New study shows dire outcomes for even casual marijuana use

By Neal McNamara | April 21, 2014
APTOPIX Rethinking Pot 4 20

Host Michael Medved is renewing his call for people to stop smoking marijuana after a “devastating” study appeared in the journal Neuroscience recently about how the drug in even very small quantities affects the brains of young people.

Researchers at Northwestern University and Harvard University studied two groups of 20 young people ages 18 to 25. One group smoked marijuana regularly – some using once or twice a week, others using daily – and the other group didn’t.

Taking MRIs of the participants’ brains, the researchers found that the marijuana users had significant changes to two key areas of the brain: the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens, which deal with emotions and decision-making.

“It’s just a devastating study. It’s impossible to read this and not be moved by it,” Medved said. “It’s simply not medically supported that casual use [of marijuana] is OK.”

Still, marijuana advocates sought to ignore the study. Medved took calls from a number of listeners who tried to argue that marijuana is harmless, creates a positive mood, and is even a cure for boredom.

Tracker from Hawaii said that he uses marijuana to control his temper. Without it, he said, he’s a complete pill.

“Do [marijuana] and then talk about it from experience,” Tracker, sounding a bit angry, advised Medved.

“I think people should have a choice if they think lower brain function is worth being able to smoke a little bit,” said Andrew from Federal Way.

“You will improve your life and your chances for happiness and success if you stop smoking dope,” Medved told Andrew.

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