MGH and McLean researchers on marijuana legalization

Posted: January 19th, 2013

A. Edin Evins, MD, Director of Center for Addiction Medicine at MGH and Staci Gruber, PhD, Director of the Cognitive and Clinical Neuroimaging Core at McLean Hospital, were quoted in a recent New York Times article concerning recent changes in the legality of marijuana.

Speaking about the potential risks involved in Washington and Colorado's recent legalization of marijuana for public use, Dr. Evins warned that “Before we unleash the powers of the marketplace to woo people to use this addictive substance, we need to better understand who is at risk. Once moneyed interests are involved, this trend will be difficult to reverse."

Dr. Gruber addressed the dangers of marijuana use in teens and young adults, whose brains are still developing. “The frontal cortex is the last part of the brain to come online, and the most important,” said Dr. Gruber. “Early exposure perhaps changes the trajectory of brain development, such that ability to perform complex executive function tasks is compromised.”

The full story, which appeared in the January 8, 2013 edition of the NY Times, is available here.