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Pot Smokers Might Not Turn Into Dopes After All 332

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-see-what-you-did-there dept.
ananyo writes "Back in August last year, we discussed a study reportedly showing heavy marijuana use in teenagers had been linked to a decline in IQ in later life. Now, a new analysis suggests that the study may have been flawed. Using the same data, the researchers found that they could explain the IQ drop by properly accounting for socioeconomic factors — such as individuals from poorer backgrounds being more likely to smoke cannabis as well as having reduced access to schooling."
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Pot Smokers Might Not Turn Into Dopes After All

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:08PM (#42596405)

    Bam! They do more of it, and it isn't!

    Who designed this religion anyway?

  • lol (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:12PM (#42596461)

    I realized this when i met someone who had smoked for about 2 years. He was border line retarded. Then I met someone else who had been smoking since he was 14, and he was an engineer. Different strokes for different folks. Dont blame the drugs.

    • Re:lol (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:14PM (#42596483)

      You realized that there wasn't a statistically significant correlation based on a sample size of two?
      What have you been smoking?

      • Re:lol (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:17PM (#42596513)

        Troll weed. It makes a big "Whoosh" sound and causes idiots to reply to your comments.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You realized that there wasn't a statistically significant correlation based on a sample size of two?
        What have you been smoking?

        I think he/she realized that correlation is not causation, regardless of sample size.

      • And .... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:30PM (#42596681)

        You realized that there wasn't a statistically significant correlation based on a sample size of two?
        What have you been smoking?

        And most people will focus on the person in the above stories that confirm their bias.

        Like pot? Then it'll make you an engineer!

        Hate drugs? Then it makes you a retard!

        My doctor likes to point out that many of these studies aren't randomized controled trials - RCT - because it's a bitch to do any study on "recreational" drugs in the US because of our Puritanical laws and this whole "War on Drugs" horseshit.

        Of course, there aren't any studies of whether smoking pot causes the same instances of emphysema, cancer, and other diseases that can happen from smoking anything.

        Yeah, yeah, yeah, there was a study years ago (not RCT either) that showed that there may be a link with smoking pot and slowing tumor growth.

        It hasn't been repeated as far as I know so the results haven't been verfied.

        Anyway, there are plenty of folks out there in the internet peanut gallery that cling to that one study and came to the conclusion that pot stops cancer.

        Oy!

        • by radtea (464814)

          And most people will focus on the person in the above stories that confirm their bias.

          I'd love to see these sorts of study first released with the blind terminology, so the claim would be, "X causes Y". Blind the demographic variables too. Let the reviewer evaluate THAT and see how much of the actual review is based on the quality of the data and the analysis rather than the bias of the reviewers.

          This study was obviously pretty questionable, even on a cursory look. As I said at the time of the original article (http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3077857&threshold=3&commen

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Of course, there aren't any studies of whether smoking pot causes the same instances of emphysema, cancer, and other diseases that can happen from smoking anything.

          Studies have been done. More than one showed a solid correlation between smoking pot and COPD [wikipedia.org] (the linked article doesn't mention it) and what I read was short on details, but a Washington Post article was detailed. Excerpt: [washingtonpost.com]

          The new findings "were against our expectations," said Donald Tashkin of the University of California at Los Angeles, a pul

        • by zmooc (33175)

          Multiple studies show that certain cannabinoids prevent or inhibit the growth of certain types of tumors in mouse. This is not controversial.

          http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4 [cancer.gov]

          http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page5 [cancer.gov]

          While the jury is still out and will be out for a long time, it is rather obvious that cannbinoids have certain effect on certain types of tumors. There's a lot more going on than wishful thinking by pot smokers and waa

      • by abirdman (557790) *
        Dear AC, The parent AC was encouraging open-mindedness and a willingness to do more research. I think anecdotal evidence with a sample size of two is an acceptable way to promote more research. It's not evidence so much as motivation. There's not much science on cannabis yet.
    • Re:lol (Score:5, Funny)

      by vux984 (928602) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:19PM (#42596537)

      Then I met someone else who had been smoking since he was 14, and he was an engineer.

      Engineer? ~snort~ Clearly the pot prevented him from achieving a respectable career in theoretical physics.

      Bazinga!

