EVI Editor Note: Canada legalized cannabis on October 18, 2018.
Cannabis use was tied to concurrent and lasting changes in adolescent cognitive functions, according to a study that tracked Canadian high school students.
“The question has been highly controversial, because of concern that legalization will place more cannabis in the hands of more juvenile users,” Moffitt told MedPage Today.
While adolescent use of cannabis and alcohol was tied to generally lower performance in all cognitive domains, “of particular concern was the finding that cannabis use was associated with lasting effects on a measure of inhibitory control, which is a risk factor for other addictive behaviors, and might explain why early onset cannabis use is a risk factor for other addictions,” said Patricia Conrod, PhD, of the University of Montreal CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center in a statement.
"Skeptics argue that cannabis appears alongside low mental ability merely because it is low-ability teens who are the most keen to take up cannabis use in this generation. This study found some evidence of that, but by tracking teens annually for several years and testing their mental skills over and over, the study also revealed that key mental abilities declined over time as students used cannabis for more years."