National Institute of Drug Abuse Director Says No Evidence Occasional Marijuana Use is Harmful

The director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is traditionally very anti-marijuana, says there’s no evidence that occasional marijuana use by adults has any harmful effects.

“There’s no evidence to my knowledge that occasional marijuana use has harmful effects”, said Nora Volkow in an interview with the political outlet FiveThirtyEight. “I don’t know of any scientific evidence of that,” Volkow said. “I don’t think it has been evaluated. We need to test it.”

Volkow also stated that he’s surprised that new research has found that those who consume marijuana have, on average, a lower body mass index (BMI).

“BMI is lower in marijuana users, and that was very surprising, and yet we know that high BMI, particularly the older you get, can have negative effects. This is why we need to study it.”

That said, Volkow wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows when it came to her opinion on marijuana, stating that she is concerned about youth marijuana use, and concerned about the brain impacts of adults who use marijuana every day.

That said, Volkow may be the most open to marijuana then any previous NIDA director. In August she acknowledged that legalization has not let to youth marijuana use, which is a common argument used by those who oppose marijuana reform.

Volkow has also been open to stopping arresting people for drug use, saying in an op-ed from a few months back that “When we penalize people who use drugs because of an addiction, we suggest that their use is a character flaw rather than a medical condition. And when we incarcerate addicted individuals, we decrease their access to treatment and exacerbate the personal and societal consequences of their substance use.”

1 comment

    • Otto on December 2, 2021 at 3:16 am
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