Maybe Colorado Springs officers are right?
Although marijuana has been legal in Colorado Springs for a while, there are still those who are fighting against the legalization. Just recently, three sheriffs contested the legality and came under heavy fire from many Colorado residents. However, others are continuing to point out the harmful effects of marijuana on the brain and other areas of our bodies.
For example, a new study published last week in the journal Hippocampus finds that young adults who smoked cannabis frequently as teens performed 18 percent worse on memory tests than young adults who did not smoke. Further, the researchers discovered that the former smokers’ hippocampi were abnormally shaped.
The study looked at patients in their early 20s who smoked cannabis everyday for 2-3 years while they were ages 16 and 17. At the time of the hippocampus study, they had been off the drug for at least 2 years. All patients indicated previous to testing that had only used marijuana and did not abuse any other type of drugs.
Memory tests were performed on the subjects involving listening to a few stories for one minute. After a 20-30 minute period, the participants were asked to recall as much of the content of the stories as possible. Results showed that the participants who were habitual smokers scored lower than those who did not smoke marijuana.
Further, brain-mapping tools allowed the researchers to study the shape of each of the participant’s brains. Those individuals who smoked marijuana had abnormally shaped hippocampi, which interestingly, is the part of the brain that controls memory. Although the abnormality was sometimes small, it was still there when the participants had smoked marijuana.
The study indicates that the abnormality in the hippocampi could be linked to the poor memory in the administered tests. Research has been done on memory and the hippocampus separately, but this study by Hippocampus is one of the first studies that link the two.
Although more studies will need to be done to further confirm the link between marijuana, hippocampus shape, and memory, the three Colorado Springs sheriffs, along with many others, are relying upon evidence such as this to reverse the legalization of marijuana in Colorado.
Sources: gazette.com, Hippocampus