Harvard Scientists Studied the Brains of Pot Smokers | NPR

According to a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers from Harvard and Northwestern studied the brains of 18- to 25-year-olds, half of whom smoked pot recreationally and half of whom didn’t. What they found was rather shocking: Even those who only smoked few times a week had significant brain abnormalities in the areas that control emotion and motivation.

Read the full article | NPR

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2 thoughts on “Harvard Scientists Studied the Brains of Pot Smokers | NPR

  1. A great pity they don’t publicize the mountains of research documenting the harmful effect of alcohol and cigarettes in 18 to 25 year olds – legal drugs that are far more deadly than marijuana.

    NPR is totally missing the point. The question they should be asking is whether criminalization or treatment aimed at harm reduction is more effective in reducing marijuana use. These studies have also been done, in countries like Portugal which have decriminalized marijuana.

    If the US government were serious about ending illicit drug use (which they’re not), we would immediately transfer all the money we waste the War on Drugs into making free drug treatment available on demand.

    The problem is that the War on Drugs serves a very important political purpose for the ruling elite. For one, it’s a very effective vehicle for locking up poor and disenfranchised Americans who might otherwise become a powerful grassroots lobby demanding real political change.

    It also serves as a cover for the CIA, which has trafficked illegal drugs since the late forties to help fund numerous covert operations.

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    • — Thank you for your comments.
      A great pity they don’t publicize the mountains of research documenting the harmful effect of alcohol and cigarettes in 18 to 25 year olds.”
      There is extensive research on the detrimental consequences of alcohol and cigarette consumption. Much more in-depth research than for marijuana.
      I just have not posted any yet.

      — Your points are thoughtful and make perfect sense. That being said, the issues involving criminalization of drugs in general also involve violence
      (illegal gun trade, murder, etc., ), human slavery, sex trafficking, child labor and abuse, financial crime, to name a few. Marijuana has been partially
      decriminalized throughout Europe, not only Portugal. You don’t go to jail for possession for personal use, a fact in the EU at large.

      — The war on drugs has been a failure, a source of more violence, financial crime and instability (Mexico, an ally, at least until 2012, in the “war on drugs”
      is an apt example)

      — The case of Colorado in decriminalizing marijuana is a good example of how things can go wrong. The excessive taxation of legal marijuana has resulted in
      pot prices being so high for the poorer residents, that there is a significant increase in illegal marijuana trade among these groups. These groups consist
      primarily of people of color, while middle- and upper-middle class -mostly- white CO residents enjoy, legally now, their habit. So, as you so accurately mentioned
      (“it’s a very effective vehicle for locking up poor and disenfranchised Americans who might otherwise become a powerful grassroots lobby demanding real political change.”)
      this new legalization merely disenfranchises the poor and people of color even more, paving the way to the certainty of incarceration, criminalization etc.

      — Finally, and to your last point, it was also the last part of the Vietnam war, as well as the first invasion in Afghanistan -back in the day- which were solely
      financed by the opium trade, easing the burden off Congress.
      handled and solicited by CIA. This is textbook material nowadays.

      Like

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