Youth are not smoking joints like previous generations (not using cigarettes or bongs). Youth are vaping THC
  • Issue is THC
  • 488 chemicals
  • Add heat: jumps up to 2,000 chemicals (move faster, expand and form new elements)
  • 66 of these chemicals go straight to the brain. Listed in order, 8th and 9th elements are CBD and THC respectively
  • The 9th chemical is THC; Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol
  • The 8th chemical is CBD; Cannabidiol. This is non-psychoactive (doesn’t produce a “high”)
  • CBD is supposedly the new “cure all”. Physicians call “Entourage.”
  • Topically CBD knows where to go but ingested it doesn’t know where to go. CBD has to be attached to THC which will attach itself to fat cell and it will know where to go.
  • Ingesting by smoke is worst mechanism for medicine
  • Chemo treatment works. But for junior high kid it’s not effective.
  • THC is what everyone is looking for
  • It’s the natural pesticide of the plant
  • High levels of THC are due to altering. 21% is not natural.
  • Is it natural?
    • Marijuana vs. lettuce: Both grow in ground, both are green
    • Difference is lettuce doesn’t have chemicals
    • When body is operating normally, if you add lettuce, it doesn’t negatively affect body functions. Difference is marijuana has chemicals and alters the way the brain and body functions.
  • Marijuana is extremely detrimental to youth development

Impact on Brain


  • Two types of website (pro-marijuana and anti-marijuana) e.g. NORML vs. CASA
  • Ray Lozano/Prevention Plus information comes from scientific, academic journals that are objective
  • Most of research comes out of Europe and Australia because of how marijuana is scheduled in US
  • THC takes five seconds penetrates lining of lungs and goes into blood stream
  • THC looks for fat cells to travel throughout body
    • Our brains have large concentration of fat cells
    • Once it arrives in brain, it stays there
  • THC affects brain is related to stunted emotional growth
    • Example of 4-year-olds response to disappointment:
      • They have lots of emotion; little intelligence
    • Adults response to disappointment:
      • They have more intelligence; less emotion.
      • Age of frontal lobe development:
        • Females: 21-yrs-old fully developed
        • Males: 23-yrs-old fully developed
    • When youth smoke weed, they’re hijacking the development and continue having more emotion than intelligence
  • Marijuana causes them to be effective liars (because of what it does to their brain).
    • Example: On the T.V. show “COPS”, officers will ask, “Who’s weed is this?” They almost always lie and say, “It’s my friend’s”. Brain begins to focus on fantasy vs. reality.
    • Here’s how learning to lie works inside the brain:
      • If I ask you a question that’s true, your brain goes to retrieve memory.
      • If I ask you a question that’s not true, your brain goes to imagination/fantasy.
        • Brain searches your memories. It doesn’t find it, so it switches over to imagination/fantasy.
      • When a young person comes home intoxicated, to avoid getting into trouble, the brain causes them to lie. The more they lie, the more the brain switches into fantasy.
  • No sense of time or urgency
    • If they have 5-minute passing period, they’ll talk to friends 4 minutes and stroll to class.
  • Short attention span
    • Constantly have to have input coming into their heads
    • Problem with marijuana is that is introduces chemicals into brain that should be coming from legitimate sources.
      • Metaphor:  Flea market where you have different vendors/booths
        • Every area of the brain is like flea market booths with their own “currency” that take in different chemicals:
          • Serotonin, adrenaline, nor-epinephrine.
        • Marijuana: introduces false currency into brain. Brain loses differentiation between “real currency” vs “false currency” or vital elements (serotonin, adrenaline, nor- epinephrine)
  • Youth who use marijuana don’t know what to do with silence
    • Example of kids in classroom who can’t be quiet
    • Example of probation kids who couldn’t stay quiet more than 40 seconds
  • Difference between kids who smoke vs. those who don’t smoke:
    • Example: If you ask for no cell phones at table. Kids who don’t use will still feel connected vs. those who use won’t feel connected.
    • They feel isolated and alone and put in a spot where no one else is.
  • Association with violence. There’s a report where they’re correlating the increase of violence and weed.
    • Shooting during Batman movie, shooter had a high level of THC
    • Bombing in Paris-Bombers had a high level of THC
    • Colorado is seeing a lot of discipline problems with kids.
  • Marijuana opens doors: Paranoia, schizophrenia, depression, even suicide


What happens when youth stop using? Can brain repair?

