It is dangerous when someone as influential as the president makes a remark such as "pot smoking is probably no more dangerous than drinking alcohol."
Well, maybe. But reports on CNN about a 2012 study say regular use by teenagers consistently showed a decrease in IQ of an average of eight points between the ages of 13 and 38.
Regular use was defined as smoking marijuana four or more times per week. The same deficit was not found in people who started using pot as adults.
The study appeared in August 2012 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The CNN report on the study can be found at: www.cnn.com/2012/ 08/27/health/health-teen-pot/index.html.
Some of the researchers quoted in the story theorized that adolescents are vulnerable because their brains are still growing.
"In the developing brain, neurons are growing and changing, synapses are forming," said Dr. Jeffrey Brosco of the University of Miami. "When there's a lot of change in any part of the body, particularly the brain, that usually means it's more vulnerable to environmental influences."
Now, we're not sure that the president wasn't technically correct when he said pot isn't any more dangerous than alcohol. We're pretty sure drinking four days a week wouldn't help a teenager's brain either.
But before a bunch of states rush out and legalize recreational use of marijuana for adults like Colorado has, it ought to be realized that with more pot around, more will fall into teenage hands.
And, apparently, that's just not good for our collective intelligence.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.