Just recently both President Obama and Attorney General Holder firmly admitted to their own marijuana usage. I seem to remember on my application and renewals for security clearances that drug use was one of the questions, and a disqualifier for receiving a clearance – I guess that doesn’t apply to Commander-in-Chief. President Obama asserted that smoking pot is no more dangerous than drinking alcohol, but a new study seems to refute his delusional claim – maybe that’s just some of the residual effects the research study uncovered.
As reported by Associated Press and posted at yahoonews.com, a small study of casual marijuana smokers has turned up evidence of changes in the brain, a possible sign of trouble ahead.
“What we think we are seeing here is a very early indication of what becomes a problem later on with prolonged use,” things like lack of focus and impaired judgment, said Dr. Hans Breiter, a study author. Longer-term studies will be needed to see if such brain changes cause any symptoms over time, said Breiter, of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Of course this has become a very prevalent issue and quite political as we see a push to legalize pot usage — already implemented in Colorado and Washington state. I support de-criminalizing pot use, but not legalizing it.
The study is among the first to focus on possible brain effects in recreational pot smokers, said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The federal agency helped pay for the work. She called the work important but preliminary. The 20 pot users in the study, ages 18 to 25, said they smoked marijuana an average of about four days a week, for an average total of about 11 joints. Half of them smoked fewer than six joints a week. Researchers scanned their brains and compared the results to those of 20 non-users who were matched for age, sex and other traits.
The results showed differences in two brain areas associated with emotion and motivation — the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens. Users showed higher density than non-users, as well as differences in shape of those areas. Both differences were more pronounced in those who reported smoking more marijuana.
Another brain researcher, Krista Lisdahl of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said her own work has found similar results. “I think the clear message is we see brain alterations before you develop dependence,” she said.
My concern is that we’re establishing the next generation of medically-dependent Americans. What happens when these long-term adverse affects upon the brain take shape? It will mean more government programs to care for those afflicted.
Consider what is happening in our schools – we’re teaching to tests, not developing critical thinking skills — and now this, allowing for potential damage to the brains of our young people. This is not how we promote better opportunities for our future generations.
Legalize recreational marijuana use — no. Decriminalize recreational marijuana use — yes. At least that’s what I think. What about you?