The Marijuana Dispatch

16 and Smoking Pot?
Study Says: Bad Idea.

New studies about early teenage use of marijuana showed that young adults who started smoking pot regularly before they were 16 performed significantly worse on cognitive tests of brain function than those who had started smoking later in adolescence. They performed particularly poorly on tests assessing executive function, which is responsible for planning and abstract thinking, as well as understanding rules and inhibiting inappropriate responses.
This quote struck a chord with me as I didn’t start smoking marijuana until my mid 20s, many years after I tried lots of pharmaceutical drugs that did more damage than good for my Crohn’s disease. For me, pot was a way to reduce inflammation and increase my poor appetite, allowing me to eat to maintain weight.
A recent study showing a drop in IQ scores among teenagers who are regular pot smokers is especially troubling, Dr. Evins said. A more recent study found that people who started smoking marijuana as teenagers and used it heavily for decades lost IQ points over time, while those who started smoking as adults did not, though some critics have said these differences may not be meaningful.
High school kids would be better off waiting to experiment with marijuana until college, when their brains are better developed and resistant to long-term damage potential.
“It’s the same message as with alcohol,” Dr. Gruber said. “Just hold on, it’s worth it to wait.”
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