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Marijuana: Just 'cause it's around doesn't make it OK


It doesn’t matter where you live in the U.S., chances are, legalizing marijuana is a big topic of conversation. Even though it’s not legal for teens to purchase or use the drug, simply making it more available gives minors a chance to get their hands on it. And while science shows that it’s not necessarily addictive or a gateway drug, it’s still not “safe.”

 

The one thing that scientists are certain about is that though marijuana doesn’t affect the mind and body like alcohol does, it can impair brain development—and that’s a big deal with tweens and teens, because the brain develops in leaps and bounds during that time period. According to CNN, a study released last month shows that teenagers who smoked a lot of pot (think daily or near-daily use) experienced major brain abnormalities that centered around their memory. And the earlier marijuana use began, the worse the effects.

 

It is not yet certain if the brain abnormalities are permanent. So far, researchers have found that they can remain present for at least two years after the cessation of marijuana use. Yikes.

 

What are your thoughts of marijuana legalization? Tell us in the comments—and remember, please be respectful!

 

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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 2/1/2014 12:00:00 AM

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