Casual Marijuana Use Linked To Brain Changes

MASSACHUSETTS: Using marijuana a few times a week is enough to physically alter critical brain structures, according to a new study published Tuesday in The Journal of Neuroscience.

“Just casual use appears to create changes in the brain in areas you don’t want to change,” said Hans Breiter, a psychiatrist and mathematician at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, who led the new study.

There is actually very little research on the potential benefits and downsides of casual marijuana smoking — fewer than four times a week on average.

In his study, done in collaboration with researchers at Harvard University, scientists looked at the brains of 20 relatively light marijuana users and 20 people who did not use it at all. All 40 were college students in the Boston area.

A Link Between Marijuana, Schizophrenia Is Tenuous

NEW YORK: Samuel T. Wilkinson’s attempt to tie marijuana to mental illness (“Pot-Smoking and the Schizophrenia Connection,” WSJ op-ed, July 2) is reefer madness all over again.

The evidence indicating a causal relationship between marijuana consumption and mental disorders is “neither very new, nor by normal criteria, very compelling,” according to research published in the journal Addiction in 2010.

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