Two well-known doctors say that legal marijuana should be banned for Americans under the age of 25 because it harms brain development.
Cannabis is legally legal in more than half of the United States and recreational in 10 states and Canada. Other states should follow, including New York and New Jersey.
We still know very little about the effects of the drug on humans because it is illegal, which makes it difficult for scientists to access it.
But Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, CEO of the Mount Sinai Health System, and Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek, head of the Rockefeller University's Addictive Disease Biology Laboratory, warn make have all suggested that weeds carry a heavy blow to teenagers' brains.
In an editorial for The New York Times, Drs Davis and Kreek call on lawmakers to focus their attention on the imposition of an age limit to protect young people, before thinking about how to tax this incredibly lucrative product or "breathe at high altitude". drivers (which is far from being as simple as alcohol).
Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, CEO of the Mount Sinai Health System, and Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek of Rockefeller University warn that studies show that we have all shown that weeds have an impact negative on the brain of adolescents.
"It's tempting to think that marijuana is a harmless substance that poses no threat to teenagers and young adults. Medical facts, however, reveal a different reality, "they write.
In 2010, marijuana was barely legal and was only available by prescription in 17 states.
But over the past eight years, this has changed: legalization has swept across North America, partly in response to the epidemic of opioids, while the demand for alternatives to addictive analgesics was up sharply.
Today, it is legal in the recreation of 10 states and medically in 33 states. In Canada, where marijuana was legalized for recreational purposes in October 2018, anyone over the age of 18 can consume grass. In most states, the age limit is 21, as it would be in New York and New Jersey.
To get here, the drug has been successfully marketed as a "natural" medicine, with claims that it can act as an anesthetic agent, anxiety treatment or sleep aid.
Today, more than two-thirds of Americans support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes and the data shows that teens are increasingly trying to weed before trying to consume marijuana. ;alcohol.
But Drs Davis and Kreek warn that "natural" does not mean "harmless", especially for younger users.
They cite eight peer-reviewed studies suggesting that 25 would be a better limit.
"Researchers who screened children from age 38 discovered a correlative IQ. Decline over the 25-year period among teenagers who regularly consume marijuana every week, "they wrote.
"In addition, studies have shown that a significant exposure of adolescents to marijuana might be a predictor of opioid consumption disorders."
One of the studies showed that THC (the psychoactive part of the drug) impaired brain connections in adolescent users, which had an impact on "cognition, including learning, attention and the emotional reactions ".
"The simple fact that society is increasingly accepting marijuana does not make it safe for high school and college students."
Regarding the benefits of cannabis, there is four proofs:
- For those who like to feel high, THC (the psychoactive property of the marijuana plant) makes you feel high.
- The National Academy of Medicine has stated that medical marijuana relieves the pain and nausea of chemotherapy patients – but more tests are needed before they can be approved properly.
- The National Academy of Medicine has stated that CBD (the non-psychoactive part of cannabis) has relieved some patients with epilepsy, but scientists have struggled to replicate these results so that they are widely expected .
- The drug could relieve a growing number of people suffering from anxiety, the academy said, but additional studies are needed.
Beyond this, there is not enough research, apart from anecdotal evidence, and there is no evidence to support the myth that cannabis can cure cancer.
The US Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, has expressed broad support in his call for more research, not necessarily for wider use of the drug.
Drs Kreek and Davis Agree and Call for Slow Wave of Legalization at Rapid Rate
"Smoking and alcohol, both legal, have caused a lot of harm to society and people's health and have ruined many lives. Marijuana can do the same thing, they write.