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Teen brain more prone to drug, alcohol damage
November 15th, 2010
01:00 PM ET

Teen brain more prone to drug, alcohol damage

Teens may act invincible, but when it comes to drugs and alcohol, they're actually more vulnerable than adults to harmful effects on the brain, researchers said at Neuroscience 2010, the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego, California, on Monday.

"Brain development is actively transpiring even in the teen brain, and [if] you throw in a drug on top of that, you could change the trajectory of brain development." said Dr. Frances Jensen of Children's Hospital Boston.

The effects of getting high in the teen brain are longer-lasting than in the adults, she said. Even several days later, cannabis can stay in the teen's system, affecting the building blocks of learning and memory.

That's because there are likely more receptors for the drug to bind to in the teen brain than in the adult brain, she said.

There is also a potential long-lasting effect of chronic cannabis use among teens particularly, more so than in adults, she said. Research has shown that IQ can permanently decrease in teens who regularly use cannabis.

A study led by Staci Ann Gruber of Harvard Medical School found that people who began using marijuana before age 16 and who used it the most performed the worst on a test of cognitive flexibility. Cognitive flexibility means being able to change your response to something based on the context of the situation.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brains of cannabis smokers shows that the frontal and prefrontal inhibitory areas are affected, Jensen said.

Research in addiction has increasingly focused on the idea that addiction is a form of learning. From that perspective, it makes sense that teens are also more susceptible to addiction, as new research in animals shows. A study presented by Michela Marinelli at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science found that rats in adolescence work harder for cocaine and consume more than adult rats.

"The teen brain learns so handily; unfortunately it can get addicted a lot faster, stronger and longer," Jensen said.

Alcohol may also harm the teenage brain more profoundly than in adults, Jensen said. As with drugs, there are likely more receptors in the brain for alcohol to bind to, creating more problems for the developing brain.

Researchers led by Toni Pak at Loyola University found that alcohol may disrupt connections in the brain that relate to stress hormone production, throwing off a person's ability to manage stress. And that may lead to anxiety and depression later in life. But take note: These findings were based on binge-drinking rats, so applicability to humans isn't completely certain.

"Parents need to stop saying, 'Oh, he’ll be fine,' Jensen said. "It's important that this information gets to teenagers, that they be made aware of their vulnerable and impressionable brain state."


soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Another good reason not to pump Anti-Depressants into teenagers.. Another reason to get all those damn ALCOHOL comericials off TV, esp sporting events!

    November 15, 2010 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • junk

      commercials don't make kids want to drink. as a matter of fact i never watched tv as a teenager. being out side and being active kept me off most the bad stuff when i was young. it was till i got older i didn't care and love to drink. lol

      November 15, 2010 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
    • ralphieboy

      Junk, do you really believe that if advertising didn't work, that companies would spend billions on it? You say it doesn't work and then say you never watched tv. Yeah, I guess ads DON'T work if you don't watch them.

      November 15, 2010 at 17:07 | Report abuse |
    • Bill The Hermit

      I can see this was clearly a study, when they consistently use statements such as " there are likely more receptors". Extra focus on the word "likely". Meaning, they don't know. They are just guessing. So they don't really know, they are just assuming.

      Get back to us when you have some conclusive results. The biggest mistakes ever made are due to poor information. So lets not jump the gun here and assume.

      November 16, 2010 at 08:32 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      You are wrong. Anti-depressants can facilitate the learning of new positive behaviors that can profoundly improve the life of the those individuals taking them. The key is to have a counselor who uses a lot of personal encouragement to get the teen to open up and discover new things.

      November 16, 2010 at 09:14 | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      And a reply to Billy the hermit: brain responses are always described in terms of probabilities. That is not the same as saying the researchers are guessing as to what is going on. These researchers have a very good idea of how these things work. However, the language they use is very complicated and unless you have taken advanced classes in statistics (and I don't mean business statistics that you take at a junior college but a masters level class) you will probably have a difficult time following what they are talking about. But if that is the case it is you that doesn't know what you are talking about.

