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Study Shows Marijuana Use In Teens Correlates To Decreasing IQ 626

retroworks writes "The BBC reports on a paper published in the U.S.'s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing a correlation between persistent, regular cannabis use and risk of lower IQ. The study finds the risk particularly correlates use of cannabis by teenagers who use the drug "four times a week year after year." The more people smoked, the greater the loss in IQ. Reviewers of the study at King's College Institute of Psychiatry states that the data and methodology are exceptional, but she also cautions that there may be another explanation, such as depression, which could lower IQ while stimulating marijuana use. The study does not mention or rule out 'nocebo' effects, i.e. just feeling stupid for spending your teens hanging out with potheads."
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Study Shows Marijuana Use In Teens Correlates To Decreasing IQ

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  • Legalise all drugs (Score:0, Interesting)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @09:17AM (#41147541) Homepage Journal

    All drugs should be legalised, there is no reason to hunt people down for smoking whatever they want, drinking whatever they want. There are already plenty of laws regarding actual acts of violence and negligence (like causing an accident while drunk or drugged). The government likes to have control over your body as well as over all of your actions. Do you think you should be free people, even free to kill your IQ or do you think you should be controlled by the state, told what to do, what not to do, thrown in jail if you refuse to comply?

  • Work ethic... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shakezula ( 842399 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @09:20AM (#41147575)
    I'd say the biggest drawback to pot smoking in teenage years is a lack of ability to find and keep a job. Being a loaf isn't conducive to paying the bills, which is the skill teenagers need to learn first and foremost. Self-sufficiency is paramount to heading off to college, or work, or simply moving on in life and I'd wager is more important than grades, social status, or if they are pot-heads or not. Its possible to smoke weed and still have a reasonable income, but the desire to be self-sufficient needs to come first or the stoner mentality wins over.
  • Confounding (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @09:21AM (#41147583)

    Does smoking pot as a teen lower your IQ, or are stupid teens more likely to smoke pot?

  • by tbonefrog ( 739501 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @09:31AM (#41147723)

    Study was run by a guy at Duke University in tobacco country. They have a vested interest in keeping pot illegal? Something to consider if you have any free brain cells. Not defending pot smoking, just sayin cigarettes are as bad or worse.

  • by Shirgall ( 110235 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @09:33AM (#41147773) Homepage

    Breaking the law on a regular basis with a decent chance of being caught and treated harshly by the system probably correlates with a low IQ too, doesn't it?

  • Re:News Flash (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TemperedAlchemist ( 2045966 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @09:37AM (#41147821)

    Do you have any evidence to support that assertion?

    The medical community has known for some time that marijuana has adverse effects. For one reason or another, the pot smoking community seems to get all defensive and denies all allegations backed by science almost as fiercely as denial of global warming or evolution.

    It would be nice to see more studies like this and see if these results can be replicated.

  • Re:Mods (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bistromath007 ( 1253428 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @09:38AM (#41147837)
    The knee-jerk is a conditioned response from seeing a host of studies that clearly are propaganda. Nearly every study that says something bad is. This one is legit, but I can understand how it'd be easy to miss; the main reason I feel it's on the level is that it succeeds in muddying its own stance.
  • Not being a dickhead (Score:1, Interesting)

    by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @09:41AM (#41147877)

    If I had a dollar for every time my teenage pothead friends told me that weed was harmless, I'd be a very rich man.

    Thing is, none of them did anything useful with their lives, or even had jobs. And now they're all completely drug-fucked wastes of space, to a man.

    A spliff or two, now and again when you're old enough to handle it, might be okay. But when you're in your late teens, the stuff will destroy your mind -- because teens are inconsiderate, obnoxious douchebags, generally because the "not being a complete cunt" part of your brain is the last part of your brain to fully develop, and pot messes with its development.

    Mod me down, potheads.

  • by Hazel Bergeron ( 2015538 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @10:07AM (#41148275) Journal

    - it's not a government issue, it's a private matter. Just because 'you come from a rich family' doesn't change that fact that government shouldn't be involved in private disputes of this type.

    It changes a lot: it means I can pay security guards to stop you getting back into the house you thought was yours. Government's not involved, so good luck raising your own army.

    Should you pay a fine for somebody else's transgressions? Should you be thrown to jail for somebody else's crime?

    Communities and whole countries are made worse off all the time because of the actions of a few. This will always happen for as long as the actions of one person has an indirect effect on more than one other. Welcome to reality, and I'm sorry you're having such trouble coping with it.

    Prison is a way of stopping those dangerous to society from causing harm to society. Fines are usually a dumb idea as implemented, although I guess they could be used to rein in the abusively powerful. Using either for mere punishment is fairly ineffective, as America should have learnt by now.

    Are not everybody paying for the other people's mistakes because of this ridiculous idea of 'group responsibility' at the very moment when the government steals from everybody to bail out the failed companies, like banks?

    I have no problem with the socialisation of losses. My issue is with the capitalisation of profit.

    You are a troll, though the moderators don't understand it.

    You are probably mentally ill, and the moderators do understand it. But this is irrelevant - what matters is that you make a crap argument.

    If you hit somebody with a car, it's a private matter. People don't need government to have working competing criminal and judicial systems.

    So, like I said, when I get drunk and hit you with a car, good luck stopping me before I do it again to your family.

