Marijuana Does Not Make You Stupid After All
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Marijuana Does Not Make You Stupid After All
Posted by CN Staff on January 18, 2016 at 14:57:20 PT
By Christopher Ingraham 
Source: Washington Post
USA -- You might have heard that smoking marijuana makes you stupid.If you grew up in the '80s or '90s, that was more or less the take-home message of countless anti-drug PSAs. In more recent years, it's a message we've heard — albeit in more nuanced form — from Republican candidates on the campaign trail and from marijuana opponents at the state-level.
The contemporary version of argument can be traced to a 2012 Duke University study, which found that persistent, heavy marijuana use through adolescence and young adulthood was associated with declines in IQ.Other researchers have since criticized that study's methods. A follow-up study in the same journal found that the original research failed to account for a number of confounding factors that could also affect cognitive development, such as cigarette and alcohol use, mental illness and socioeconomic status.Two new reports this month tackle the relationship between marijuana use and intelligence from two very different angles: One examines the life trajectories of 2,235 British teenagers between ages 8 and 16, and the other looks at the differences between American identical twin pairs in which one twin uses marijuana and the other does not.Despite vastly different methods, the studies reach the same conclusion: They found no evidence that adolescent marijuana use leads to a decline in intelligence.I wrote about the study of British teenagers before, when it was still a working paper. It has been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication, and its findings still stand: After adjusting for a range of confounding factors, such as maternal health, mental health and other substance use, the researchers found that "cannabis use by the age of 15 did not predict either lower teenage IQ scores or poorer educational performance. These findings therefore suggest that cannabis use at the modest levels used by this sample of teenagers is not by itself causally related to cognitive impairment."They did find, though, a distinct relationship between cigarette use and poor educational performance, which is in line with what other research has found. The researchers did not find a robust link between cigarette use and IQ.The authors of this study stress that their results don't necessarily invalidate the findings of the 2012 Duke University paper. That paper focused on persistent heavy use over a long period of time, while this study looked only at low to moderate levels of adolescent use. "While persistent cannabis dependence may be linked to declining IQ across a person’s lifetime," the authors write, "teenage cannabis use alone does not appear to predict worse IQ outcomes in adolescents."But the researchers in the study of American twins tackle the Duke University findings head-on. Examining the life trajectories of twin pairs in which one uses marijuana while the other doesn't, they found that those who used marijuana didn't experience consistently greater cognitive deficits than the others.Identical twin comparisons are a powerful tool for this kind of analysis, because their genetic makeup is nearly identical and their early home environment is consistent. This automatically controls for a lot of the confounding factors that can make sussing out causality difficult.The twin data "fails to support the implication by Meier et. al. [the authors of the Duke study] that marijuana exposure in adolescence causes neurocognitive decline," the study concludes. The numbers suggest, on the contrary, that "children who are predisposed to intellectual stagnation in middle school are on a trajectory for future marijuana use." In other words, rather than marijuana making kids less intelligent, it may be that kids who are not as smart or who perform poorly in school are more inclined to try marijuana at some point in their lives.Also, if marijuana use were responsible for cognitive decline, you might expect to find that the more marijuana a person smokes, the less intelligent they become. But this paper found that heavier marijuana use was not associated with greater decreases in IQ.None of this is to say, though, that you can smoke all the weed you want and not have to worry about negative outcomes. There are any number of negative physical and mental health outcomes linked to marijuana use — especially heavy use. Some research suggests that heavy marijuana use may increase the risk of psychosis or suicide. These risks are further compounded among people who start using marijuana early in their lives. And people who use heavily or start at an early age are at a high risk for cannabis-use disorder, a form of drug dependency.Marijuana is a drug. And just like any other drug — alcohol, nicotine, caffeine — there are risks and benefits associated with use. But exaggerating the extent of those risks and benefits won't help create smarter policies. For proof of this, simply review the history of the drug war.Christopher Ingraham writes about politics, drug policy and all things data. He previously worked at the Brookings Institution and the Pew Research Center.Source: Washington Post (DC)Author:    Christopher Ingraham Published: January 18, 2016Copyright: 2016 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL:  -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #14 posted by observer on January 25, 2016 at 20:10:20 PT
More Pot-IQ Woozle
Dr. Ben Carson:
“Regular exposure to marijuana in the developing brain has been demonstrated definitively to result in decreased IQ.”
