Marijuana use linked to poorer school performance
Studies suggest that adults who smoke the drug regularly during adolescence exhibit reduced neural connectivity
Teenagers who regularly indulge in smoking marijuana may be less likely to get good grades in school as well as have decreased academic aspirations, according to a new study.
The findings showed that when teenagers started using marijuana at least once a month, they were about four times more likely to skip class, two-to-four times less likely to complete their homework and value getting good grades, and about half as likely to achieve high grades, than when they had never used the drug.
"The study found that the more frequently students started using the drug, the greater their risk of poor school performance and engagement," said lead author Karen Patte, post-doctoral student at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
The daily marijuana smokers revealed that their likelihood of pursuing university was about 50 per cent lower than when they had never used the drug.
The human brain actively develops until a person reaches his or her early twenties.
Previous studies have suggested that adults who smoked the drug regularly during adolescence exhibit reduced neural connectivity in regions responsible for memory, learning and inhibitions, the researchers said in the paper published in the Journal of School Health.
"The findings support the importance of preventing and delaying the initiation of marijuana use among adolescents," noted Scott Leatherdale, Professor at the University of Waterloo.
"With marijuana legalisation on the horizon, it's critical we understand these risks in order to promote successful transitions into adulthood for our youth," Leatherdale added.