Concerns surrounding marijuana use among adolescents have long been a hurdle for legalization advocates, given that the brains of children are developing at a rapid rate. But a new study suggests that cannabis may not pose much long-term risk on brain function at all.

The study, to be published in next month’s issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence and conducted by researchers at Arizona State University, “tested associations between prospectively-assessed trajectories of adolescent cannabis use and adult brain structure in a sample of boys followed to adulthood.” In an effort to test the hypothesis that adolescent marijuana users demonstrate structural alterations to their brains in adulthood, the researchers analyzed self-reported cannabis use among boys aged 13-19 in Pittsburgh.

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