Pot smoking teens risk brain impairment

Posted on: November 16, 2010

According to an article in the Denver Post , smoking marijuana regularly before the age of 16 causes changes in the brain that can impair a young person’s ability to focus, learn from mistakes and think abstractly. This article was taken from a recent Harvard study.

The researchers used brain scans on young pot smokers and it showed activation in regions of the brain that was not seen in those who started smoking after age 15. The researchers suggest early exposure to marijuana causes neural changes. In addition, early and habitual users performed more poorly on tests of cognitive functions, including mental flexibility.

Smoking pot at a young age also makes these teenagers make repetitive incorrect responses despite the fact they are told they are wrong. This is called “cognitive-inflexibility” where you see it in babies.

I guess that is why you call a pot smoker a “pot head” with symptoms of dull thinking and slow speech. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that sixteen percent of eighth graders have tried marijuana and it increases to forty-two percent by 12th grade.

The teenage years are difficult because these kids are transitioning into adulthood. They need to make sound judgments that will affect the rest of their lives. Society today is making the wrong call when it accepts marijuana as a recreational drug. What part of “recreational drug” is not understood here? Marijuana is a drug and should not be used by teenagers. In addition, adults should know better but then maybe they were teenage pot heads who think it is all right to use marijuana.

You make the call.


2 Responses to "Pot smoking teens risk brain impairment"

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