Just days after D.A.R.E. (accidentally?) endorsed the continued widespread legalization of recreational marijuana, the findings of a new study are released confirming what most of us already knew: weed, even chronic use during your adolescence, has no negative effects on your psychological or physical health. The study, headed by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Rutgers University, offers the lifestyle-affirming conclusion that "chronic marijuana use by teenage boys does not appear to be linked to later physical or mental health issues such as depression, psychotic symptoms, or asthma."
Published by the American Psychological Association, the study's initial research began as an "offshoot" of the Pittsburgh Youth Study, which started tracking 14-year-old male students in Pittsburgh in the late 1980s. "What we found was a little surprising," says lead researcher Jordan Bechtold, a psychology research fellow at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "There were no differences in any of the mental or physical health outcomes that we measured regardless of the amount or frequency of marijuana used during adolescence."
As weed continues its victorious campaign of legalization and education across the United States with a long history of scientific proof in tow, the plant's staunch opposition in less-than-enlightened areas of the country is possibly contributing to the very real problem of so-called synthetic marijuana. Produced as a way to get around the decades-behind laws in certain regions, synthetic marijuana's ever-changing chemical structure is prone to a lack of oversight and a relatively unpredictable user experience. Stick to the real thing, everyone.