      November 16, 2010 at 09:20 | Report abuse |
    • EJK

      Junk, is that what you wish to be called, or is it the quality of your reasoning? You say commercials don't make kids want to drink, and support this by saying you didn't see the commercials, and you didn't want to drink.
      Apparently it didn't make you want to pay attention during class when they taught critical thinking.
      Aside from your two points not supporting one another, in fact, they barely relate to one another except in subject matter, you are ignoring extensive research which indicates that teenagers are highly susceptible to advertising aimed at adults. Until they reach their early 20s, people emulate the behaviors of people slightly older than them. Every kid wants to be seen as being "grown up," and we have, with our laws, created the ideas that smoking and drinking are things that "grown ups" do. That makes kids want to do it, and advertising adds to the desire, particularly when the behaviors are depicted as fun, sophisticated, and glamorous.

      November 16, 2010 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
    • Missayy

      Ok well first off teens dont want to drink because its advertised on TV we want to drink due to its funn, just like its fun for an adult to drink. Yeah teenagers do stupid stuff when they drink but so does every other person in the world a grandpa, great grandpa. There all going to act the same when they drink. Yes are brains are not as developed as adults but some of the scummiest, drung using people turn into millionaries.

      November 16, 2010 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      interesting - didnt even think about that

      November 25, 2010 at 23:37 | Report abuse |
  2. Casey

    have you seen that one axe commercial?

    November 15, 2010 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Spicoli

    When I was young I had an easier time getting weed than getting alcohol,never was carded by the dealers.....legalize, tax, and enforce

    November 15, 2010 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. steve harnack

    That does it! My teenaged rats are cut off.

    November 15, 2010 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. junk

    kids will be kids. can't stop that. who cares about commercials with beer in them! morons it's called education!!! if you educate your children that these things are harmeful they have a better chance of not touching drugs. oh, and if you are going to blame tv for these things TURN IT OFF!

    November 15, 2010 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      That's completely false, if you educate teens about the bad effects of alcohol but then they see commercials and TV shows and movies and their parents and their friends still using that knowledge loses it's effect. If someone stands in front of you smoking a cigarette but tells you it's bad and you shouldn't do it that information has ZERO value. If anything the teen will want to stand there and tell their friends the same thing.

      November 15, 2010 at 16:37 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      yeah - i could see that

      November 25, 2010 at 23:38 | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    This is a bull shit study. You can't actually prove any of this. It is all subjective....there can not actually be a proper control group as every subject will be different.

    November 15, 2010 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alex

      Absolutely! And not only that, there is no information as to how many subjects were used, background information, how their "use" was regulated/documented or how the specific areas of the brain are affected. This study is beyond flawed.

      November 15, 2010 at 16:27 | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      Someone needs to take a statistics class. You actually haven't read the study have you? You just read what is reported by the media. I wouldn't put down a study that I personally haven't read. Also you have to have the smarts to know what you're reading. If not take a seat.

      November 15, 2010 at 20:11 | Report abuse |
    • Jojo

      You probably smoke, don't you?

      November 15, 2010 at 22:31 | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Mike, perhaps so. Have you read the article? What specific mistakes did they make?

      Realizing that the research is very new and perhaps I'm not making a fair request, I'll make a different related request to try to see where you are coming from? I'd like you to answer these questions.

      Are you aware of Kolb's learning cycle?
      - If not, are you willing to learn about it? If not, why not? (You should be abl eto
      - If so, do you agree with Kolb's theory? If not, why not?

      How about Kolb's learning styles?

      November 15, 2010 at 23:17 | Report abuse |
    • Elisha

      Mike has the most sensible comment on this so far. I applaud you in not being a complete douchebag like most of the people on here.

      November 16, 2010 at 02:42 | Report abuse |
  7. ProofMonger

    "you can't prove this" Well duh you can't prove it science is not an exact science you study something you have finding you correlate and you inform the public. Science can never prove anything to a 100% truth they can merely give you their best guess based on the data they collect. Also a control group can't ever be perfect for the exact same reason. But whatever just keep being a moron.

    November 15, 2010 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alex

      There is no real information given to you as to how this study was done. Could they be on the right track? Maybe, but without all the information you probably shouldn't take it as the word of God.First of all, there is nothing to tell you how many subjects were tested, how they were chosen, or how their use was recorded. Without MRIs done before the use of marijuana or alcohol to eliminate pre-existing conditions, without taking into account other conditions (environmental, genetic, economic etc.), and without the ability to accurately gauge the amount of use it would be a mistake to interpret this as completely accurate. While I do understand science is never going to give a 100% truth, this is a far cry from having real merit within the scientific community.

