Teens who Smoke a lot of Marijuana suffer Permanent Brain Damage

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 1st, 2012

Week in Review

A new study is in.  And the conclusion is that marijuana use is bad.  Especially if you’re a teen (see Teen pot use linked to later declines in IQ by MALCOLM RITTER and NICK PERRY posted 8/27/2012 on the Associated Press).

Teens who routinely smoke marijuana risk a long-term drop in their IQ, a new study suggests…

Study participants from New Zealand were tested for IQ at age 13, likely before any significant marijuana use, and again at age 38. The mental decline between those two ages was seen only in those who started regularly smoking pot before age 18…

Pot is the most popular illegal drug in the world, with somewhere between 119 million and 224 million users between the ages of 15 and 64 as of 2010, the United Nations reported. Within the United States, 23 percent of high school students said they’d recently smoked marijuana, making it more popular than cigarettes, the federal government reported in June.

More popular than cigarettes?  Funny thing about a marijuana joint.  It doesn’t have a filter.  Smoking a joint is like smoking a Camel unfiltered cigarette.  Like people smoked once upon a time.  When smokers were smokers.  And smoked hardcore.  But now there is a war on smoking.  Something the Left endorses.  Yet those on the Left are generally in favor of decriminalizing drugs.  Especially marijuana.  The Left took Joe Camel off cigarette advertising because it was encouraging kids to start smoking.  So they got addicted to cigarettes.  They even sued Big tobacco.  But kids smoke more marijuana than cigarettes.  Getting more cancer-causing smoke in their lungs from illegal marijuana than from legal tobacco.  So while the Left plays nanny by trying to get cigarettes away from us they are trying to put kids at more risk.  For if marijuana is decriminalized it will be much easier for kids to smoke it.  Putting them at greater risk of lung cancer.  As well as that mental decline.  Guess the Left doesn’t like kids.

Young people “don’t think it’s risky,” said Staci Gruber, a researcher at the Harvard-affiliated MacLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. Gruber, who didn’t participate in the new work, said the idea that marijuana harms the adolescent brain is “something we believe is very likely,” and the new finding of IQ declines warrants further investigation…

The study drew on survey data from more than 1,000 people in New Zealand, everybody born in the town of Dunedin during a year-long span ending in 1973. In addition to IQ tests, they were interviewed five times between ages 18 and 38, including questions related to their marijuana use.

At age 18, 52 participants indicated they had become dependent on marijuana, meaning that they continued to use it despite its causing significant health, social or legal problems. Ninety-two others reported dependence starting at a later age.

Researchers compared their IQ scores at age 13 to the score at age 38 and found a drop only in those who had become dependent by 18…

Among participants who’d been dependent at 18 and in at least one later survey, quitting didn’t remove the problem. IQ declines showed up even if they’d largely or entirely quit using pot at age 38, analysis showed…

The researchers also surveyed people who knew the study participants well at age 38. They found that the more often participants were rated as marijuana-dependent in the surveys over their lifetimes, the more memory and attention problems were noticed by their acquaintances over the previous year.

I think we all know someone who was dependent on marijuana when he or she was a kid.  One of my best friends was your classic stoner in junior high school.  He smoked and partied through junior high and part way through high school.  When he had the first of five kids.  And then dropped out.  Got a job.  Became a Republican.  And a responsible parent.  Both he and his wife.  Who remained together to raise all five kids.  And struggled to counteract the liberal education of their children when they got home from school.

Sometimes during a conversation my friend would stop mid-conversation, cock his head and stare blankly as he tried to remember what he was saying.  Then he laughed and joked about all the brain cells he destroyed when he was a kid.  Wishing he could have them back.  I didn’t know him before the brain damage.  But he sure was a good guy after the brain damage.  I always wonder what he might have done if he and cannabis never crossed paths.  Engineer?  Physicist?  Doctor?  President?  Who knows what he may have contributed had it not been for his introduction to cannabis.  I never asked but I wonder about that first time.  Was it peer pressure?  Was it a funny movie with a lovable stoner character?  Or did he have a friend with a dad who smoked pot?  It was something.  And whatever it was it changed his life forever.

And I wonder what might have been with all those other stoners out there.  What they might have done had they not descended into drug use.  Which makes the drug debate a difficult one.  Much violent crime traces back to illegal drug trafficking.  So decriminalizing drugs would go a long way to reduce that crime.  However, this isn’t the same as repealing prohibition.  Sure, if you drink enough you can kill yourself.  And abuse your family.  You can even get a liver transplant.  But you can never recover your damaged brain cells.  Once they’re gone they’re gone.  And there’s no going back to who you were.

www.PITHOCRATE.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,