A Response to Lancet Psychiatry Study: The Reality of Cannabis Abuse in Teens

MistyMountain

The Washington Post published an article today indicating that new research from The Lancet Psychiatry, a British journal of health research, suggests that teenages who use marijuana daily are 60% less likely to finish highschool than those whom never use. It has been met with some warranted contention. I could criticise the article’s assumed causality; the rationalization that troubled kids are more likely to self-medicate. I could attack it for small sample size in a limited geographical scope. I could obfuscate its accusatory tone through allegations of political agenda. I could question the relevance of marijuana over alcohol or other substances. I could suggest that more moderate consumption might not have the same drastic effects.

As advocates for normalization, regulation, and ultimately legalization, this truth can be hard to admit: Cannabis abuse is real.

At the core of the argument, however, lies a simple truth. As advocates for normalization, regulation, and ultimately legalization, this truth can be hard to admit: Cannabis abuse is real. Around 9% of the Cannabis-consuming population misuses this drug, with grave social and individual ramifications.

Further, the subset of this population who are under 20 may be compromising their brain’s ability to develop. I have seen the therapeutic power of Cannabis first hand, and I passionately believe that it has a place in society being researched alongside drugs we prescribe every day. Notwithstanding: Cannabis is a powerful drug, it has risks, and it must be respected. When it comes to use outside of a doctor's supervision, it is definitely not for kids.