I was amused by this article. It’s the type of thing that would feed some people’s fears. “OMG! Pot is destroying our children’s minds! The fear-mongering of the Just Say No ads was right! That really is how your brain looks on drugs!”
Yeah, yeah, yeah… well, everything effects the brain, especially the developing brain. The brain keeps developing even during the decade when most people go to college, start drinking heavily and start experimenting with drugs. Heck, your diet and environment effects your brain. Children who grow up poor (malnourishment and environmental pollution) grow up to have many physical and mental health problems (such as lowered IQ).
And you think illegal drugs are the main problem? Recent research shows that cigarettes and alcohol are more harmful than marijuana. Also, research shows that prescription drugs given to children (such as the popular Ritalin) can permanently alter their brain functioning. The prescribing of drugs to children has increased massively in recent years. There are more kids taking legal drugs than illegal drugs (although they may be taking legal drugs that are prescribed to others which is the biggest drug problem in schools).
I don’t think kids should be smoking pot, but kids shouldn’t be doing many things (whether by their own choice or by the choice of adults). In the big picture, though, I don’t think marijuana comes even close to being one of the bigger issues to worry about.