      • Re:lol (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tool462 (677306) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:37PM (#42596771)

        In my experience (which is extensive), the theoretical physicists smoke a LOT more pot than the engineers.
        The genesis of the membrane extension of string theory came about in the mid-90s due to a late night bake-out and some Cypress Hill. Who else would come up with an 11 dimension "solution" to the problem of string theory?

        • Re:lol (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:48PM (#42596905) Homepage Journal
          LSD. Honestly, all this time I thought that was LSD talking.
          • by shaitand (626655)

            In my experience LSD makes you THINK you are having great epiphanies but if you actually record yourself or write them down they aren't very wondrous and usually not even coherent in the morning. Thinking you had revelations can still be beneficial though. It can help you overcome emotional problems and help you open your mind to possibilities you wouldn't have been willing to give a chance sober and afterward you feel like you've opened your mind and those conclusions you reached were deep and valid. The c

            • You can attribute that to trying to explain what you are dreaming about while you are sleepwalking.

              The ideas may be great in your head, but your ability to explain it just isn't there
            • Re:lol (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Xtifr (1323) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @07:57PM (#42598177) Homepage

              In my experience LSD makes you THINK you are having great epiphanies but if you actually record yourself or write them down they aren't very wondrous and usually not even coherent in the morning.

              Generally true, but back in late seventies or early eighties, I actually designed and implemented a debugging tool while tripping balls. It was in use throughout the company within a week. It actually came to me in a vision. :)

              Of course, when it comes to psychedelics, "You Mileage May Vary" has never been more true. There seem to be no consistent effects from person to person. Even dilated pupils turn out not to be universal (although it's the closest that's been found). Just because I was (at least once) able to direct my hallucinations in a useful direction doesn't mean someone else will.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                LSD does not increase intelligence but allows one to remove themselves from there typical outlook on something. We try and do this all the time as humans. When you hit a problem you try and step back and look for a different way around said problem. LSD simply allows one to see things completely differently without effort. For those that wander down the rabbit hole most are not fortunate to be working on a problem that requires serious thought let alone have the intelligence and or luck to actually see
        • by shaitand (626655)

          In my experience people of high intelligence, especially in STEM fields smoke a lot more pot than the general population pretty much across the board.

      • > respectable career in theoretical physics.

        As someone who was a physics major during the late 1980's, who idolized Feynman, watched Buckaroo Bonzai way too many times, and had to repeatedly apologize for Pons and Fleischmann to friends and acquaintances... I find this statement hilarious.
         

      • "If I have seen a little further into that great ocean of truth, it is by standing on the shoulder of a giant doobie."

    • by tnk1 (899206)

      Some drugs *can* fuck you up, so sometimes it really is the drugs. Opiates, meth, coke can mess with you in ways that pot never could.

      But, yes, pot is pretty much harmless, other than the fact that you're smoking, of course.

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      And a relative of mine is 90 years and has smoked all her life. So you must have realized from that that smoking doesn't cause cancer or reduce life expectancy, right?

  • Uhh ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:13PM (#42596473)

    I forgot what I was going to post !

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by H0p313ss (811249)

      I forgot what I was going to post !

      Dude!
      .
      .
      .
      Wait, what were we talking about?

    • 10 years of medical marijuana hasn't produced any noticeable changes. I was always absent minded. More like focused to the exclusion of everything else. Now I'm stoned and communicating with all life everywhere in the universe at the same time. No extra charge for long distance. Being on disability and having no schedule imposed by work makes appointments the hardest thing to keep. I made it to the dentist this morning on time! That's once in a row, a record! The prescription drugs for disease with serious
      • by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @09:24PM (#42598853)

        10 years of medical marijuana hasn't produced any noticeable changes.

        Yes it has, for many people. For example, many chronic pain sufferers have been able to live more normal lives because they haven't been as debilitated or addicted to opioids, some cancer patients have lived longer because their weed helped them tolerate the chemo treatments better, allowing them to complete regimens that many can not, folks who suffer sever anxiety and panic attacks can get out and live their lives without being overwhelmed by fear, people with glaucoma have maintained their sight without risky surgeries, and at least one person with epilepsy (who I personally know) no longer suffers from seizures as long as she "medicates" at least every 2-3 days.

        It is very clear that there have been noticeable changes since medical marijuana became available in the U.S., and they have been overwhelmingly positive. Crime rates in medi-pot areas have NOT increased, cases of addiction to illegal drugs have not gotten out of control (busting the guess that weed is a "gateway" drug), there hasn't been a rise in cardio-pulmonary diseases among non-tobacco smokers, and courts in states like Colorado have not been clogged with minor, non-violent marijuana offenders.