  • Alzheimer’s study done that relates because this is similar to Alzheimer’s impact shows that brain can repair with reading.
  • Brain is a muscle that can be repaired, and reading is the best way to repair the brain

“What do you suggest with interacting with kids in school?”

The key is intellectual vs. emotion. Ray did a TEDx talk on this topic.


  • It’s become an epidemic and pervasive even as young as the elementary school levels
  • Tobacco companies rely on you being confused: contain nicotine/don’t contain nicotine; safer
  • Confirmation bias: Brain takes information and reinforces information
    • Example: If a person sees what she thinks is a “Big Foot”, she’ll go home and Google “Big Foot”, starts to find information that confirms that there is. Then she finds a support group and starts
    • Then after 6 months of confirming this, it’s extremely difficult to refute.
    • It’s the
  • Tobacco-related deaths: 
    • 8 million people around the world this year
    • 484,000 in America, 1,300/day, 54/hour, 1/minute
  • Tobacco companies need new customers
    • Appealing to youth:
      • Making flavors to appeal to youth like: “Unicorn tears”, “Brain Freeze”, McDonald’s French Fries”
  • Not under FDA regulation because not food or a drug
  • Nicotine is the substance found in vapes
  • Nicotine is found in household product:
    • Bug spray. Has ingredient that either begins with “nic” or ends with “tine”
  • If you took a pack of cigarettes and distilled nicotine into one drop, you’d have 65 mg. It would be enough to kill a human.
  • Way that nicotine kills bugs is that it blocks signals. Body
  • Body is continually working as one
    • Example: driving looking for something in your backpack and you’re searching for thing and you
  • Poison
  • Kills because it separates out body parts

Why nicotine is so addictive:

  • “Go” button and “stop” button (amygdala)
  • “Go” button gets his first.
    • “How many of you been asked to do something and you immediately regret it?” (e.g. friend asks you to help them move this weekend…)
  • Nicotine is a poison and kills by separating out body parts. It doesn’t allow the “stop” button to be pressed.
  • Every time kid smokes it hits the “go” button but doesn’t hit the “stop” button. This is why it’s so easy to start and so easy to stop.
  • If you’re using vape, e-cigarette.
  • How many people know someone who’s smoking tobacco products and can’t stop? Almost
  • Generations:
    • Boomer and Gen-X=smoked cigarettes about 11%
    • Only took 3 cigarettes because of amount of nicotine.
  • Millennials=smoke cigarettes .1%
  • Gen Z=smoke cigarettes .05%
  • They’ve moved on to e-cigarettes/vapes/Juuls
  • Introduced e-cigarettes in other countries and found that they because addicted quickly
  • Moved to Europe. Not sure if this is a good thing. Changed marketing for US
  • US is marketing is “take your life back” take your power back” and marketing is as a safe way to move away from smoking.
  • 7,000 flavors. No regulations on flavors
  • Zero % nicotine. 98% of them had MORE nicotine than a pack of cigarettes. How do they get away with that?
  • E.G. “Tic Tac”s – It says they’re “sugar free” but they’re 98% sugar and allowed.
    • How? Serving size. If less than 1 gram you can say it’s “sugar-free” but “Tic Tac”s are small and less than 1 gram.
    • Same with vapes:
      • If it’s 19 cigarettes equivalent or less it can say “Nicotine-free”. If it has equivalent of 20 cigarettes or more, it has to say, contains “nicotine.”
    • E-cigarettes contain WAY more nicotine than packs of cigarettes


“How do kids feel when they receive this information?”

Kids who aren’t using, this works. Those who are using need to talk to a counselor.

