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Pot Legalization vs. Science

9:50 AM, Jul 30, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Marijuana

While the New York Times continues to editorialize in favor of the legalization of marijuana (Wednesday's installment posits the federal ban is "rooted in myth and xenophobia"!), others are pushing back against legalizing the drug. At the Wall Street Journal, Pete Wehner argues the push for the legalization of marijuana is at odds with recent science about its harmful effects. Here's an excerpt:

The potency of marijuana is much greater than in the past, with the mean concentration of THC more than doubling from 1993 to 2008. “It’s much more potent marijuana, which may explain why we’ve seen a pretty dramatic increase in admission to emergency rooms and treatment programs for marijuana,” Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, told the New York Times last year. Medical research is piling up about marijuana’s negative effects on brain development, particularly for young people. Staci Gruber, a leading figure in neuroimaging at McLean Hospital in Boston, reports that imaging scans have found detectable differences in how their brains worked.

“The frontal cortex is the last part of the brain to come online, and the most important,” Dr. Gruber told the Times. “Early exposure [to marijuana] perhaps changes the trajectory of brain development, such that ability to perform complex executive function tasks is compromised.”

Studies have also shown that regular marijuana use can lower IQs and worsen the symptoms of psychotic disorders.

Read the rest of Wehner's post here.

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