Adults who started smoking marijuana regularly as teens remember fewer words as adults, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The research sampled 5,000 adults at ages 18 and 30 for 25 years, at which time 3,400 were still taking part. Among dope smokers, the loss of vocabulary was notable, but other areas of memory seemed unaffected.
The findings follow a study of 4,000 people in Australia and New Zealand showing that people who begin smoking weed daily before age 17 are eight times more likely to adopt harder drugs and seven times more likely to attempt suicide. Other studies (Trends Journal, Summer 2015) indicate that regular marijuana use beginning in the teen years costs a person an average of eight IQ points by age 40.
TRENDPOST: In states legalizing recreational marijuana use, teens have easier access to pot and smoke it more regularly. States wishing to avoid hosting future adult populations with limited intelligence, vocabularies and impulse control will need to invest heavily in public-health campaigns to curb adolescent use of this gateway drug.