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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Great news, dude

We’ve come a long way from the days of rampant stupidity concerning marijuana use. We used to believe in “reefer madness,” the laughable idea that smoking pot would drive you innnnsaaaannnnne!

Then there was the idiotic idea that marijuana was a “gateway drug” that would inevitably lead potheads to become heroin addicts.

Then, more recently, there was the belief that getting high would make teens less intelligent.

But, like most propaganda, the myth of the pot-addled teen…ahem… went up in smoke when science got involved:

The study, published online January 6 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, found a statistical association between cannabis use and decreased intellectual performance. However, this association vanished when the researchers took other variables into account. “The notion that cannabis use itself is causally related to lower IQ and poorer educational performance was not supported in this large teenage sample,” wrote Claire Mokrysz of the University College London and her colleagues.
A quick disclaimer here: I don’t smoke marijuana. I have never smoked marijuana. I will never smoke marijuana (even if I didn’t have asthma). Not interested, don’t care.

However, I grew up around a lot of people that smoked pot so I find the hysteria over it to be ridiculous. I find the idea of putting people in jail for smoking it offensive in the extreme. Cigarettes and beer are far more harmful but marijuana is dangerous? Spare me from your ignorance. Smoke’m if you got’em.

That’s not to say that the low I.Q. story appeared in a vacuum. A study released in 2012 clearly pointed to the possibility that marijuana use over a long period of time could lower your intelligence.

People familiar with the drug were, needless to say, skeptical but the anti-pot crusaders latched onto this for dear life. After all, all of their other talking points (addictive, lethal, causes violence, etc.) have come up short. But now that the original research has been duplicated and expanded on, we know that the original study was flawed. That, of course, is the beauty of science, it self-corrects:
“People often believe that using cannabis can be very damaging to intellectual ability in the long-term, but it is extremely difficult to separate the direct effects of cannabis from other potential explanations,” Mokrysz added. “Adolescent cannabis use often goes hand in hand with other drug use, such as alcohol and cigarette smoking, as well as other risky lifestyle choices. It’s hard to know what causes what- do kids do badly at school because they are smoking weed, or do they smoke weed because they’re doing badly? This study suggests it is not as simple as saying cannabis is the problem.”
Will the anti-marijuana crusaders amend their narrative or will they continue to insist that smoking pot makes you dumb? Considering their fear of cannabis is irrational to begin with, it’s unlikely they’ll let go of such a useful fiction.

Author Justin Rosario is a stay at home father and liberal blogger that enjoys exposing conservative lies, hate and greed. Follow him on twitter @FilthyLbrlScum