      November 15, 2010 at 16:40 | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      @ Alex. Don't put down a study unless you have read it. I'm sick of people acting like experts when they never took the time or have the expertise to read it. And heaven forbid if they are wrong... Not telling kids to binge drink at the age of 15 couldn't hurt.

      November 15, 2010 at 20:15 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      @Ryan, I am not putting down a study and no I haven't read it, my comments are based soley on the information given in this article (as that is what this forum is about). Without offering up that information, I have no choice but to regard this article and its contents as limited. If I knew how the study was conducted, I might feel differently. Why don't you post a link to the actual study so I can decide for myself, if you have in fact read it.

      PS: I am a firm believer that alcohol is incredibly dangerous, my skepticism is aimed more at the adverse effects of marijuana as I don't believe that you can properly study something that cannot be administered and documented clinically. (I am not saying kids should go out and smoke weed either, nor am I suggesting pot is a "safe" substance). Once again, all I am saying is that this ARTICLE is presenting limited information.

      " I'm sick of people acting like experts when they never took the time or have the expertise to read it." I am curious as to what makes you the expert, you should really list your credentials I think if you're going to insult someone else's.

      November 16, 2010 at 12:52 | Report abuse |
    • iSynic

      !) This was a study that looked at rats, not humans.

      2) Not a single milligram of marijuana was used for the study. They used an synthetic, lab-made cannabinoid.

      3) It wasn't a long term study. Studies have always show that any cognitive deficits are reversed after two months of the cessation of cannabis use in humans.

      Crap study is crap. Sensational article is sensational.

      November 16, 2010 at 13:30 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      @iSynic
      If that is in fact how the study was done, that's funny, I've read studies done on chimps that showed no real adverse effects lasting after the cannabis (real stuff) was stopped. I guess the people whose brains so closely resemble those of rats should be worried, Ryan, better lay off the weed, might fail your stats class!

      November 16, 2010 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
  8. BigBen

    Funny there is no worry about the laundry list of prescription drugs handed out to kids all the time ritalin, adderall, prozac, effexor etc.

    November 15, 2010 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hugo

      BigBen, it sounds like you are worried. Is that accurate?

      November 15, 2010 at 23:19 | Report abuse |
    • JOe

      mmmm...

      November 16, 2010 at 09:33 | Report abuse |
  9. steven

    I wont deny pot has some adverse effects, no one will. However I've been a chronic user (2,3,4 times/day) since 17. I'm now 20, and a 3.75 GPA student at the University of Colorado. I take neuroscience, organic chemistry, genetics, on top of other rigorous courses and I honestly believe academic stimulation on top of desire and motivation completely mitigate the negative effects of the drug.

    Smoke weed every day, then do your work.

    November 15, 2010 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Big Age

      Exactly. The "stoners" who don't know how to handle their business give the bad names to the rest of us. Most of those people are probably lazy even without the weed!
      On the other hand, I can see how it may affect others differently. It is not for everyone.

      November 15, 2010 at 19:34 | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Steven, since you are taking neuroscience, how about producing a better post?

      November 15, 2010 at 23:20 | Report abuse |
    • SW

      Just think what you might have accomplished without the pot. Why don't you try going without it for a year or two?

      December 12, 2010 at 08:48 | Report abuse |
  10. steven

    BTW, until marijuana is legalized, there WONT be any clinical trials on it. So the media can make its assumptions, but that's really all they are in the end, assumptions.

    November 15, 2010 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lindsay

      Teenagers self-reporting... Enough said!
      I was the same as you, chronic user but always maintained a high GPA throughout University. Homework and studying were done before smoking (because I was and am a lazy pothead). I was always on top of everything.

      November 15, 2010 at 16:52 | Report abuse |
  11. lola

    we all party. dont be a hypocrit like the catholics

    November 15, 2010 at 16:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Ernst

    Alcohol binds to receptors? "there are likely more receptors in the brain for alcohol to bind to, creating more problems for the developing brain." That is a new one on me.

    Is there any validity to Cannabis protecting the brain from the Damage of Alcohol? http://current.com/news/90759184_study-marijuana-may-protect-against-alcohol-brain-damage.htm

    Certainly we must all agree that it is important for the Young to grow into Adults! However, the Mixed message we give our young is to consume! They want to do it all.
    The place for guiding the young is in the community and not the prisons in my opinion so let us make mental health care free for all people under 21.
    Let us create support groups in every county in every state for these mental health supports centers!
    Substance is everywhere and simply demonizing substance is no way to achieve positive results.
    Free mental health for those under 21 is a very positive way to help the young!

