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Study suggests marijuana use more harmful for teenagers
One-by-one, local, provincial, and federal politicians are coming out of from behind that kind of smelly fog to confess, "Yes, I have smoked pot."
It began with Liberal leader Justin Trudeau last week, and three well-known Ontario politicians ante'd up to it yesterday – Toronto mayor Rob Ford, Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne, and London mayor Joe Fontana.
"I was a drummer in a rock band in the late '60s," said Fontana. "What do you think I was doing? ... I never exhaled."
(As the Huffington Post B.C. pointed out on Thursday, Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson and premier Christy Clark have also admitted to and not denied (respectively) toking in the past.)
But a study conducted by researchers from the Universite de Montreal and the Icahn School of Medicine (in New York) suggests marijuana might be even riskier for teenagers than was previously thought. The study examined 120 cases of "cannabis and teenage brain development" and said teens were at risk of developing addiction and mental health problems.
According to the study, the teenage brain is still learning how to fine-tune the interaction between its different areas, for example those that develop memory and learning.
"When you disrupt this, actually, development, during adolescence, notably through cannabis use, you can have very pervasive, very negative effects in the long-term, including on mental health and addiction risk," said Dr. Didier Jutras-Aswad, who was co-author of the review, to CBC News.
"For me, the question is not about whether cannabis is good or bad, but who is more likely to suffer from problems in cannabis, because we know for most people that will not happen."
Scientists also concluded the effects of cannabis use on the brain varied between the frequency of use, the individual, and the age at which it is being used.
"When the first exposure occurs in younger versus older adolescents, the impact of cannabis seems to be worse in regard to many outcomes such as mental health, education attainment, delinquency and ability to conform to adult role," said Jutras-Aswad (according to England's Daily Mail).
The Daily Mail also quoted the report as saying that a quarter of teenage users develop a dependency on the drug, and that effects could be tied to genetic factors.