Teen Brains Are More Vulnerable to the Effects of Marijuana than Alcohol

According to scientists at the University of Montreal, adolescents who begin using marijuana regularly may suffer lasting repercussions in their thinking ability. The study followed over 3,800 adolescents from 31 Montreal-area schools over four years. The teens, who started participating in the study when they were 13, agreed to provide annual reports of how frequently they used marijuana and alcohol. They also took computer-based cognitive tests that measured recall memory, perceptual reasoning, inhibition and short-term memory. The study concluded that marijuana had a more damaging effect on teenagers’ long-term cognitive abilities than alcohol. Even after students reported stopping marijuana, their cognition did not improve.

It’s not the first research to find that cannabis use may be harmful to teen brains. In a study published in June, University of Pennsylvania scientists analyzed 69 studies involving younger cannabis users. They discovered that young people who used marijuana frequently were more likely to have slightly lower scores on tests of memory, learning new information, and higher-level thinking involving problem solving and processing information compared to non-users. Scientists say more research is needed to determine how and why the brain is affected by early marijuana use. But the longer-term social implications of marijuana use in teens are more well known. According to data provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens, about 5.9 percent of 12th graders reported daily use of marijuana in 2017, up from 5.1 percent in 2007.

Frank T. Luciano is a highly successful and experienced drug crime attorney operating in multiple areas throughout Northern New Jersey, including Hackensack, Jersey City, Elmwood Park and Fort Lee. In nearly 40 years as a criminal defense attorney, there is almost no legal situation that Mr. Luciano has not seen and successfully navigated his clients through. Give yourself the best chance at a positive legal outcome by contacting Frank T. Luciano’s New Jersey law office immediately at 973-471-0004.

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