Study: Marijuana Use in Early Life May Affect Brain Function, IQ
An America where marijuana is legal could be right around the corner. It's a cross-generational cause that is finally starting to have its day on the ballot.
Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker
Many of us, as well as our parents and grandparents, have been waiting for this moment: a day when marijuana becomes legal. But if legalization of marijuana is right around the corner, we need to start asking ourselves how we want to regulate this drug.
“You have to make policy based on: does this hurt you? Does this hurt other people? And that's where harm reduction comes from,” says Maia Szalavitz, a journalist fluent in the most recent neuroscience research.
Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, told The Washington Post in an email. "Most Americans agree that the responsible adult use of cannabis ought not to be criminalized. The battle now is finding consensus regarding the details of how best to regulate this market."
Most will argue there should be an age restriction on marijuana use, as with most recreational drugs (save coffee). However, a new study may start the conversation prior to the vote this November.
The findings indicate that early marijuana use “may have an abnormal effect not only on brain function, but also on IQ,” said Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute. The Institute further reported: "those participants who used marijuana from a young age had highly abnormal brain function in areas related to visuo-spatial processing, memory, self-referential activity and reward processing." It should be noted this study had a small number of participants, so it will take further research to prove a solid connection and causation.
In a new and interesting twist, the study found that those who began marijuana use early carried a gene that may predispose some to start marijuana use early on.
It’s too soon to say anything concrete about how early marijuana use affects our well-being. However, this pilot study does warrant a more intensive, larger study to see how policymakers should move forward, as marijuana becomes more widely legal.
A new AI-produced commercial from Lexus shows how AI might be particularly suited for the advertising industry.
- The commercial was written by IBM's Watson. It was acted and directed by humans.
- Lexus says humans played a minimal part in influencing Watson, in terms of the writing.
- Advertising, with its clearly defined goals and troves of data, seems like one creative field in which AI would prove particularly useful.
A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.
- A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
- This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
- The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Then again, maybe the study is fake news too.
- Recent research challenged study participants to pick real news headlines from fake ones.
- The results showed that people prone to delusional thinking, religious fundamentalists, and dogmatists tended to believe all news, regardless of plausibility.
- What can you do to protect yourself and others from fake news?
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