Does Marijuana Affect School, Sports, or Other Activities?

Weed Effects Learning, Sports, and Judgment

High school boys on sports team running outdoors

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There are three main areas in which smoking marijuana can affect the daily lives of children and teens. They include learning, participating in sports and making judgments.


It may seem like a good idea to smoke a bowl and do your homework, but research shows that the opposite is true. Because marijuana has negative effects on attention or memory, smoking weed makes it difficult to learn new things or do complex tasks that require focus and concentration, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Heightened Focus Is Short-Lived

Some young people believe that they do complex tasks, like driving a car, better when they are stoned because they think their ability to focus is increased.

But, research shows that the perceived heightened focus is usually short-lived and marijuana users have trouble maintaining concentration throughout the task.


Smoking weed can harm your athletic performance because it affects your timing, movement, and coordination. If your abilities are impaired even slightly, it can make a big difference in the outcome during the heat of sports competition.


NIDA-funded studies show that smoking marijuana can alter your ability to make sound judgments, like most other abused substances. If your judgment is impaired, you are more likely to become involved in risky behaviors like having unsafe sex or getting behind the wheel of a vehicle while impaired.

Smoking weed can cause problems in these and other areas of your life because it can cause a loss of coordination, impaired thinking and problem-solving, distorted perceptions and problems with memory and learning, the NIDA reports.

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Article Sources
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  • National Institute on Drug Abuse. Marijuana. Drug Facts

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse. Marijuana. Research Report Series.

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse. Want to Know More?- Some FAQs About Marijuana. Marijuana: Facts for Teens.

  • The Partnership at Marijuana. Drug Guide.