Medical marijuana and outright legalization of pot is heavily contributing to the ‘chronic’ use and abuse of marijuana by younger and younger kids. Not that you didn’t notice already, a new study finds that if you’re a pothead as a kid, you’re stupifying yourself for the long haul.
A study more than thirty years in the making found that smoking marijuana permanently lowers intelligence, or IQ. Frequent pot smokers (even those who had given up marijuana) tended to have deficits in memory, concentration, and overall IQ.
The reduction in IQ for those who smoked pot heavily prior to age 18 was most pronounced: an average of eight points. An eight point reduction in IQ is enough to have a significant, negative impact upon your life. To put it into context, consider that individuals with an IQ of 110 have an average net worth of $71,000 and individuals with an IQ of 120 have an average net worth of $128,000. It looks like smoking pot can lower your tax bracket.
What’s significant about this research is that it was a longitudinal study: researchers followed and tested subjects from birth through to age 38, noting when and how frequently they picked up habits like drug use.
Previous studies scrutinized marijuana use at a single point in time, which failed to eliminate the possibility that people with lower IQs are more likely to smoke pot.
The longitudinal research provided a baseline IQ score for all subjects, which revealed changes in IQ scores as they picked up new habits, such as smoking pot.
By following subjects for decades, the researchers were able to measure the lasting effects of adolescent marijuana use (even after subjects gave up smoking pot).
These effects last because the teenage brain is still developing at a rapid pace; myriad new pathways for thinking are formed during this period while others are weeded out. When teenagers expose their brains to a damaging substance like marijuana, the effects aren’t just drastic…they’re permanently etched into the brain. Indeed, the reduction in IQ from smoking marijuana regularly was much greater for those who started smoking as teenagers than those who started in adulthood.
While the study didn’t measure the effects of marijuana upon teenagers’ emotional intelligence, it’s likely they are dire.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) in teenagers lags behind their cognitive development.
This explains why teenagers are so impulsive, emotional, and prone to risky behavior. Since teenagers’ EQ develops much later than their IQ, this area of the brain is even more susceptible to the negative influences of marijuana.
Recent reports show that fewer adolescents believe that regular cannabis use is harmful to health. Concomitantly, adolescents are initiating cannabis use at younger ages, and more adolescents are using cannabis on a daily basis. The purpose of the present study was to test the association between persistent cannabis use and neuropsychological decline and determine whether decline is concentrated among adolescent-onset cannabis users.
Participants were members of the Dunedin Study, a prospective study of a birth cohort of 1,037 individuals followed from birth (1972/1973) to age 38 y. Cannabis use was ascertained in interviews at ages 18, 21, 26, 32, and 38 y. Neuropsychological testing was conducted at age 13 y, before initiation of cannabis use, and again at age 38 y, after a pattern of persistent cannabis use had developed.
Persistent cannabis use was associated with neuropsychological decline broadly across domains of functioning, even after controlling for years of education. Informants also reported noticing more cognitive problems for persistent cannabis users. Impairment was concentrated among adolescent-onset cannabis users, with more persistent use associated with greater decline. Further, cessation of cannabis use did not fully restore neuropsychological functioning among adolescent-onset cannabis users. Findings are suggestive of a neurotoxic effect of cannabis on the adolescent brain and highlight the importance of prevention and policy efforts targeting adolescents.
And how much pot was Obama and the Choom Gang doing back in the day?… I bet a lot.
You can bet your ass that ObamaCare is going to cover marijuana soon enough, too. Bank on it you dopes.
And if your going to do the usual “what about alchohol” dance, just know that potheads are hilarious as they try to justify their use of a mindnumbing product by comparing it to another..
Friend me on Facebook – if you dare. No one turned away.
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