General Article Does smoking 'dope' turn you into one?

Topic Selected: Cannabis
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‘Adolescents who are regular users of cannabis are at risk of permanent damage to their intelligence, attention span and memory,’ reported The Guardian.

The news was based on an impressive and wide-ranging study of 1,037 New Zealanders who were followed from birth up to the age of 38.

Researchers aimed to investigate the association between persistent cannabis use and mental function over a 20-year period, and to see whether greater decline was seen among those who started using cannabis in their teens. They found that those who did and then carried on using cannabis into later life experienced a small drop in IQ of a few points. They also scored less than non-cannabis smokers in other tests of mental function, such as mental arithmetic.

Interestingly, other studies have not found a similar drop in IQ or mental function in people who begin smoking cannabis as an adult. One possible theory to explain this is smoking cannabis as a teen could disrupt the development of the brain (th...

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