5 questions

Difference between regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes

  • Tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide is being burned off. With e-cigarettes, no second-hand burn off. They take 100% of it into lungs.
  • No “second-hand” smoke like with cigarettes. Smoke from cigarettes goes up. E-cigarettes goes down. Because it goes down, it goes into furniture and environment.
  • If kid smokes e-cigarettes for 5 days/1 pod/day:  5 pods=365 cigarettes). It does way more damage than cigarettes.
  • How e-cigarettes do damage to lungs?
  • Example:
    • Take long shower, foggy mirror and throw toilet paper
  • Liquid in vapes used to contain “Diacetyl”. This is what is inside microwave popcorn that allows it to get very hot
  • Vapes heat up to 450 degrees.
  • Sub-Ohm
  • Conventions where people do “tricks” and they needed a thicker cloud. They created a substance
  • Increase in HPV and oral STDs due to vaping
  • In class and in bathrooms (meme: “Why are they putting toilets in the vaping”)
  • Increase in kids sharing with others. It is the equivalent of putting a metal spoon in your mouth and spreading around the room.


  • 1969
    • Weed had ~7% THC
  • 2019
    • Weed (that is smoked) ~ 21% THC
    • Edibles (brownies, gummies, etc.) ~85% THC
    • Young people are smoking “dabs” or “wax” ~98% THC
      • Smoking “wax” out of their e-cigarettes/JUULs

Damage to lungs compared to cigarettes:

  • 1969=7%=4 cigarettes
  • 2019=21%=pack of cigarettes
  • Cookie=85%-0
  • Wax=98%=?

How marijuana interrupts recording and retrieval in brain

Youth who smoke weed can’t remember things well

  • Brain is like a wall with doors labeled with information
  • Information gets filed behind appropriate door when brain is working correctly
    • Example of how brain files information:
      • If I said the word, “elephant” what do you see?
      • Do you see:  photo, drawing, video, letters spelling “elephant”?
  • That’s how the brain is supposed to work
  • Here’s what happens to kids who smoke weed, study, smoke weed, study, smoke weed…information gets filed incorrectly.
  • Brain doesn’t have trouble recording information but trouble retrieving information
  • 10 billion equivalents worth of storage in our brains (20,000 contacts or 18,000 songs).
  • 355 years of storage equivalent in our brains

Problem with weed is that it goes inside brain, penetrates blood/brain barrier and attaches to fat cells in brain.

  • Kids will study, smoke weed, study, smoke weed, study and then have trouble retrieving information because of how it was “filed”
  • Weed-smokers seemingly get “intellectual” and “creative.” The reason is because marijuana accesses two doors and tries to put them together. Wax overloads brain to function in way to open depression, schizophrenia, suicide, etc.
  • Example:
  • Used to live in California 1.5 hours to Los Angeles International Airport. This is if it was Sunday morning with no traffic. Friday afternoon, it could take up to 3.5 hours. The distance doesn’t change but the traffic was congested. The same thing happens with marijuana.
  • Reason why they stare at stuff; brain gets overloaded.


How to properly dispose of JUULs?

Schools hold on to them as evidence. Can dispose liquid at Take-back events.

If you take JUUL batteries out you can dispose of the cartridge and then dispose of batteries at e-cycling events.

How to stem tide of use on campus?

It’s important according to the Surgeon General to adopt a “no-tolerance” policy and have set consequences.

Different schools have different approaches. Some kids are selling “hits” in the bathrooms. They advertise on their iPhone by putting it on Airdrop. You can have SRO walk around with AirDrop on and catch them.

5 questions to determine whether you have addiction:

If there’s something inside you that makes you scared, contact counselor.

If you or someone you know:

  1. has smoked in class and they hit it behind them or in their shirt, sign of an addiction.
  2. goes in and out of bathroom in-between classes and smokes, sign of addiction.
  3. if they acquire e-cigarette, vape or JUUL illegally (bought it off someone who shouldn’t be selling it, said you were over 18
  4. use it first thing in morning, strong addiction.
  5. during these questions you thought, “Nah, this guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” “I’m just messing around, as a matter of fact when this is over, I’m gonna vape after this”, it’s your brain protecting your addiction.