As support for legalization grows, perceptions around the danger s of marijuana are dwindling. According to the Huffington Post, 66% of Americans between 18 and 29 now support the legalization of marijuana. That is a ten point increase since 2012. This rising trend has caused teens to see the drug as less dangerous. However, new scientific research indicates that marijuana isn’t as “safe” as activists would lead you to believe. Similar to the effects of alcohol, researchers have found that marijuana usage, during youth development, can cause life-long damage to the part of the brain that controls memory and reasoning.
“We see that adolescents are at a very vulnerable stage neurodevelopmentally,” said lead researcher Matthew Smith of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “And if you throw stuff into the brain that’s not supposed to be there, there are long-term implications for their development.”