by Dr. Drew W. Edwards Republished from DrDrewEdwards.org

All the independent, peer-reviewed research confirms what I and other experts have observed for years. Cannabis users significantly underachieve in education, their careers, and have significant problems with their most significant relationships. Two recent and eye-opening studies published in the medical journals Addiction, and Neuropharmacology respectively reveal gross deficits in cognitive ability (IQ) executive functioning, attentiveness, inhibition of impulsiveness and motivation.

What the Studies Reveal

In a large prospective study approximately 1900 adolescent were followed and evaluated for 10 years. The results were clear, definitive and shocking. Marijuana users were three times more likely to be unemployed or have dropped out of school compared to non-users. The evidence was so compelling that the lead investigator of the research dubbed marijuana as, “the drug of choice for life’s future losers.” In short, adolescents and young adults who possess the intelligence, desire, and motivation to go on to college or technical school frequently abandon these aspirations for something less rigorous once they begin smoking marijuana.

Hurd and colleagues (2014) demonstrated that even casual cannabis use impairs memory, motivation, and executive functioning, which involves the ability to organize tasks, control impulses and set
priorities. As a result, most marijuana users adjust their life’s trajectory, goals, and priorities downward to accommodate their impaired cognitive state. Parallel research published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (2015) reveals the nearly 30 percent of marijuana users suffer from Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD). This is much higher than the addiction rate for those who use alcohol. One of the reasons is that the average age on initiation to illicit drugs is during the 12th year. This precedes the neuronal pruning and myelination that occurs during puberty. Out of 8,000 new initiates to an illicit drug each day in the US, 7,000 will use marijuana.

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