    So let us provide free mental health support for all our youth especially those in the more economically disadvantaged areas.

    Then we can end these types of politically vague "Medical Opinion pieces" By the way this story provided no references to their data. That is highly suspect.

    Also there is a UK study that supports Alcohol being the number 1 most dangerous drug.. Cannabis is number 14.

    So what about it? Modify health care to allow free mental health care for all under 21?

    Go Big or stop with the "politically vague opinion pieces."

    November 15, 2010 at 16:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Richard

    It is totally irresponsible for the author of this article to not discuss the proliferation of psychiatric medications being given to children and teenagers – millions of prescriptions for stimulants, antidepressants, tranquilizers and anti-psychotics. What effects do you think these drugs are having on developing brain matter??!! Everyone must read the book, The Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker; you will never look at these legal drugs in the same way again.

    November 15, 2010 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hugo

      Richard, how about starting your own blog? (I'm being serious.)

      November 15, 2010 at 23:22 | Report abuse |
  14. ADAm1976

    I love how are the studies provide ZERO results and how the tests were done. Also i find the lack of prescription drugs..you know the "LEGAL killers" left out of this study. Why not them into...or are you afraid of the results. Big Pharma and the government is the biggest drug dealer out there...pushing their drugs vs the natural kind. They dont give a crap if it kills as long as they make money. Get off the chemical drugs and smoke a joint.

    November 15, 2010 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hugo

      Since you read the study, could you tell the rest of us where to find it?

      November 15, 2010 at 23:23 | Report abuse |
  15. Albert Fish

    I love it when alcoholic teenage girls drink through out their pregnancy. Their fetal alcohol syndrome spawn are tenderized with all that booze, making them even tastier.

    November 15, 2010 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. DumbestStoriesOf2010

    1)Debt is the new slavery
    2)Soledad's battle against a photographer who asked if she was black
    3)Elliot Spitzer .....becoming the moral compass of CNN...The new 8 p.m.
    4)Elizabeth Cohen Empowered Patient ...3 of 5 stories were her own family
    5)Eatocracy ..... The super Salmon..A chef's perspective
    6)Rick's List Jews Run CNN..

    Vote Now at CNN non-Heroes!!!!

    November 15, 2010 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. bill

    Do like I do everyday....bong before work, during, and after. Stay drug free and become like Emron,GM and the House and Senate. Idiots and liars. Screw things up for others then blame drugs as bane of the day. Yawn.
    Bet even your own Gupta is so far out of touch he thinks smoking is the only way to ingest cannabis. Fail.
    CNN"s new pitch: Not So Much News But Plenty of Skews
    Screw science, we have guns!!!!

    November 15, 2010 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hugo

      Really? Gupta thinks that. Is this published somewhere? Can you share the reference?

      November 15, 2010 at 23:26 | Report abuse |
  18. swimmer23

    LEGALIZE CANNABIS in 2012!!! It's non-toxic and a safer alternative to alcohol. Prohibition has done NOTHING to stem teen use of cannabis. End the insanity in 2 years.

    November 15, 2010 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Hugo

    I smoked too much tonight.

    November 15, 2010 at 23:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. bill

    I said I'd bet on it. I never quoted or said he said anything. I voiced what I thought his skewed belief system holds. Ask Dr. Gupta to speak the truth about weed on CNN. Have a big debate special with Marc Emery. Ask him what the harmful effects are when it is ingested but not by smoking.
    I'd think a third grader could figure out smoking anything would be unhealthy. So don't smoke it and now where is the "big problem"? The laws.

    November 16, 2010 at 00:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. the media lies

    Leave it to to the media to lie and attack cannibis Drugs and alcohol BS cannibis is not a drug how come its not saying how bad are these prescriptions drugs that they give the kids these days I rather have a low IQ than to lose my liver or get cancer or any other countless side effects that RX drugs give us so so next time cnn tries to inform the public make sure you put the right type if drugs what about.heroin? Crack? Extasi very lil info on the cocaine and beer

    November 16, 2010 at 04:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. hookapooka

    So that's why I can't remember the summer of '77 ! Or the summer of '78 for that matter.Or was it the winter of '82?Stay on it-CNN!!!!!!

    November 16, 2010 at 08:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. chris

    Nomatter if there is grounding to this study or not, teens should absolutly not be touching alcohol or marijuana. I've seen the downward spiral within my own family of those who got involved in these things at an early age.

    November 16, 2010 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. aginghippy

    I feel the same way about this "study" as I do those that insist second hand smoke is killing everyone. Common sense dictates that we look at the generation who grew up around second hand smoke AND smoked pot every day for decades, beginning in our teens: the baby boomers like myself. Are we all brain damaged? Are none of us healthy, happy and successful? Are we all dying of diseases caused by our parents', relatives' and total strangers' second hand smoke? If any of this nonsense were true, my generation should all be bumbling idiots, or six feet under.

    November 16, 2010 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. truth

    Teens are going to smoke, and they will drink regardless of what you present to them. they know the risks. and by the time our teens kids are teens, pot will be legal anyways

    November 16, 2010 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. truth

    to "proofmonger".....are you kidding me?science isnt an exact science?... thats exactly what it is, so all the new technologies developed by science are just almost precise... you keep being a moron, clearly your a simpleton

    November 16, 2010 at 09:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Jorge

    And the sun comes up from the east and you shouldn't spit into a stiff wind, DUH. I wonder how many adolts (pun intended) who walk about today, many of them RESEARCHERS, are making do with severely alcohol and drug-modified meat between their ears telling the rest of us what to do, what they've discovered and operating dangerous machinery...

    November 16, 2010 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. boredatschool

    i can for sure say that i dont need TV commercials to want to smoke or drink,i do it for fun!! no matter what anyone says to teenagers, they will still do what they want to do!!

    November 16, 2010 at 10:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. boredatschool

    you cant just legalize weed and tax it, there are way more factors to the situation then that. We need to find out who can grow it, because if everyone grows it then there will be no money made off of it and the tax will have no reason to be there anymore.the whole situation is difficult to just do something this fast. then there will be conflict with everyone wanting to sell it and tons of law suits. its just better to keep it illegal because ots so much easier to get.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RickSanchezPRR

    JEWS RUN CNN!! Can I have my job back? Will TWEET for Food!!!!

    PLEASE BUY MY BOOK....90 PERCENT OFF!!!!!

    November 16, 2010 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. bong_jamesbong2001

    This is just pathetic junk for a story. They were saying 20 years ago that cannabis damaged brains. Now they're saying it inhibits learning. How can one learn to be addicted if one can't learn? Cognitive flexibility? There is exactly one expert in the whole world on this JUNK SCIENCE.
    The reality of these stories is that they are being used to support the legality of prohibitionist exclusionary laws to further penalize cannabis consumers, dealers, and growers near schools so that cannabis users can't live in towns with schools, which are all towns, naturally. We don't need fascism hiding behind a masquerade of science.
    If CNN is going to do a story on cannabis, don't go using rip and read sheets provided by interest-conflicted "law enforcement" agencies. Take the time to find and use balanced sources, and to ask why all research done in the field must be approved by prohibitionists.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KawiMan

      Amen.

      It's just like the government telling us in the 60s that LSD damages our DNA and will make us jump out of windows in an attempt to fly. Bullshit!

      November 16, 2010 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
  32. RickSanchezPRR

    ALLI and Wolf said they were my friends but they did not stand up for me.....CNN fired me because I am hispanic plus they actually saw a copy of my show>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    November 16, 2010 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RickSanchezPRR

    People who smoked pot were my biggest audience...TWEET me...I am going to start my own show on Twitter .....it will be huge....It will be called Rick's Tweets ...............coming soon..........................can anyone loan me a few bucks? ALLI does not return my calls!!!

    November 16, 2010 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Jackie

    What I find irritating about this article is that it presents little new information, there are no links to any of the studies mentioned, and it presents the information in a way that discourages independent thinking just to make a point. Perhaps I misunderstood what the author is saying, but "Even several days later, cannabis can stay in the teen's system, affecting the building blocks of learning and memory" doesn't make any sense to me. I have been under the very distinct impression that cannabis stays in an adult's, much less a teen's, system for much longer than several days.

