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Health Effects of Marijuana Use

June 5, 2014

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The debate between responsible use of marijuana and no use at all continues. In a report by researchers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is called an addictive drug that threatens the mental and physical well-being of users.

Their warning published in the New England Journal of Medicine stems from a review of past research and challenges the increasingly popular notion that marijuana is essentially harmless. Pot is already the most common illicit drug in the U.S, with 12% of people 12 and older reporting use in the past year with particularly high rates of use among young people.

But these investigators cited research that suggests even short-term use impairs memory, motor coordination, and judgment. They add that roughly 9% of those who try pot become addicted. In fact, the team found that nearly 3 million Americans ages 12 and up are already deemed clinically "dependent".

Such dependence, they warn, is linked to brain changes, lower IQs, and a drop in overall satisfaction and educational achievement leading the authors to conclude that further pot legalization is a bad idea.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with news you can use for healthier living.