Top Federal Drug Official Discusses Marijuana Benefits And Risks At Congressional Hearing

Top Federal Drug Official Discusses Marijuana Benefits And Risks At Congressional Hearing

The head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) discussed the potential benefits and risks of marijuana at a congressional hearing on Wednesday. First, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) asked for an update on NIDA’s research into health effects associated with cannabis consumption. He added that he’s glad marijuana banking issues have yet to be resolved because it “buys us some time to actually educate the American public about how dangerous it can be.” The anti-cannabis congressman also acknowledged at the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing that prohibition won’t prevent people from accessing banned products, stating that “whether it’s e-cigarettes or marijuana, you can make it illegal but young people are going to use it.” NIDA Director Nora Volkow said that this is “an area where there’s been major changes in the perception of the American public that we have a drug that is benign and, as a result of that, we’re seeing a very dramatic increase in the number of people that are consuming marijuana.” She said the existing research indicates that adolescents who use marijuana “are much more likely to show disruptions in terms of structure and function of the brain that appears to be associated with cognitive impairments.” However, she acknowledged that those studies are subject to criticism because they look at subjects retrospectively. NIDA is funding research to take a proactive approach to the issue “to address specifically that question objectively in ways that cannot be challenged.” Volkow…

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Source : MJ moment
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