Tonya Voecks

Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in America and has a reputation among the public as being harmless (Moore et al., 2007). Marijuana is currently classified by the federal government as a Schedule l controlled substance with no value as a therapeutic agent; however, it is legal for medical use in 16 states including the District of Columbia and in 2012 Colorado and Washington passed a ballot providing for legalized recreational use of marijuana (Bostwick, 2012). Marijuana use has been known to cause psychosis and amotivation, which is of grave concern for healthcare workers when caring for the mentally ill. During a review of literature, articles supporting the use and articles against the use of marijuana were found. Due to public and political push for legalization of marijuana, an educational presentation for mental health care workers was developed from this project that utilized the available research and provided information of the uses, risks, and harmful effects. The presentation was delivered to mental health workers in a Midwest hospital and positive feedback on the improved knowledge on this topic was received from the presentation participants