Study Finds Signs of Brain Changes in Pot Smokers

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  Study Finds Signs of Brain Changes in Pot Smokers

Posted by CN Staff on April 16, 2014 at 06:07:20 PT
By  Malcolm Ritter, The Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press 

New York -- A small study of casual marijuana smokers has turned up evidence of changes in the brain, a possible sign of trouble ahead, researchers say. The young adults who volunteered for the study were not dependent on pot, nor did they show any marijuana-related problems."What we think we are seeing here is a very early indication of what becomes a problem later on with prolonged use," things like lack of focus and impaired judgment, said Dr. Hans Breiter, a study author.
Longer-term studies will be needed to see if such brain changes cause any symptoms over time, said Breiter, of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital.Previous studies have shown mixed results in looking for brain changes from marijuana use, perhaps because of differences in the techniques used, he and others noted in Wednesday's issue of the Journal of Neurosciences.The study is among the first to focus on possible brain effects in recreational pot smokers, said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The federal agency helped pay for the work. She called the work important but preliminary.The 20 pot users in the study, ages 18 to 25, said they smoked marijuana an average of about four days a week, for an average total of about 11 joints. Half of them smoked fewer than six joints a week. Researchers scanned their brains and compared the results to those of 20 non-users who were matched for age, sex and other traits.The results showed differences in two brain areas associated with emotion and motivation — the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens. Users showed higher density than non-users, as well as differences in shape of those areas. Both differences were more pronounced in those who reported smoking more marijuana.Volkow said larger studies are needed to explore whether casual to moderate marijuana use really does cause anatomical brain changes, and if so, whether that leads to any impairment.The current work doesn't determine whether casual to moderate marijuana use is harmful to the brain, she said.Murat Yucel of Monash University in Australia, who has studied the brains of marijuana users but didn't participate in the new study, said in an email that the new results suggest "the effects of marijuana can occur much earlier than previously thought." Some of the effect may depend on a person's age when marijuana use starts, he said.Another brain researcher, Krista Lisdahl of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said her own work has found similar results. "I think the clear message is we see brain alterations before you develop dependence," she said.AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner in Chicago contributed to this report.Source: Associated Press (Wire) Author: Malcolm Ritter, Associated PressPublished:  April 16, 2014Copyright: 2014 The Associated PressCannabisNews  -- Cannabis  Archives 

