But Mom and Dad;

Marijuana is
safe !

Even Uncle Sam said so!

View this email in your browser

Individualized Care in a Warm
and Supportive Environment



Dear Parents,


We are attending a university symposium   together with  about 100  participants.
The professor asks us:
1. How many of you would try something new without any clear and present danger?
Seventy five participants raise their hands.
2. How many of you would try something new with a small amount of clear and present danger?
Twenty  participants raise their hands.

3 How many of you would try something new, just for the thrill  of it, regardless of the presence of any clear and present danger.

Another five participants raise their hands

Our brains contain certain amounts of chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, whose concentration inside our brain help dictate how much pleasure we perceive, and whose concentrations are influenced by our life experiences.

G-d set up our brain this way, and to a significant extent, our experience of pain or pleasure via these chemicals will influence our actions, our journeys through life, our perseverance, and our accomplishments.
Neurotransmitters in their De Novo state,  pulse and vary with time in all of us, and even more so in the minds of adolescents.

Mind altering habitual drugs will change the quantity of these neurotransmitters in our brains, creating a habitual need for them.

Let's get back to our seminar:

These one hundred university students are attending So Happy It's Thursday ( S-H-I-T) night, a weekly party at their university where a few of the students may be smoking cigarettes, JUUL, marijuana or other habitual substances.
Remember, of those 100 students, only five of them are natural novelty seekers who would try anything, regardless of the consequences.
What the other ninety five students don't realize is that perhaps just attending that party, and smelling second hand smoke or other chemicals may alter their predispositions so that they too may try just about anything regardless of the consequences. They too may have become De Novo " Novelty Seekers."


Dr. Stephen Dewey of The Feinstein Institute of Northwell Health has spent the last thirty years studying the brains of addicts including those exposed or addicted to caffeine, alcohol, marijuana and other addictive substances. If you have the chance to attend one of his lectures, please take the opportunity to do so. His findings are quite astounding. Dr.Dewey presented Pediatric Grand Rounds at Long Island Jewish Hospital several years ago which I had the pleasure to attend. He also gives lectures at various regional high schools, so that students will have a better idea of just what they are getting  themselves into.

For those who are more interested in Dr Dewey's work,I have enclosed a link to a review of his work, published  in the Long Island Herald in 2015.

I strongly encourage you, at your leisure, to follow this link to better understand Dr. Dewey's work and the implications of exposure to these habit forming substances.

Friends, family and countrymen:

It is now 2019. What moved me to recall a lecture I heard several years ago?
Could it have something to do with the legalization of mind altering substances
in many of these United States.

Perhaps, but more so I would like to share with you some recent research

As published just this month  ( February, 2019)  in JAMA Psychiatry , researchers found that cannabis use during the teenage years was associated with a nearly 40 percent increased  risk of depression and a 50 percent increase in the risk of suicidal thoughts in adulthood.
The study attempted to control for and exclude from the study those with preexisting depression.
It did not indicate a definite causal relationship between marijuana ( pot) use during adolescence and subsequent depression and suicide; as theoretically those same populations which were more apt to become depressed or to commit suicide could have theoretically been at higher risk for use of marijuana as well.

Regardless, the numbers are staggering:
“Given the large number of adolescents who smoke cannabis, the risk in the population becomes very big,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, a professor and a psychiatrist at the McGill University Health Center in Montreal. “About 7 percent of depression is probably linked to the use of cannabis in adolescence, which translates into more than 400,000 cases.”

The study comes at a time when cannabis use continues to be high among teens. The latest data on adolescent use comes from the Monitoring the Future study, which says 14 percent of eighth graders, 32 percent of 10th graders and 43 percent of 12th graders report using cannabis at some point in their lives.

Dr. Antoine Douaihy hopes that the new study will alert Americans to the fact that marijuana is not the benign herb that many currently believe it is. And that’s especially true for adolescents, said Douaihy, an addiction medicine specialist and a professor of psychiatry and medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


Granted that cannabis use may cause future depression and suicidal thoughts.
What about changes on the gross pathology level.
Will our brains change on MRI if we smoke one or two joints.
The answer is a resounding

Y E S !    

Low  levels of marijuana use — as few as one or two times — may change the teen brain, according to a new study just published last month,
January 2019, in The Journal of Neuroscience

The study, which looked at the brains of 46 14-year-old girls and boys from Ireland, England, France and Germany, found that teenagers who reported using recreational marijuana just once or twice displayed increased volume on MRI images in numerous brain regions involved in emotion-related processing, learning and forming memories.


Let us now summarize:

1. Dr. Stephen Dewey's work showing changes in our brain function as shown on PET scans through his research at the Feinstein Institute of Northwell.
2. Significant increased incidence of depression and suicidal thoughts found in adults who had used marijuana as an adolescent. ( JAMA Psychiatry Feb 2019)
3. Changes macroscopically in the gray matter of persons who used marijuana, even just once or twice, casually. (The Journal of Neuroscience Jan 2019)

Ladies and Gentlemen: The evidence is in.








Doctor Nass and his staff remain committed to providing the highest level of pediatric care, combining expert training, the latest medical technologies and over 25 years of experience serving the community.

You can reach our office at (718)520-1070 for all of your pediatric needs.
Check us out at 

Your kind comments are always appreciated; please recommend us at

Howard Nass MD FAAP and staff

Copyright © 2019 Howard Nass MD FAAP Pediatric Office, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp