Pubdate: Thu, 20 Feb 2014
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Copyright: 2014 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Author: Tom Gentry


Regarding the letter "View cannabis legalization as a moral issue" (Feb. 14):

I personally do not find anything of value from the legalization of 
marijuana for recreational purposes. Marijuana use is associated with 
working memory impairment. Researchers at Northwestern University in 
Illinois did MRI brain scans of young adults who had smoked pot daily 
in their teens but then abstained for at least two years. The scans 
showed changes in the areas responsible for working memory, which 
appeared to shrink and collapse inward compared with the brains of 
subjects who had not used marijuana. The marijuana users also did 
worse on memory tests, and the abnormalities in their brain scans 
were similar to those of people with schizophrenia, the authors concluded.

A poor working memory predicts poor academic performance and everyday 
functioning. These results would seem to impede a person's ability, 
to go to college, get a job, rent an apartment and stay out of 
prison. To quote John Payne, executive director for Show-Me Cannabis, 
"I find that to be immoral."

Tom Gentry   Shrewsbury
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