What’s all this hoopla about cannabis and developing minds?

Giving the kids the day off school on 4/20 was hilarious. Every other person there was underaged. 

And with “weed canons”, free products, and friends born before 1999 — checking IDs was more about public relations than anything practical.

If you want to save the children get them out of state-funded “public” schools.

Defund the Universities.

Severely reduce the tax and regulatory burden of the state, demand the banks and the central bank cease engaging in monetary inflation, thereby returning a prosperous capital-based economy to the middle class, thereby creating the conditions where one parent doesn’t need to work.

But I digress, since the brain isn’t finished growing until age 25, the medical establishment feels young adults should be denied the principle of self-ownership (actually, they deny that universal principle to just about everyone in an unequal manner, but, again, I digress).

If cannabis promotes hippocampal neurogenesis, that is, brain growth in adulthood, then what’s all this hoopla about cannabis and developing minds? 

Studies show, if you consume cannabis before your brain is fully developed, your amygdala region may be smaller compared to non-consumers. Yet, your connections are supposedly stronger. As well, genetic and environment factors “that predispose us to using marijuana [may also] contribute to variations in our brain volumes.”

So it’s a cause and effect problem only further studies will solve. In the meantime, we can lay the blame squarely on the state for its century-long prohibition of the Lord’s herb. Without state coercion, we’d know far more about this medicine than we do now. 

But even with the limited knowledge we do have, it’s clear cannabis is, in fact, promoting neurogenesis, the process of growing new brain cells, something once thought to have ceased around age 25.

The brain is plastic, referring to its neuroplasticity, where it can reorganize itself by forming new connections between brain cells (neurons), even later in life.

Okay, that’s all well and good then, but won’t somebody please think of the pot-addicted children?

But here again, in the last couple decades, our definition of addiction has evolved from “compulsive use” to “compulsive use despite negative consequences.”

This is a major shift. And it shows. Last week, CBC had a public forum about young people and cannabis called “4:19.”

When Art Steinmann, Manager of School Age Children and Youth (SACY) and Substance Use Health Promotion at the Vancouver School Board, was asked about a young person “addicted to pot,” he answered:

“Does the young person think there’s a problem? Do they feel they have any concern about it? Because if they don’t, it’s hard to do too much.”

If we can discover a sensible definition of addiction, then a sensible approach to cannabis can’t be far behind.

I get it. Legalization is all new. No one is sure how this will all play out. But, reasonably assuming the sky doesn’t fall, I think you’ll find alcohol and opioids remain the largest substance-related issues in Canada. 

There is a multitude of things we can do right now to better the life of Canada’s teens and young adults. Unnecessary restrictions on the cannabis industry are not one of them.