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Home » News & Views » Neuroimages: Science & Mental Health at a Glance » Marijuana & Child, Adolescent Development

Marijuana & Child, Adolescent Development

Dr. Christian Thurstone has summarized and sourced some key medical research findings concerning marijuana's impact on children from pregnancy through adolescence. He regularly presents this information and invites people with questions to reach him through this website, http://www.drthurstone.com/contact.
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Dr. Thurstone presented a truncated version of this slide set to a committee of the Denver City Council charged with gathering information about the implementation of Amendment 64, which Colorado voters approved in November 2012. Amendment 64 legalizes recreational marijuana use in Colorado. Dr. Thurstone's summary: - Marijuana legalization may result in some cost savings to the public. It also may result in some costly, unintended consequences. - Social costs historically exceed tax revenues generated from sales of alcohol and tobacco. For every $1 in state and federal taxes we collect on both substances, we spend $10. - The regulatory model of alcohol sales that has been shown to maximize revenue and minimize social costs is a state-run model. (Hahn et al, "American Journal of Prevention Medicine," 2012) - Most social costs related to marijuana use are shouldered by youth.
Marijuana use rates
Marijuana use rates
Of the 2.4 million Americans who use marijuana for the first time each year, almost 60 percent are under the age of 18. One in six young people who try marijuana becomes addicted to the substance.
Treatment for marijuana addiction
Treatment for marijuana addiction
Marijuana is the No. 1 reason why adolescents are admitted to substance abuse treatment in the United States. Marijuana is the No. 2 reason, behind alcohol, that adults are admitted to substance abuse treatment. Colorado has one of the highest rates of substance abuse treatment per capita in the nation.
Marijuana and emergency treatment
Marijuana and emergency treatment
Unfortunately, Colorado does not have longitudinal data on this question. There wasn't enough funding to collect this information in 2011 and 2012.
More addiction diagnosed
More addiction diagnosed
School expulsions
School expulsions
The Colorado Department of Education included all drugs in this data set. However, department officials reported that most drug-related expulsions reported since the 2008-09 academic year have been related to marijuana. The department commissioned a series of educational materials for teachers, parents and legislators to explain the harms of marijuana after drug-related expulsions spiked 45 percent. It is also worth noting that a 10-year low in drug-related suspensions and expulsions was replaced by a 10-year high in only one academic year.
Drugged driving on the rise
Drugged driving on the rise
Marijuana arrests on the decline
Marijuana arrests on the decline
Lesson from The Netherlands
Lesson from The Netherlands
Denver pot use growing
Denver pot use growing
Colorado teens tops in use
Colorado teens tops in use
One reason high school students outside Denver may report lower marijuana use is that more than 100 cities outside Denver banned dispensaries. Denver, on the other hand, has more than 200 dispensaries -- more than liquor stores or licensed pharmacies. Two key drivers of drug abuse in a community are accessibility and social acceptance of a substance.
Taxpayers on the hook
Taxpayers on the hook
Another example of how an industry privatizes profits and socializes costs.
Drug industries target kids
Drug industries target kids
The science of addiction and brain development is clear: adolescents are especially susceptible to addiction because they are in crucial phases of neuro maturation. Industries selling addictive substances have known this for decades -- which is why they target youth. They need to develop customers for life to stay in business.
Summary
Summary
Home » News & Views » Neuroimages: Science & Mental Health at a Glance » Marijuana Grow Operation Destroyed

Marijuana Grow Operation Destroyed

Local, state and federal authorities teamed July 15, 2012 to destroy a black-market marijuana grow operation outside Pueblo, Colo. Officials valued the growing fields -- which stretched across rugged terrain on privately owned property -- at a minimum of $11 million and said they were the work of a Mexican drug cartel.
Rugged Terrain
Home » News & Views » Neuroimages: Science & Mental Health at a Glance » How Marijuana Harms Adolescents

How Marijuana Harms Adolescents

Dr. Thurstone presented these slides during the Marijuana Prevention Summit attended by more than 100 people in Denver on July 31, 2012. If you have questions about this information, please contact him.
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Home » News & Views » Neuroimages: Science & Mental Health at a Glance » Commissioning U.S. Army Maj. Christian Thurstone

Commissioning U.S. Army Maj. Christian Thurstone

Dr. Christian Thurstone is the only psychiatrist in the United States scheduled to be admitted to our nation's military in 2012 to serve the increasingly dire mental-health-treatment needs of active and inactive military personnel. On July 19, 2012, he picked up another title: U.S. Army Major. He'll serve in the Army's 807th Medical Command -- and specifically in a unit focused on "combat stress reduction."
With Brian and Julia

Stay Motivated

Swedish artist Marcus Mårtenson spent a good deal of his childhood in the United States. Don't let his cartoonish imagery fool you: this series, "Stay Motivated," is an insightful look at serious problems of the mind, body, heart and soul that are often exacerbated by today's highly charged media and politics. These works, many purchased by private collectors, exhibited at the Angelika Knäpper Gallery in Stockholm April 12 - May 20, 2012.
Marcus Mårtenson and Dr. Chris Thurstone

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