Teen Marijuana Use Doesn’t Cause Brain Damage

December 22, 2012
By

… but alcohol does.

Today in Medical Daily

Perhaps in response to the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington last month, more teens are lighting up than ever before. However, one study suggests that parents have less to fear from marijuana than from alcohol. The study found that while marijuana had no effect on the health of teenagers’ brain tissue, alcohol did. [...]

In addition to the brain scans, the study also required a detailed toxicology report and substance use assessment. The teens also were interviewed every six months. Researchers did not check the teens’ cognitive ability, but simply took brain scans.

The researchers found that, after the year and a half was over, kids who had drank five or more alcoholic beverages twice a week had lost white brain matter. That means that they could have impaired memory, attention, and decision-making into adulthood. The teens that smoked marijuana on a regular basis had no such reduction.

What this study tells us: That we may want to be more concerned about teen use of alcohol than teen use of marijuana.

What this study does not tell us: A damned thing regarding whether either alcohol or marijuana should be legalized or criminalized for adults.

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Pete Guither is the editor of drugwarrant.com

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