Northwestern/Harvard Research on Effects of “Casual” Marijuana Use Points to Need for More Research


As states, including California, continue to grapple with the medical marijuana/decriminalization question, Marijuana Plant 2scientific evidence continues to trickle in concerning the negative health effects of marijuana use. According to this Reuters article, a study to be published in the Journal of Neuroscience by researchers at Northwestern University, Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital found that young adults (18-25) who used cannabis only once or twice a week showed “significant abnormalities” in two important brain structures. One of the study’s authors, Dr. Hans Beiter, previously worked on a study that found heavy cannabis use caused similar brain abnormalities “to those seen in patients with schizophrenia.” Though the young adult study has a “very small sample size,” Dr. Beiter notes that the “eye-opening results” should prompt more research. However, further research may be stymied by the federal government’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug.

Given the cultural shift towards broader acceptance of marijuana, perhaps now is the time for the feds to exempt marijuana from the research ban. That way, people can make more than half-baked decisions about what marijuana’s legal status should be in their communities, backed by scientific research.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Best Best & Krieger LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.