        Of course I do not advocate driving under the influence, use among minors, or puffing away all day like a stereotypical Rastafarian or flash in the pan, one hit wonder rapper, but informed use in moderation or under a physician's supervision should be possible in every state. I'd like to see it reach a level of acceptance where employers are not permitted to dictate how you live your life or choose to medicate yourself when you are not at work. If they do not specifically suspect that you are high at work, and have no evidence that you are, positive tests for THC should not warrant dismissal or exclusion from employment. But then I believe strongly in the American concepts of privacy and freedom, so I am certainly a bit biased.

        And further, wait.... what?

  • Pot smoker here... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:17PM (#42596515)
    Going on smoking the dope for about 15 years now. If anything, it assisted me with diving in to the world of UNIX with intense enthusiasm and concentration. I've worked in IT business solutions and web development this whole time and things progressively get better as long as you continue to work hard. Just like anything else, all it takes is being responsible. What you do after 5pm is none of my business as long as your work gets done on time and in a professional manner. If you spent all of your waking hours drunk on booze, high on dope, full on fast food, or anything else out of control, then you probably won't succeed very much at anything. Toke responsibly.
    • What you do after 5pm is none of my business as long as your work gets done on time and in a professional manner.

      Too bad most employers don't see things this way. And I'm not just talking to you, pot smokers. Enforcing arbitrary morality standards has become commonplace in the workplace, even when your questionable behavior occurs strictly after business hours and doesn't affect your productivity. Hell, I refuse to even have a Facebook account (in my own real name anyway) because I know for a fact that my employer is nosy. Potheads are especially vulnerable though, as positive pre-employment THC tests, which absolutel

  • by parallel_prankster (1455313) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:24PM (#42596607)
    How about whether high IQ folks are more likely to smoke pot or dumb ones? That would also be an interesting study. Does pot smoking have enough of a stigma attached to it that people who are considered "smarter" are less likely to smoke it. Also, how does it compare with alcohol ? I did not read TFA btw!
    • I thnk some of the answers are in the article already now that I read it. Still, the study is pretty non-eye-opening with the exception that it debunks the usual myth about pot smokers. I have had lots of friends over the years here in California who smoked pot and they definitely did not get any dumber with that. Ofcourse, that is just my observation.
    • by Splab (574204) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:58PM (#42597005)

      I have an IQ between 128 and 140 depending on the test. I smoke pot from time to time. I'm part owner of a company and work full time as a consultant.

      I have never suffered from loss of memory from smoking pot, I have only once experienced "the munchies", I have never lost control while being high. Drinking alcohol however, I've experienced massive blackouts, I've lost entire evenings in the haze of strong booze, I've woken up in my own bed, only to wonder how the fuck I got home. I have experienced hangovers lasting more than a day with exhaustion lasting a week. Pot on the other hand last for a couple of hours and leaves my body in a relaxed state for up to a week.

      In the circles I move, I meet a lot of the higher echelons of our society and a lot of them smoke weed or do harder drugs.

      Does this prove anything? Heck no. I doubt there will be any useful data, until experiments are run under proper control. Data based on peoples own perception will be flawed.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Does this prove anything? Heck no. I doubt there will be any useful data, until experiments are run under proper control. Data based on peoples own perception will be flawed.

        There IS useful data, our own government has run experiments under proper control on numerous occasions, then they invalidate them when they don't say what they want. And there's literally whole books filled with meaningful studies that were performed in other countries. Hell, even Russia's seed arks preserve Cannabis along with the other species. Our government does not work on science.

    • by radtea (464814)

      How about whether high IQ folks are more likely to smoke pot or dumb ones?

      The data suggest lower IQ males are more likely to start smoking pot: http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3077857&cid=41148355 [slashdot.org] (and kudos to the guy who responded to that comment by suggesting pot smoking turns women into men!)

  • Correlation does not equal causation? I'll be darned....
  • Vicious circle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quila (201335) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:31PM (#42596687)

    You smoke pot so we're kicking you out of school

    You'll lose the opportunity to be educated and socialize normally with a mainstream peer group

    We'll use your now sub-standard IQ and abnormal social skills to defend the prohibition on pot

    • by Azmodan (572615)
      THIS!!!
    • by tnk1 (899206)

      And this is why our jails are full of non-violent offenders who don't need to be in the prison system.