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Comment #23 posted by afterburner on April 19, 2014 at 15:17:09 PT
The Prohibitionist Approach Is Critical Parent 
Transactional Analysis overbearing critical prohibitionists create their own rebel children. The Prohibitionists have been so strident that they are reaping a hailstorm of opposition.
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Comment #22 posted by Richard Zuckerman on April 18, 2014 at 14:00:10 PT:
Variables involved; Safer than alcohol, though!!
What was the nutritional status of the study participants? Had they been eating junk food or had any other bad life practices which may have been a contributing causation?Its still safer than alcohol! I heard a news story of somebody who smoke pot then jumped off of a tall building. This person may have been predisposed to engage in the bad behavior!!A hearing has been scheduled for April 24th, 2014, 1 P.M., at the Tucson V.A. Hospital ("V.A. Health Care System"), by the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs, Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations, on Veterans' access to mental health services. I have sent a letter to ever Subcommittee member asking them to phase in naturopathic medicine because malnutrition causes "mental illness" and violence, e.g., the study conclusions from Ohio State University, posted on Yahoo! news, about three days ago, reporting low blood sugar level causes marital discord. Cannabis "Marijuana" is only one of the many useful medicinal herbs, but it is one, and I've been on, and federal lawmakers' websites asking for Cannabis "Marijuana" to be rescheduled out of Schedule 1.As I've mentioned on this website about five years ago, I mailed a threat to a federal judge over the pot laws, mea culpa, from the New Jersey law used to deny a permit to purchase a firearm after having been convicted of possession of less than 25 grams of Cannabis "Marijuana", Zuckerman v. State Of New Jersey, et al., Civil number 87-2390 (DRD), D.N.J. (Newark). The federal judge issued an 89 page unpublished opinion holding only the legislature can strike down the gun law and "Marijuana" law, the individual citizen does not have a federally protected 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, there was no federal constitutional violation which would deserve expungement of the N.J. Municipal Court convictions for under 25 grams Marijuana possession, and the lawsuit was filed too late Wilson v. Garcia (U.S. Sup. Ct.). I was arrested for the mail threat, U.S. v. Richard Paul Zuckerman, Indictment 89-53 (Clarkson S. Fisher, Senior District Judge), D.N.J. (Trenton), railroaded ("send away") for psychiatric evaluation to stand trial, ostensibly under 18 U.S.C. Section 4241.(a), which only takes "reasonable belief", afterwards railroaded for psychiatric "treatment" to stand trial, under 18 U.S.C. Section 4241.(d), which only takes "preponderance of the evidence", afterwards issued a Certificate of Recovery by Butner F.C.I. Warden, and this first federal indictment was dismissed on or around March 30, 1990. After the first indictment was dismissed, I completed New York University Paralegal Program. I then travelled down to Florida to try to get a Paralegal job. While down in Florida, I filled out firearms purchase forms, answered that I have never been adjudicated mentally defective or committed to a mental institution, while Addington v. Texas, supra, was in my mind. Addington v. Texas held that in light of the "fallability of psychiatric diagnoses" and commitment to a mental institution is a "massive curtailment of liberty", the old "preponderance of the evidence" standard is unconstitutional and raised the burden of proof required for a civil commitment to "clear and convincing evidence", as I learned about this in a Constitutional Law class during my undergraduate years at Kean College Of New Jersey, about four years before having filled out the firearms purchase forms. A published federal appeals decision in U.S. v. Isaacs, dated around 1978 reversed a conviction for making false statements on firearms purchase forms because a double-meaning word cannot satisfy a prosecutor's burden of proof [I had not known about U.S. v. Isaacs at the time of filing out the firearms purchase forams]. The dangerousness of the alleged mentally incompetent criminal defendant is not relevant to the determination of whether the defendant is mentally incompetent. U.S. v. Shawar, 865 F.2d 856, 861-863 (7th Cir. 1989). The late D.C. Circuit Judge David L. Bazelon, author of the Durham Insanity defense case opinion, wrote a book before his death, entitled QUESTIONING AUTHORITY, copyright 1989, New York University Press (which I purchased and read during my attendance at N.Y.U. for Paralegal Studies), has a chapter entitled The Soviet Parallel, wherein he implies forensic psychiatry in this country is misused for political purposes just as much as Russian Psychiatrists. He didn't mention his comment from U.S. v. Wright, 627 F.2d 1300, 1311 (D.C. Cir. Bazelon 1980): "We know the danger of a Big Brother state that treats its critics as mentally ill." One medical journal article I dug out from a medical school library in Newark, N.J., says after the U.S. Supreme Court raised the burden of proof in civil commitment cases from their opinion in Addington v. Texas, supra, the government reacted by arresting the offender and the judges railroaded the criminal defendant for "treatment" of the "mental illness" under the guise they were incompetent to stand trial, especially when there was want of proof in the criminal case. I cited this medical article (and others) in my lawsuit dated around 1990 filed in the Newark Federal Courthouse Clerk's Office. The mental health "experts" whom devise these Diagnostic And Statistical Manual editions classifying "mental illness" conditions have had a personal financial interest in the pharmaceutical industry (which had begun during Adolph Hitler's days with the company putting out Bayer aspirin, and American pilots had been ordered not to bomb certain parts of Germany during that time, which corroborates the claim by the U.S. Dept. of Justice Prosecutor John Loftus, in his book entitled "The Secret War Against The Jews", about forty years old, that it was Connecticut U.S. Senator Prescott, George Herbert Walker, and Rockefeller, were primarily responsible for arranging the funding of Adolph Hiter in WW2. Yet, Americans continue voting for the Bush Family as public office holders!!! Jeb Bush is next!!The District Attorney in St. Petersburg, Florida, issued an Information, and the County Sheriff issued an arrest warrant for me. The U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Michael Chertoff, who is a direct decendant of the founder of the Israeli Mossad, re-indicted me on the mail threat charge, U.S. v. Richard Paul Zuckerman, Indictment number 91-108 (Nicholas H. Politan), D.N.J. (Newark). The Criminal Justice Act lawyer they gave me refused to do anything. I submitted motion to proceed in pro se, in pro per. Trial court judge granted this motion. Trial judge Politan denied my pre-trial pro se motion for change of venue, judge disqualification. I submitted a pro se motion to dismiss this second indictment on the grounds it is a bad faith prosecution, in that the decision to prosecute may not be based on the suspect's exercise of protected rights, their decision to re-indict was intended to discourage, punish, prevent, my exercise of a right to keep and bear arms. The trial prosecutor responded with a letter dated June 14, 1991, asserting the individual citizen does not have a protected constitutional right to keep and bear arms, that in light of my "unstable psychiatric condition" efforts to keep guns out of my hands is a legitimate law enforcement objective. Trial court judge Politan denied the motion to dismiss. I was taken through trial in the same federal courthouse where the victim judge works. A law clerk present inside the Judge's Chambers at the time the mail threat was received testified security precautions were taken as a result of the mail threat. There's more to this story. My public library computer time is running out.
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on April 17, 2014 at 10:03:46 PT

I love good news!
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Comment #19 posted by afterburner on April 17, 2014 at 07:54:47 PT

Good News on GMO Labelling
Organic Consumers Association Statement on GMO Labeling Law Victory in Vermont.
 Vermont Lawmakers Pass Country’s First No-Strings-Attached GMO Labeling Law. 
 Organic Consumers Association, April 16, 2014 victory will help improve the nation's food supply. Also, it will slow down or stop attempts to produce GMO cannabis.
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Comment #18 posted by The GCW on April 17, 2014 at 05:10:37 PT

"Remember this is not a Republic... it is a business." I never thought of it that way but it's a bull's eye.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on April 17, 2014 at 04:56:46 PT

That is how I feel about it too.
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Comment #16 posted by pijion on April 16, 2014 at 20:24:09 PT

Free the Mind (not good for business)
It will free the mind of corporate media control and that is what they don't want. It may sound far out but after 35 years of smoking it I can tell you, regular smokers are free thinkers and 90% of them will see beyond the mind control curtain. MJ makes you question things and that is bad news for this corporative business called U.S. of A. Remember this is not a Republic... it is a business.

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Comment #15 posted by Sam Adams on April 16, 2014 at 17:49:04 PT

proper response...
obviously all the scientists in this article are in favor of legalization! Legal cannabis with regulated sales is the way to prevent minors from using it. Just look at Holland, with a youth MJ usage rate that's 1/3rd the US rate, with similar adult usage rates in both countries.

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Comment #14 posted by The GCW on April 16, 2014 at 14:58:50 PT

Positive Changes.
"A small study of casual marijuana smokers has turned up evidence of changes in the brain"""Could changes be for the better? We have THC receptor sites in Our brains. When THC reaches those receptor sites are there positive reactions... I believe there is.If government spent 8 decades researching how cannabis is helpful, where would we be today?8 decades of lost opportunity. 
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Comment #13 posted by swazi-x on April 16, 2014 at 13:56:51 PT

Final Days
Liars in lab coats and Phd. behind their names are liars just the same.The professionals in this study all suffer from unrecognized ignorance - a debilitating, pernicious disease especially prevalent in otherwise highly-educated humans. Their formal education prevents them from self-doubt when faced with the unknown, so they make sh*t up or - as in this case - offer preliminary, sketchy, unproven assertions as medical fact.Worried about the adolescent brain? Let's see the studies you've done on exactly how Prozac, Zoloft, etc. effect the brains of grade school children prescribed these chemicals. Suicide, anyone?
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on April 16, 2014 at 12:54:59 PT

I know you are right but an honest test could be done the way I mentioned and it would show a correct conclusion. I know they don't want that.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on April 16, 2014 at 10:56:57 PT

Comment 6 FoM
Their really big lie is that they are trying to "Save the children". Therefore they are concentrating on the "Children". I bet you didn't realize that a twenty five year is a child. They are to these frankencreeps. Something about them believing that a person's brain is not totally matured and peaked out until they are twenty five or so, so these messed up, prohibition supported frankencreeps consider them "Children", well into their twenties.This isn't about facts. That's not what they are really after. It's about fear tactics and controlling people.Imagine. Irradiating perfectly healthy "Children" to see if they can find what they need to keep cannabis use criminal, even for adults or sick people.If cannabis is such a dangerous commodity... why not treat it like tobacco. Tobacco use is not criminal... yet it's use has decreased because of incessant "education" and clamor. That should work for cannabis. Tell people it sucks or is dangerous... but why arrest them, fine them, or generally make their lives a living hell? Why?Because these "Wiser than thous" scoundrels make a living off the criminal prohibition of cannabis .

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Comment #10 posted by afterburner on April 16, 2014 at 10:51:25 PT

Hope #4-5
Google "stealth genocide" to see who and what is behind these government-promoted activities.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on April 16, 2014 at 10:39:28 PT

I don't trust these pseudo-scientists.
They have an agenda. Big time. They've, these prohibition loving, cannabis hating types, lied so many, many times before. Remember the famous autopsy on the cannabis using eighteen year old killed in Vietnam? It was widely reported that his brain crumbled like ash when touched. It was on the news and in newspapers. Now I can find no reference to it. Remember that a "Respected" doctor told congress that cannabis could turn people into bats? Remember the scientists that smothered monkeys with smoke and said cannabis killed the monkeys?They expect us to trust them? My brain isn't deformed enough to fall for their strange science. They're monsters... radiating people looking for anything they can use against the loosening of their insane laws.When Scientists Sin
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Comment #8 posted by runruff on April 16, 2014 at 10:24:28 PT

I think I'm loosing it!
Volkow is right :>( I am in big trouble with my brain; sometimes I wake up in the morning and get stoned in bed. Next thing you know I can't find my cleanest pair of dirty socks. My shoes hurt without socks and that sucks! Sometimes I forget what it is I'm looking for but I start finding stuff I lost decades ago. I found one sock I used to use to apply shoe polish to my old boots that I wore out long ago, so I put it on. It was stiff down where the polish hardened but the rest off my foot felt fine, and then....? What was the question? 
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on April 16, 2014 at 09:21:05 PT

One More Thing
I wouldn't care if people had done substances or drank in their life just not during the study.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 16, 2014 at 09:10:08 PT

Study I Want To See
I would like to see a study of people from age 40 on up that only smoke marijuana, do not drink alcohol and do not take any mind altering prescription medicine and test them. They should be long time consumers of cannabis.Ask good common sense questions of these people. Test driving skills after an hour of last smoking. Even test their temperament by asking different questions. This would give us fair results. 
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on April 16, 2014 at 09:01:42 PT

These researchers lack conscience.
They do these ridiculously outrageous things to people for money. They are so greedy. They have to have the income of prohibition.How are they any different than the creep that aimed a microwave through his neighbors wall? They got permission? They told their victims they could be trusted? I disagree.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on April 16, 2014 at 08:53:30 PT

Fearful. Crude. Stupid. Foolish. Dangerous.
Agents of a prohibitive out of control government take healthy, normal people and bombard them with "Low level" RADIATION so they can, they hope, see if they can find something wrong with someone that has absolutely no sign of anything being wrong. That's not smart.And people.... please... don't let these monsters do that to you.No one needs to be penetrated by dangerous rays just to please an insane prohibitionist looking for imagined boogers.Oh my dear Lord.
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Comment #3 posted by Paulpot on April 16, 2014 at 08:18:29 PT:

Lies, Lies and More Damn Lies.
It's the usual suspects printing the obvious lies that no-one believes anymore.
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on April 16, 2014 at 07:14:22 PT

'Nuff said!
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 16, 2014 at 06:10:51 PT

Did any of these young people ever drink a beer or two? What brain changes occur in young people that start to consume legal alcohol at 18 to 21 years old?
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