The study's "associated with" is woozled by Ben Carson into "to result in", which is assuming causality. And a slight statistical drop (never given is the study margin of error) is converted, exaggerated, woozled, (fibbed) by Carson into a more sure-sounding "demonstrated definitively".Since the arrest/jail-for-pot crowd already "knew" that pot makes you stupid, it was apparently no problem to buttress and embellish the study's conclusions. After all, it is always acceptable to tell a few lies about cannabis and those who use it. Because, really, who cares if some pot-heads have to maybe get arrested or go to jail? As a politician, choices have to be made: the truth, or lies thought to benefit one's political fortunes. What politicians say about pot says a lot about their character.
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Comment #13 posted by schmeff on January 25, 2016 at 16:14:00 PT
A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose
Marijuana is a flower. We send flowers to people who are sick to make them feel better. Things that make us feel better when we are sick are called drugs. Therefore:"Marijuana is a drug."
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Comment #12 posted by Sam Adams on January 23, 2016 at 11:07:04 PT
tap water
JT, we're the only country in the world to add fluoride to tap water. The fluoride being added to tap water around the US today comes from China - it's a waste product from aluminum foundries.It's a proven carcinogen and neurotoxin! we are living in a place where madness rules the day
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Comment #11 posted by John Tyler on January 22, 2016 at 08:29:29 PT
drinking polluted tap water
Here is one sure thing that can make you stupid, drinking tap water that is polluted with lead. Why isn’t that banned? Why aren’t people responsible for that sent to jail?
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on January 21, 2016 at 16:07:57 PT
Study Erred In Finding No Link Between Teen Pot Use And Psychosis
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Comment #9 posted by observer on January 21, 2016 at 14:28:20 PT
Catapulted vs Spiked
re: "2012 Duke University study, which found that persistent, heavy marijuana use through adolescence and young adulthood was associated with declines in IQ"Also, watch this story ("Marijuana Does Not Make You Stupid After All") get spiked and ignored by the Mockingbird MSM. It isn't what prohibitionists want to hear. The Duke study, which was a Prohibition-Approved taking point (namely, that pot is bad) - that's what prohibitionists want to hear.The Duke study, following the pot-is-bad, pot-makes-you-stupid narrative, was catapulted far and wide. AP studiously reported it, again and again. Numerous articles carefully detailed the reactions of professional prohibitionists, as prohibitionists crowed they "knew" pot made you stupid, all along. The Duke study "proved it", to them. That earlier Duke University study (Duke University, recall, is in North Carolina: deep Bible-belt, where Chief of Police is often a career path to Baptist Minister), simply confirmed what the prohibitionist party line already "knew." The earlier study (as anything which can be spun to make pot users look bad) gave prohibitionists reason to believe and say, "There: we told you so! Pot is bad, and this study proves it!" So I'm sure we'll see Sabet step right up and correct his plenteous woozle "testimony" that (for example),
Using today’s high THC marijuana, especially
for young people, is significantly associated with a reduction in IQ (Sabet, "Before the United States Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control",
June 24, 2015; )
But, I won't hold my breath waiting for any kind of retraction or correction on this point (2012 Duke cognitive decline study) from Sabet. Because prohibitionist mouthpieces like Sabet (and even quasi-prohibitionists like Kleiman, Caulkins, et al. ), seem not so interested in the reality of the situation, truth, or intellectual honesty. Instead, the job of these government-paid pitchmen is to get you to go along with something.Something that their government pay-masters want.That something, when stripped of weasel words and crocodile tears for the kids, is to get you to consent to giving up your rights, and kissing those rights good-bye. Won't you agree to giving up your rights? Sabet and Kleiman have "studies" which "prove" why you need to give up your rights - so how about it? The police state is waiting.
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Comment #8 posted by afterburner on January 21, 2016 at 10:10:27 PT
False Comparison
"Marijuana is a drug. And just like any other drug — alcohol, nicotine, caffeine — there are risks and benefits associated with use."This is a false comparison. Cannabis is a plant. And just like many other plants -- tobacco, coffee, tea -- the are risks and benefits associated with use.Or substitute THC for marijuana in the above quotation.
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on January 21, 2016 at 07:35:32 PT
Regarding comment #6,The list of qualifying ailments.includes,if a physician determines someone would be “at risk of becoming chemically dependent on, or overdosing on, opiate-based pain medication”.
