Victimless Crime Files: Study Suggests Pot Smokers Permanently Lower Thier IQs

You mean something that gets you high damages your brain cells? I’ve never heard of such madness!

Researchers found persistent users of the drug, who started smoking it at school, had lower IQ scores as adults.
They were also significantly more likely to have attention and memory problems in later life, than their peers who abstained.

Furthermore, those who started as teenagers and used it heavily, but quit as adults, did not regain their full mental powers, found academics at King’s College London and Duke University in the US.

They looked at data from over 1,000 people from Dunedin in New Zealand, who have been followed through their lives since being born in 1972 or 1973.

Participants were asked about cannabis usage when they were 18, 21, 26, 32 and 38. Their IQ was tested at 13 and 38. In addition, each nominated a close friend or family member, who was asked about attention and memory problems.

An interesting point is that the problem is associated with drug use as a teen but not with those who start as adults:

Professor Terrie Moffitt, of KCL’s Institute of Psychiatry, who contributed to the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said “persistent users” who started as teenagers suffered a drop of eight IQ points at the age of 38, compared to when they were 13.

Persistent users meant those who used it during at least three of the ages from 18 to 38, and who said at each occasion they were smoking it on at least four days a week.

She said: “Adolescent-onset cannabis users, but not adult-onset cannabis users, showed marked IQ decline from childhood to adulthood.

“For example, individuals who started using cannabis in adolescence and used it for years thereafter showed an average eight-point IQ decline.

Eight points doesn’t sound like much but the researchers say it’s basically like retarding yourself:

Although eight points did not sound much, it was not trivial, she warned.

It meant that an average person dropped far down the intelligence rankings, so that instead of 50 per cent of the population being more intelligent than them, 71 per cent were.

“Research has shown that IQ is a strong determinant of a person’s access to a college education, their lifelong total income, their access to a good job, their performance on the job, their tendency to develop heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even early death,” she said.

“Individuals who lose eight IQ points in their teens and 20s may be disadvantaged, relative to their same-age peers, in most of the important aspects of life and for years to come.”

The cognitive abilities of the 10 per cent of people who started in their 20s – who could loosely be classed as college smokers – also suffered while they were still smoking.

While quitting didn’t help the early smokers people who started when they were adults but quit did recover their IQ scores – indicating  that while adults can do what they want encouraging young people to get high is evil.

In their defense I’m sure pot is no worse than alcohol, bath salts or the ADD or anxiety “medications” parents put their kids on which are nothing more than addictive narcotics. But than again no one claims whiskey, bath salts or Xanax cures cancer.

The real question is how bad a parent are you if your child is getting high four or more times a week?


14 Responses to “Victimless Crime Files: Study Suggests Pot Smokers Permanently Lower Thier IQs”

  1. Ajax the Great on August 30th, 2012 9:31 pm

    This study has been seriously criticized on methodological grounds, as is evident in the following link:

    In addition, there have been several studies in the past that disagree with these findings.

    Also, the media coverage of this study misses the bigger issue: the fact that cannabis prohibition not only fails to keep teens from getting weed but may actually make it easier for them to get. After all, dealers never check ID, and those teens who want it can typically get it in roughly the same amount of time it takes to order a pizza. In contrast, while teens can still get cigarettes and booze, these substances are regulated and sold by licensed businesses who are required by law to check ID. One should note that latest high school surveys show that cannabis is more popular than cigarettes, the use of the latter is now at a record low among teens. Thus, legalization and regulation works, while prohibition does not.

  2. Rob Taylor on August 30th, 2012 10:06 pm

    Legalization and regulation hasn’t stopped teen drinking or abuse of oxys and xanax has it?

  3. Ajax the Great on August 31st, 2012 7:17 pm

    Of course not. But both tobacco and alcohol use among teens has dropped over the past few decades (to record lows in fact) while cannabis use has risen in recent years, and remains roughly 10X higher than it was in 1965 and no less than it was in 1975. Daily weed use among 12th graders is at a 30-year high in fact. So prohibition has been an abject and abysmal failure compared to legalization and regulation.

  4. Rob Taylor on August 31st, 2012 7:38 pm

    Are people smarter than they were before the the rise in pot use by children or do they get eaten by bears while taking their pictures? Have the average Math and Science score for students gone up or down in this time period? Has the average debt gone up? Has the sexual exploitation of minors gone up?

    Also are you arguing that adults should give drugs to kids?

  5. Ajax the Great on August 31st, 2012 7:58 pm

    No, I am most certainly NOT arguing that adults should give drugs to kids. I am arguing for legalization of cannabis for all adults 18 and over, and to end all arrests for cannabis possession.

    Math and science scores have gone up and down repeatedly in the past few decades, and do not seem to correlate with periodic rises and falls in teenage cannabis use. But it is interesting to note that the average IQ has actually gone UP during this time period. Hence the Flynn effect, which has occurred in several countries including the USA:

    Canadian teens are more likely to smoke pot as well as drink alcohol compared to American teens, but guess which group scores higher on international standardized tests? Hint: It’s not us. In fact, we’re close to the bottom among “developed” nations. And let’s not forget the fact that the Dutch outscore us as well–by a lot. And weed is effectively legal for everyone over 18 in the Netherlands.

    As for sexual exploitation of minors, there is simply no reliable data from many decades ago to make an accurate comparison. But based on a vast wealth of anecdotal evidence it certainly did go on quite a lot before the 1960s. It was just swept under the rug a lot more back than compared to now, and the media simply did not talk about it due to cultural taboos.

    But none of these things take away from the fact that prohibition has been an abject and abysmal failure.

  6. Rob Taylor on August 31st, 2012 8:03 pm

    Is this post about prohibition?

  7. Ajax the Great on August 31st, 2012 8:13 pm

    Not directly, but that’s the bigger issue that the news coverage on all of this misses.

  8. Rob Taylor on August 31st, 2012 8:26 pm

    So again this is your issue and not what I wrote about, right?

  9. Ajax the Great on September 1st, 2012 7:07 pm

    Whatever. I think I made my points quite well, judging from the lack of cogent rebuttals. Peace.

  10. Rob Taylor on September 1st, 2012 8:04 pm

    But your points were not about anything I said, right? I’m a proxy for some other person … a step father perhaps?

  11. Ajax the Great on September 1st, 2012 8:31 pm

    Actually, at least some of my points were. Re-read my first comment on this thread and see how nicely it all ties in. And no, you’re not a proxy for any person in particular. But I see no point to arguing any further about this. Peace.

  12. Rob Taylor on September 1st, 2012 8:36 pm

    Which part ties in – your reflexive argument about prohibition even though this is about health or the idea that you’re arguing for the idea that mind altering substances abused by youth can’t possibly effect their brain development?

  13. Kelly K on December 31st, 2012 5:28 pm

    What’s rob Taylor’s excuse for his low IQ?

  14. Rob Taylor on January 1st, 2013 4:28 am

    Oh Kelly that’s so funny. I have a Masters degree though, what’s your Masters in?

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