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Letters
May 22/29, 2002

Does Marijuana Use Cause Long-term Cognitive Deficits?—Reply

Author Affiliations
 

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;287(20):2652-2654. doi:10.1001/jama.287.20.2652

In Reply: Dr Gunderson and colleagues refer to controlled laboratory studies that found minimal cognitive deficits in experienced users after acute marijuana administration. These findings support our interpretation that the observed long-term effects were unlikely to be confounded by residual effects of recent cannabis use. Our study was designed specifically to investigate chronic effects, with years of use as our variable of interest. By requiring several hours abstinence prior to testing, we induced an unintoxicated cognitive state that long-term users typically operate in for substantial periods in their daily life. We showed that impairments were generally unrelated to withdrawal and recent use. We concluded that a probable causal relationship exists because we controlled for potential confounding factors.

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