    It's quite possible that the studies referenced were thorough and well-done, but the information selected for this article is not. For example, in the study led by Staci Ann Gruber, we do not know whether the subjects who performed worse were still using cannabis at the time of the study or whether they had started before age 16, but abstained for a year or more prior to the study (a big difference). Also, with regards to the fMRI of the brains of cannabis smokers that showed that the frontal and prefrontal inhibitory areas were affected, the author does not specify whether the possibility that teens who use cannabis are less inhibited to begin with was taken into account. If CNN thinks that it is a waste of their time to expand articles in these sorts of ways, perhaps they should include links to more thorough articles on other websites.

    November 16, 2010 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. rs

    news flash!!! drugs and alcohol alter teenage brains!!!

    November 16, 2010 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Sandi Butler

    I have been battling illnesses since age 17 yrs, never understanding what was the main problem until just about 3 yrs ago! Why it did not occur 2 me that as a child-born in 1947-the chemical company 6 blks from my home was literally killim me, as there was NO government oversight-no EPA, nothing! I remember being evacuated numerous times due 2 railcar spills, huge gas clouds overhead, but we were told they ONLY MADE citronella candles and house paint! As a very curious-called nosey-teen, I actually went to the guard gate and told them I wanted 2 speak with someone in charge. Who ever heard of a plant making innocent citronella and paint using guards wearing guns? I was told to get lost! I moved to Atlanta in 1978 and upon my return in 1988, the first thing I noticed was there was NO SMELL, which we had lived with all my life. I was told by family that when the government came in, the company bought 2 blks of homes in front of the plant, mostly their workers had lived in, not worth much-but the families had been dying off rapidly of rare cancers! Then the co brought in backhoes and other equipment and leveled all 2 blks of homes- packed up and hauled butt! To me, it is no longer about money but loss of quality of lifd very young! I shudder 2 think of all those who died years ago, never knowing WHY THEY DIED SO YOUNG. Why has no one ever studied the effects on the brain and other vital organs from people like them-BIG BUSINESS? I have had 2 smoke pot just 2 B able a fight off some of the pain I have been in 4 over 13 yrs and, believe me, it has never caused the problems that Class II drugs do!

    November 16, 2010 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. A Clear Mind Leads to a Better Life

    Alcohol, cigarettes and drugs damage lives and kill people...have you ever had to go to a hospital because someone overdosed on heroin, because they started with marijuana and addiction led to poor judgement, meth and then heroin? I have. Ever had to go to a funeral because someone a kid was killed by a drunk driver? I have. Ever spend every day for months trying to comfort someone dying of cancer? I have. Ever been homeless because your parents were alcoholics? I have. Ever had someone you care about and trust steal your money to feed their addiction? I have. Ever cried and begged someone to stop and they promised they would but couldn't? I have. Ever have to go to the hospital because someone you loved attempted suicide while on alcohol and drugs? I have. None of these things would have happened without alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs.

    November 16, 2010 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rebecca

      I am sorry your life has been so hard,i don't smoke pot but i know a lot of people that do and if pot was legel it would not be a gate way drug.

      November 16, 2010 at 13:38 | Report abuse |
    • FrankG

      So what's the solution? Put drug users in prison so that when they are released they cannot get a job, student loan, housing, and have to push their drugs for a living? As long as drugs have the stigma of illegallity people will avoid asking for assistance and will continue to hid their use. We need more pro-people than anti-drug concideration.

      November 16, 2010 at 16:55 | Report abuse |
  38. Dalton

    Well i am a teenager and i smoke cannabis everyday. I have straight A's, my social behavior is well above average, and my "Cognitive flexibility" surpasses most of my peers. The things that influence teens now a days are other teens. Teach kids to make their own decisions.

    November 16, 2010 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. CleanLiving87

    Interesting information. This proves why teen substance abuse rates are high. It is highly important to educate adolescents and really inject to their minds the effects of drug/alcohol abuse to prevent abuse form happening. More related articles here: http://bit.ly/cBPdQx

    November 16, 2010 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jackie

      Are you being sarcastic?

      November 16, 2010 at 19:28 | Report abuse |
  40. MalibooooooooooooooCureAll

    Hi I wrote a book that saved my son's life from the evils of mary jane and other substances........BUY MY BOOK ....
    If my commercial runs enough will you buy my book?

    November 16, 2010 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Free the Leaf

    dubious studies aside, 99% of cannabis users are functional members of society.

    http://www.facebook.com/free.the.leaf

    November 16, 2010 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Julia

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.