Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

More Evidence That Pot is Not Harmless

ID-10036733In recent months, the debate concerning the harm of marijuana has been in full force. Our own President insisted that smoking pot was no worse than alcohol. But the science, not the opinions of many, of marijuana use is proving otherwise.

Consider a new study conducted at Northwestern University in collaboration with Harvard Medical School and published in the Journal of Neuroscience that looked at the effects of casual use of pot smoking in college students. Casual use was defined as fewer than four times a week on average.


The brains of college students are still forming. A concern has always been about the impact of marijuana on the forming brain, especially now that pot use in legal in some states at the age of 21. The brain is not formed at 21 and is subject to the effects of substances on its formation.

Researchers confirm that smoking pot is not a benign act. Volume, shape and density changes were noted in the parts of the brain associated with motivation and emotions and some types of mental illness. And the smokers’ brains continued to look different from nonsmokers the more they smoked.

So is the casual use of marijuana no big deal.? No, if you are concerned about it altering the physical structures of your brain.


  • Linda Mintle

    Here is my thought. Let’s just be open to the science and consider all the studies. Let’s not be tied to a conclusion just because we have an opinion. Drugs of all kinds have side effects and we need to know what those are–then people can decide if they want to use a drug or not, at least the legal ones. Smoking pot changes the brain and people should know how instead of blanket statements of no harm.

  • c23634697

    Everything has plus and minus. Alcohol is monster on International level. World wide epidemic. Mr. Weber, I like that, Cherry-picking data.

  • Linda Mintle

    Actually is it a study that is part of the picture of the truth. So is it complete and showing cause and effect no. I’m just keeping up with the studies because I do not believe we know the full impact.

  • Stephen Weber

    “Researchers confirm that smoking pot is not a benign act.” no, not without before-and-after MRI scans showing brain structure changes in users that differ from nonusers and documentation of functional impairments associated with those changes.
    Also note that the study did not identify any cognitive or behavioral
    abnormalities in the cannabis users versus controls — it was strictly an MRI study. It was still just an association, no cause-and-effect shown — as Breiter and colleagues acknowledged later in their paper.

    Cherry-picking data and comments shows no understanding of the actual truth.

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