Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Study shows 'pot' damage

A research study involving brain scans at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York shows brain damage among adolescents who smoke marijuana.

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Adolescents who regularly smoke marijuana risk damaging a key brain pathway associated with language development and some predisposed to schizophrenia may contract the illness early, researchers said on Wednesday.

Brain scans revealed microscopic abnormalities in a region of the brain that governs higher aspects of language and listening functions in adolescents who are heavy marijuana smokers.

Similar damage to the bundle of fibers, called the arcuate fasciculus, that connect the Broca's area in the left frontal lobe and the Wernicke's area in the left temporal lobe was found in the brains of marijuana smokers and schizophrenics studied.

"These findings suggest that in addition to interfering with normal brain development, heavy marijuana use in adolescents may also lead to an earlier onset of schizophrenia in individuals who are genetically predisposed to the disorder," said psychiatry professor Sanjiv Kumra of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

Let's see if we understand this correctly. If you drink too much, you may two of everything. But if you smoke pot too much, you may find yourself with a second personality.

Seriously, any objective witness of friends on pot knows that personalities and habits are changed through this drug. Motivation drops, except for the motivation to get wasted.

Not that we would expect the defenders of cannabis to be objective. After nearly a half century of "pot is cool" orthodoxy, why would they change now?


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