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Brain & Behavior Roundup

August 15, 2014

Marijuana may adversely affect brain development in young users.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Protecting kids’ brains from marijuana. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

As marijuana use becomes more acceptable, some psychologists are concerned about the effects on young people, whose rapidly developing brains are especially sensitive to its effects. At the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, researchers pointed to studies that show young people using the drug lose an average of 6 IQ points by adulthood. They recommend regulating varieties of marijuana by potency, and policies limiting young people’s access to the drug.

In other news from the psychology conference, Empire College researcher Miriam Tatzel reports that happiness is good for the environment: she says well-adjusted, emotionally secure people tend to engage in environmentally friendly activities, like chatting with friends, or enjoying a hobby, and are less likely to burn gas driving around buying excessive material goods that soon end up in landfills. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.