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Marijuana Use, Mental Illness, and Developing Brains

April 6, 2022

As marijuana and cannabis laws ease across the country, more people and adolescents are using pot. While using or possessing cannabis in Texas is still illegal, use is definitely rising. But a big concern for many professionals is the link between marijuana use and violence, including domestic violence, and its effect on young people and their developing brains.

In one recent post, we discussed the possible connection between marijuana use and domestic violence, looking at the research of well-known journalist Alex Berenson and the book he wrote on the topic, Tell Your Children: The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence. Then, in another post, we touched on some of the other downsides of pot use, including mental illness and its effect on developing adolescent brains. Today, we’ll discuss the link between marijuana use, mental illness, and developmental issues in more depth.

Marijuana and Mental Illness

Journalist Alex Berenson’s book discusses the increasing evidence linking cannabis use and mental illness. While he noted that it’s difficult to track the rates of mental illness and marijuana use in the U.S., particularly those linked to psychosis, many studies note a correlation between the two. A 2017 National Academy of Medicine study found “cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses; the higher the use, the greater the risk…. Regular cannabis use is likely to increase the risk for developing social anxiety disorder.” Moreover, a study in 2018 showed that people who used marijuana in 2001 were more likely to be using opiates three years later, increasing other mental health risks.

Finally, Berenson’s book is a warning cry to parents of adolescents. In addition to the mental illness link, marijuana use seems to cause developmental issues in the brains of adolescents, affecting memory, attention, learning, and decision making. All these effects should make parents sit up and take notice. As access to marijuana increases in other states, parents would do well to have frank discussions with their teens about how marijuana may have long-term unintended consequences on their developing brains.

Hire an Experienced Texas Criminal Attorney

If you’re facing marijuana charges in the Weatherford area or other charges you believe may be related to drug use, you need the help of a skilled attorney as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense attorney, like attorney Kenneth Mullen, can help you get the best possible resolution for your case. Mr. Mullen has years of experience protecting the rights of his Texas clients facing drug charges. Find out if he can help you too. Call The Law Office of Kenneth W Mullen PC at (817) 406-9596 or contact us online.