Marijuana legalization across the United States is coming under fire by cannabis critics, and one recent press release claims that a brain study proves that young frequent pot smokers may be in danger of losing IQ points by time they reach adulthood.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, Calvina Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation, claims marijuana legalization in Colorado caused “an increase in car crashes, DUIs, and fatal slip-and-fall accidents.” Nora Volkow is the head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and she claims that marijuana legalization could be more dangerous than already legal tobacco and alcohol. But a recent analysis of marijuana statistics created by U.S. government agencies and organizations seems to prove that alcohol and even prescription drugs are actually significantly more dangerous to our health than legal weed.
Krista Lisdahl, director of the brain imaging and neuropsychology lab at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, spoke at a convention for the American Psychological Association discussed how U.S. marijuana legalization may affect the population. She claims that frequent marijuana usage can cause cognitive decline, poor attention and memory, and decreased IQ:
“It needs to be emphasized that regular cannabis use, which we consider once a week, is not safe and may result in addiction and neurocognitive damage, especially in youth. When considering legalization, policymakers need to address ways to prevent easy access to marijuana and provide additional treatment funding for adolescent and young adult users.”
It’s also claimed that marijuana addiction can cause youth to lose an average of six IQ points by time a person reaches adulthood. As evidence for this statement, she referenced a study that monitored frequent cannabis users from childhood to midlife.
Alan Budney of Dartmouth College also claimed that marijuana strains with higher amounts of THC posed a health threat:
“Recent studies suggest that this relationship between marijuana and mental illness may be moderated by how often marijuana is used and potency of the substance,” Budney said. “Unfortunately, much of what we know from earlier research is based on smoking marijuana with much lower doses of THC than are commonly used today.”
It’s believed that frequent marijuana usage may increase the risk of depression, anxiety, and psychosis. As such, the regulations created during marijuana legalization should attempt to take this into account.
Budney also believes that if governments are considering implementing marijuana legalization there needs to be an improvement in how marijuana addiction among adolescents is handled. Current treatments include school interventions and outpatient counseling, but he believes more research is necessary to create more effective prevention strategies.
What do you think about the claim that marijuana legalization could have an adverse effect on the health of the United States and may even lead to a drop in IQ in frequent pot smokers?