      Pot should be legalized immediately. I'm not so sure about certain other substances, but throwing people in jail for pot smoking is ridiculous and always has been.

      That said, smoking itself is bad for you, mm'kay? It's still you inhaling smoke, so find a better way of ingesting it. Lung cancer is bad.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:34PM (#42596723)

    They lie about marijuana. Tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated. Lie! When you're high, you can do everything you normally do, just as well. You just realize that it's not worth the fucking effort. There is a difference.

    -- Bill Hicks

  • There is no way most of the mainstream press is going to cover this. The potentially flawed study reinforced too many stereotypes and opinions in step with the "war on drugs" which bankrolls increasingly powerful law enforcement.

  • The Answer (Score:2, Interesting)

    by segedunum (883035)

    ....individuals from poorer backgrounds being more likely to smoke cannabis as well as having reduced access to schooling.

    There you have your answer about cannabis and drugs in general.

    • Re:The Answer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:58PM (#42597001) Homepage

      "There you have your answer about cannabis and drugs in general."

      Not at all, because the statement is flawed. It should have said "individuals from poorer backgrounds being more likely to get caught and prosecuted for smoking cannabis as well as having reduced access to schooling, while individuals from power backgrounds are likely to smoke cannabis (Clinton/Obama), do cocaine (Bush), philander (Clinton/Kennedy), do a very dangerous drug called alcohol (Most of them throughout history?) and become president."

  • by bitt3n (941736) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:40PM (#42596793)
    "pot use reduces not only IQ but also wealth and access to schooling"
    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      "pot use reduces not only IQ but also wealth and access to schooling"

      Just like alcohol.

  • The original study was restated to middle class children, which arguably means it was corrected for socioeconomic factors (or that only middle class kids who smoke dope experience IQ loss).
    What is implicit in the article is that the first study may not be as strong, or the effect might be more complex than initially indicated.
  • by Nyder (754090) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:44PM (#42596843) Journal

    "A friend with weed is a friend indeed"

    "Dope will get you thru times of no money better then money will get you thru times of no dope."

    both I learned from the Fabulous Furry Freak Brother comics. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fabulous_Furry_Freak_Brothers [wikipedia.org]

    I'm really stoned right now and low or high IQ, this is the best I can do for this conversation.

    • I like the line: "A friend in need is a friend indeed, a friend with weed is better." Possibly due to my (lack of) age.

  • Well that would be easy enough to check. Just take kids from poor neighborhoods and without access to good education who did not smoke pot and see if their IQ declined later in life. If the pot isn't a factor, then the IQ should drop just the same as in the people who smoked pot. Or, if the pot is a factor, then do the same study, but with rich kids who had access to a good education. If the pot is the factor, then their IQ should have dropped, too.

  • One benefit to the recent legalizations in the US is that it should be much easier to find test subjects and actually study the effects of marijuana. It would be nice to actually have some scientific evidence about the risks instead of fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
  • Again? (Score:5, Informative)

    by whitroth (9367) <<whitroth> <at> <5-cent.us>> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:04PM (#42597067) Homepage

    For *decades*, we've been seeing Studies That Show The Dangers Of Weed (tm). And within the year, sometimes within the month, they're withdrawn, or debunked, or shown to be massively flawed.

    Not *ONE* has ever overturned the conclusions of the LaGuardia study of 1941 (completed? '44) http colon //www.drugtext.org/Table/LaGuardia-Committee-Report/

    The truth is that the prohibition was created thanks to Hearst's purchase of four very large wood pulp paper mills, and the last head of Prohibition, Anslinger, who wanted his job back, and it's been a useful tool to squash folks who might not agree with you in the ballot box.

    And the moralists. (The definition, by a friend years back, is that moralists are TERRIFIED by the thought that Someone, Out There, might be having... FUN!)

                      mark

  • Snoop Dogg! (actually he's really smart!)
  • Snoop Dogg! (really smart dude actually, great business sense)
  • by rubycodez (864176) on Wednesday January 16, 2013 @12:56AM (#42600097)

    there was this one toker who graduated from this ivy league school, but instead of taking on big corporate job like his classmates just went into community organizer work on the bad side of Chicago. then he became a senator then president. beware the weed, kids...

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