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Cannabis Usage Makes You Stupid

Posted on the 29 August 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
arindambanerjee%20/">arindambanerjee%20/">Smoking cannabis makes you stupid. Photocredit: arindambanerjee / Smoking cannabis makes you stupid.

The background

A study of about 1,000 people in New Zealand has found that young people who smoke cannabis below the age of 18 suffer a drop in IQ. Researchers, writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, followed a group of people for 20 years – from when they were children, before any of them had taken the drug, and up to the age of 38, reported the BBC.

After taking into account alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, as well as years spent in education, they found that those who used cannabis a lot during their teen years, 20s and 30s did in fact suffer a decline in IQ. Those who used it as an adolescent and carried on till they were adult suffered an 8 point drop on average. Stopping usage didn’t restore the balance. 96 percent of the original participants stuck for the entire study. Commentators are largely agreed that the study says what most people already thought.

Well, that explains why stoners underachieve

Said Robin Murray, a professor of psychiatric research at King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry quoted on the BBC, that the cohort was the most intensively studied in the world, so the “data are very good.” The study gives one explanation as to why “stoners” seem to lose their abilities. ProfessorVal Curran from the British Association for Psychopharmacology said that it was heavy usage, not recreational, which was the cause.

Cannabis is the worst drug

Those 8 points, said Grace Dent in The Independent, are the ones “fooling you into remembering Cypress Hill’s whiny stoner dirge as ‘really excellent music.’” If you spent your teen years ensuring “your personal weed level never fell below ‘really bloody mangled’” then chances are you were a bit “slapdash” in your revision. But we’re talking heavy usage here, which “makes people quite boring, curiously tired, underachieving and cosy in the eco-climate of their less than lemon-fresh underwear. It’s one of the worst drugs.” Weed smokers “need our gentle and merciless derision.” Dent said she saw “the greatest minds of my generation fail their A-levels and still get thirds in sociology, and then sit in a ropey tattoo parlour having a green cannabis leaf inked onto a foreharm.”

Cannabis is more harmful than you’d think

Dr Robert Lefever said in The Mail that cannabis was a big deal. He’d run a rehab clinic for over 20 years. Cannabis is “a major addictive drug to people who have an addictive nature.” Addiction is part of your personality as well as part of the drug. Addicts say they’re not addicted, clinging to the things that kill them. Cannabis use affects “mood, memory and motivation,” a “fearful toll, far more crippling than the physical effects of many other substances.” This study shows that, as well as causing schizophrenia and other mental health problems, the substance can also damage “the everyday life of people who show no sign of psychiatric illness.”

The study isn’t conclusive

This is a “huge bummer,” said Doug Barry on Jezebel, and “not just for all the high-school stoners of the world.” It’s also for “four idea of cool movie stoners like Dazed and Confused’s Slater, who I always thought would go on, ironically, to be some kind of brilliant attorney.” The joke’s “on me, then, but maybe also on the scientists that spent so much time confirming a popular prejudice against high school stoners.” However, the study “is by no means conclusive since researchers didn’t look at everyone everywhere in the world. Until then, we can all be reasonably skeptical about these findings.”

Lager fans are still stupider

The Daily Mash took a typically tongue in cheek view, suggesting that cannabis users were “still cleverer than lager fans.” “Professor Henry Brubaker of the Institute for Studies believes potheads still have a way to go before they are as idiotic as those who skull twelve pints of wifebeater on a Friday night.”

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