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Lowered IQ a Side Effect of Early Marijuana Use

Despite the rising acceptance of marijuana in a few states, researchers are sounding the alarm that the drug is not as safe as some may think. A recent study, performed by researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute in Ontario, Canada, show that heavy marijuana use by people under the age of 17 is more likely to lower their IQ and develop other types of problems with the brain.

Brain imaging and psychological tests have revealed that marijuana not only lowers IQ but marijuana use among younger people does nothing to help depression or any other psychiatric problems. Although there has been a concept of being able to temporarily forget one’s problems through drug use, this study shows that even supposedly less harmful drugs only temporarily relieve symptoms, at best.

“The study suggests that using marijuana does not correct the brain abnormalities or symptoms of depression and using it from an early age may have an abnormal effect not only on brain function, but also on IQ,” explained Elizabeth Osuch, lead author of the study.

Educating society on the real effects of marijuana has been an uphill battle for a few reasons, such as the lack of long-term studies prior to the legalization of the drug in some areas. The study conducted by Osuch and her team unveils a very real problem, and a much more valid reason to second guess further support of the drug.

While advocates of smoking marijuana may claim the drug is relatively harmless, but when frequent use by teens turns into “dumbing down” our future generation, that can have a much broader long-term impact.