Supporters of Proposition 1 party as results come in Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 in Detroit, Mich.

Kirthmon F. Dozier /Detroit Free Press via USA Today Network

Recreational marijuana use impacts teens' emotional growth, study says

January 28, 2019 - 3:00 am

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — There is growing momentum for the legalization of recreational marijuana throughout the country, despite the fact that there are major concerns from a medical perspective.   

Some studies have shown some of the benefits of the use of medical marijuana in certain conditions, but the wide variety of studies have shown the dangers of recreational use. 

The most recent comes from a European study, which looked at the brains of 14-year-old girls and boys. It found that teens who reported using recreational marijuana just once or twice showed an increased volume on MRI images in numerous brain regions involved in processing emotions, learning, and forming memories. 

The researchers are concerned because they believe if even minimal use can impact the gray matter of the brain, more sustained use can cause lifelong damage. 

Thus far, 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use. Politicians in both New York and New Jersey are pushing for its legalization.