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on January 21, 2016 at 07:31:16 PT
Utah development. 
Some interesting developments in Utah."Whole plant" medical marijuana bill unveiled in the Utah State Legislature, is the concept of "whole plant" medical cannabis, which some people would naturally consider to be and include the "whole plant" meaning the leaf, which naturally has been smoked forever. BUT NO! That's not included in the whole plant; just the oil and gummies... "...smoking marijuana would be illegal..."2nd, and what I originally came to post: is what's on the list of qualifying ailments.Along with cancer, AIDS, epilepsy, PTSD, chronic pain, IT INCLUDES,if a physician determines someone would be “at risk of becoming chemically dependent on, or overdosing on, opiate-based pain medication”.Imagine that. For good and bad.So, the way I imagine that is that a doctor could take away a patient's ability to get class A narcotics needed for severe pain. NOT GOOD.But it also opens up the possibility for citizens to have access to cannabis because they want to eliminate opiates...Interesting For the record and to protect My integrity; I do not support repub's in Utah. It is always interesting when religious people (who claim / acknowledge The Christ Jesus) somehow believe it's ok to cage humans for using what God-created and said is good on the 1st page of the Bible. -And if smoking cannabis is illegal, that's what they do...Now I do not know if those repubs are religious or not but most politicians in Utah are Mormons... and otherwise don't excel on their ladder...Do Mormons, who cage their fellow humans for smoking cannabis, believe they are engaged in the act of "loving one another," in doing so?-0-Would the Christ Jesus consider CAGING HUMANS FOR SMOKING CANNABIS (KANEH BOMS) an act of loving one another?
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Comment #5 posted by Gentle Giant on January 20, 2016 at 12:05:15 PT
Make America Smart Again.
My personal scientific study. I smoked my first joint in 1972 and smoked 3-4-5-6 joints daily even to this day. So what, I like getting high. I got my degree in 1986 at Oklahoma State University in Electronics, Industrial Electricity, Instrumentation, and Robotics. I had perfect attendance and I graduated with honors. I had a 3.81 GPA. I aced College. So the logic goes as. Stupid ass researchers are well, stupid. Meaning. "They are Sarah Palin' stupid". The researchers can stick their studies up their ass. And I'm not an anomaly. A lot of my friends, have also experience this same increase in their intelligence, too. The moral of this story. Obama needs to reschedule cannabis before he leaves office and make America Smart, Again.
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on January 19, 2016 at 11:40:08 PT
this is why it's so important to 1) think for yourself and 2) have basic scientific literacy. Of course the goal of our compulsory public school system is to ensure that young people DON'T develop these abilities.If a substance or chemical is proven to be 100% utterly non-toxic, if it's proven to be neuroprotective and curative for most neurological diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinsons, ALS, etc,ÉÉ.then how could it be neuro-toxic to "young" or "developing" brain tissue. if you have basic scientific literacy then this doesn't make any sense.The molecules only become toxic in the land of make-believe!
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Comment #3 posted by Richard Zuckerman on January 19, 2016 at 08:16:12 PT:
Had ANY of these studies included the nutritional status of the subjects? Doesn't malnutrition cause mental and cognitive issues? I'd like you to visit and take a look at the scientific studies on the benefits of nutritional supplements, posted on that website, from one of the tabs at the top of the website.
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Comment #2 posted by Paint with light on January 19, 2016 at 02:36:15 PT
It doesn't make you a bad worker either
These sound like some nice places to work. can't imagine seeing an article like this ten years ago even if it was as true then as it is now.If it helps it.Legal like it should be.
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Comment #1 posted by observer on January 18, 2016 at 23:34:17 PT
Weasely Woozles
Looks like a textbook case of the woozle effect
a woozle effect, or a woozle, occurs when frequent citation of previous publications that lack evidence mislead individuals, groups and the public into thinking or believing there is evidence, and non-facts become urban myths and factoids
. . . 
[t]he creation of woozles is often linked to the changing of language from qualified ("it may", "it might", "it could") to absolute form ("it is") firming up language
We see this often. A "maybe might" study which "associates" or "links" this with that, gets laundered by Sabet and other prohibitionist mouthpieces into definitely does for sure cause. Drug war woozles like this become, for government power-abusers, one of the ever-shifting "reasons" why you are to be jailed for cannabis. Disappointing, but not surprising, Any excuse will serve a tyrant.
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