Marijuana, which is commonly called weed, is readily available in 20 American states and the District of Columbia. The state governments in these states have passed laws that allow shops to sell marijuana. Concerned parents and residents of these states think that the easy availability of weed in these states is responsible for the increasing use of marijuana among teenagers.
Health officials in these states have raised an alarm over the growing number of teenagers smoking weed. They say that there is enough evidence to suggest that weed can stunt growth in teenagers. They are of the opinion that the brains of these teens are in the developing stage and they can be easily affected by changes caused by marijuana after inhalation and prolonged use.
A heated debate has started among experts in these states whether heavy weed use can stunt growth. Does smoking weed stunt your growth and cause lasting permanent damage to the brain? Doctors say that marijuana can cause disruption the proper development of white matter, which help brain parts communicate with one another.
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Studies have proved that smoking weed causes brain damage, which could be permanent. Teenagers who use marijuana for a long time can lose the power of thinking and learning. Their memory can also be impaired. The most frightening thing is that they cannot regain their lost mental powers, even if they give up smoking weed. A weed smoker can also develop lung problems. Regular use of the drug can produce cough and phlegm and also disturb the heart rate. The increase in heart rate can cause a heart attack.
A group of scientists at Northwestern University conducted a study to know the alteration caused in the brain by marijuana use in teenagers. They took brain scans of teenagers who smoked weed daily for three years and compared it with other young brains. They found visible differences in structures of the brains of these two group of people.
The annual survey Monitoring the Future, which is conducted each year to know the behavior or attitude of American schools and college students, revealed an alarming trend among school students. The survey said that 12 percent of 8th graders and 36 percent seniors in public and private schools have smoked weed. The disturbing news is that high school seniors do not consider the use of marijuana harmful.
Researchers have noticed another alarming trend among marijuana smokers. They are using a high concentration of THC in it. They fear increased potency might increase car accidents and further lower the performance of students.
Dr. Sanjiv Kumra, the director of the division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, has expressed that the studies have proved that marijuana is not harmless. He feared more teenagers would use marijuana in the future.