|While Canadian politicians admit to smoking marijuana anywhere from once in a while to smoking copious amounts, researchers in Montreal and New York claim the substance is "particularly harmful" to teenage brains. (Nick Adams/REUTERS) |
MONTREAL — While Canadian politicians flippantly admit to smoking up and mull changes to the country's marijuana laws, researchers in Montreal and New York warn pot can be particularly harmful to teenage brains.
The brain develops quickly during adolescence, making teenagers particularly vulnerable to rare marijuana addiction and other long-term negative effects, according to researchers at University of Montreal and New York's Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
The research, which will be published in the journal Neuropharmacology, analyzed 120 studies that looked into links between cannabis use and teenage brains.
However, researchers noted there are few scientific studies that have investigated the long-term impacts of cannabis use among teens.
The study's results come as Canadian politicians are publicly discussing changes to the country's marijuana laws, under which cannabis possession is currently a criminal offense.
Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau recently stated marijuana should be legalized and taxed in order for the drug to be better kept away from children.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper told reporters Thursday that he was "looking carefully" at the proposal by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police to give officers the ability to ticket people possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana.
An April 2013 UNICEF study revealed that Canadian young people had the highest rate of cannabis use among youth in rich countries, at 28%.
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