Twenty-five to get high? Some doctors want to change the age to buy weed

Twenty-five to get high? Some doctors want to change the age to buy weed

VicesJuly 23, 2019 By Reilly Capps

Here's a new quarter-life crisis. 

Some doctors want states legalizing weed to set the age at a 25. 

In all ten states with legal pot, you have to be 21 to buy, same as alcohol. In Canada, where weed is legal nationwide, the age is 18 or 19, depending on the province. 

But in op-eds and public hearings and online statements, doctors have been saying that places now legalizing weed should set the bar higher. 

The doctors argue pot wonks out the kiddo brain, dumbing-up the mini-humans who smoke it, and shouldn't be for those in their early 20s. 

A group of doctors in Canada said in a public hearing that weed should be for older adults. In an op-ed in the New York Times, a couple very old doctors agreed, arguing for a new age limit of 25. And the prominent American Society of Addiction Medicine said folks under 25 shouldn't be sold pot. 

"While society may consider a 21-year-old to be an adult, the brain is still developing at that age," doctors Kenneth L. Davis and Mary Jeanne Kreek wrote in the Times. "States that legalize marijuana should set a minimum age of no younger than 25."  

Pot is a relatively safe drug, far safer than alcohol. 

But the authors of the New York Times article said pot jangles up info as it flows between neurons in teens, lowering I.Q.'s. The doctors in Canada said pot demylizes the neurons of the frontal lobes of youngsters, stripping off the outer coating like rubber off an electrical wire. 

The science is mixed on pot and young folks. Studies do correlate stoned youngsters with, for one, lower rates of college graduation

But there's a lot of uncertainty. No one knows, for example, whether correlation equals causation. Like, which comes first — do you drop out of college and smoke pot or smoke pot and drop out of college — and does pot maybe just help you realize many degrees are not worth the debt and maybe what you really want to do is fucking dance.

And while some tests do show early pot use has an effect on things like working memory, verbal memory and intelligence, but I've yet to see a study that measures things like creativity or musical ability. The weedheads in high school aren't always the SAT champions, but their bands tend to be better. 

Also, the New York Times op-ed that's gotten the most attention was called "misleading" by a former Director of Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as it "selectively choses research publications that bolster the notion that marijuana causes brain damage." 

Still, folks are hearing these docs' messages of a 25 year old age rule, from a rehab director in Vegas to an educator in Montrose, Colorado to an international substance abuse group, and they're supporting raising the legal age. 

It seems possible that movements could spread. About 20 states have upped the age for cigarettes to 21, including New York and Ohio this week, as have hundreds of communities

All the laws are basically the same for you in America once you're 21, except you can't run for congress until you're 25 or president until you're 35. 

Will weed be another exception?