  • Re:News Flash (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jpapon ( 1877296 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @10:20AM (#41148495) Journal

    simply the fact that smoking pot isn't exactly famous for leading to intellectually-stimulating activities....

    I think that's the key here. Smoking pot tends to lead to activities which will result in you having a lower IQ. If you spend your formative years watching Adult Swim and eating funyuns all day, you're probably going to have a pretty low IQ.

    I'd venture to say a study would find that frequent use of NASCAR in your teens correlates with a lower IQ as well.

  • Re:News Flash (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jpapon ( 1877296 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @10:24AM (#41148557) Journal

    For one reason or another, the pot smoking community seems to get all defensive and denies all allegations backed by science

    They get defensive because results like this can be used as a reason for keeping pot illegal.

    If pot wasn't illegal, the pot smoking community probably wouldn't care about studies like this. They'd probably be too stoned to care.

  • Re:News Flash (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pax681 ( 1002592 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @10:50AM (#41149013)

    Any behavior can become an addictive behavior. Some people become physically addicted to exercise and the endorphin rush that comes from pushing their bodies to the edge. Some become addicted to tobacco and the stimulation that nicotine gives them. Some are addicted to food. To say that marijuana addiction doesn't exist is to discount that the human body and mind can become addicted to almost any stimulation. That's not to say that all individuals who consume marijuana will be addicted but some do. So don't fully discount the potential for addiction. Some portion of the population when exposed to the ongoing stimulation will become addicted to it.

    It is impossible, and this is scientifically proven, to become physically addicted to marijuana. It's just not made of physically addictive stuff. There are no chemicals which give rise to physical dependency. Now as to the question of psychological dependency, that's a different matter however when you compare a psychological addiction to the chemical dependencies such as the endorphin rush or nicotine you are just building yourself a badly constructed argument. Also btw you will find that the actual mechanics(the movement of the hand to mouth to take a draw of a cigarette), the behavioural aspect of tobacco , is one of the habits hardest to break. Such as recent ex-smokers being out, beer in one hand and thinking it's weird not having a cigarette....

  • Re:News Flash (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lexsird ( 1208192 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @10:53AM (#41149067)

    Compared and contrasted to addiction to other substances, weed rates pretty low on the "Omfg i got to have it" scale. Booze is way far more addictive, so is smoking and caffeine. Not to mention it doesn't even stand close to the company it keeps with cocaine, heroine, crack, meth. etc. etc.

    Science these days is so corrupted with politics and agendas. Anyone can get a lab rat geek with a degree to skew data. I would have loved to see a side by side run of this experiment with booze and other substances.

    For me, this one is grasping at straws. It's an intoxicant and it has no place around children, just like booze and cigarettes and some would argue caffeine. I mean if this is the best that they can come up with, it's pretty pathetic. When I factor this versus the bullshit I have seen my entire life on the subject versus real life results helping cancer, aids, and MS patients, I have to ponder did another "scientist(s)" sell out and give us more junk science/propaganda? I find the timing on it suspect considering we are coming up on a SCOTUS trial on moving weed down out of schedule 1 substances.

  • Re:News Flash (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ffflala ( 793437 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:01PM (#41150221)

    Also btw you will find that the actual mechanics(the movement of the hand to mouth to take a draw of a cigarette), the behavioural aspect of tobacco , is one of the habits hardest to break. Such as recent ex-smokers being out, beer in one hand and thinking it's weird not having a cigarette....

    I wish this were more widely known. I foolishly picked up a pack a day cigarette habit for a few years, and I finally managed to quit about ten years ago. By far, the most useful thing for me to do when I got cigarette cravings past the third day (by which time the physical withdrawal symptoms end) was to mime through the actions of lighting and smoking an invisible cigarette. The level to which this satisfied my cravings was profound, and I think it was the key to my finally being able to quit for good.

  • Re:News Flash (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Belial6 ( 794905 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:34PM (#41150715)
    That kind of rationalization and twisting of the use of the word "addiction" is both deceptive, and counter productive to any discussion on marijuana use. By using that definition, you must acknowledge that "addiction" is not a bad thing, and is often a really good thing. (e.g. I am addicted to living a healthy lifestyle, I am addicted to being happy, I am addicted to being a good parent.)

    When discussing marijuana "addiction", there is a clear attempt to imply an addiction to chemicals a drug which is bad, while, when being called out on the myth, declaring it to mean an addiction to chemicals that your body produces when you are happy which is not bad.
  • Re:News Flash (Score:1, Interesting)

    by okcdan ( 954396 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:13PM (#41151449)
    I agree. I'll openly admit that I spent almost exactly 5 months of this year using marijuana each and every day. I thought it would be as cool as I remember it being back in my twenties - it really wasn't. It was a habit, or pattern that I got into, one that I had no desire to continue. So, I quit. There were annoying withdrawal symptoms, including night sweats and loss of appetite. But, it was still easier to quit than cigarettes were 3 years ago. One thing that I found helped more than anything was to mimic taking a drag and holding it for a moment or two. Dependencies are not cool.
  • Re:News Flash (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Artifakt ( 700173 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:14PM (#41152873)

    When I read this debate, I always think of the bits on Dragnet, such as the one where LSD supposedly has this kid afraid he's turning into an orange and if anyone opens the closet door, he'll be 'juiced' into oblivion, or where the character "Blue Boy' supposedly overdoses on LSD (only to have the scrolling text at the end of the show mention it was actually Barbituates that killed the real person he was based on). We have people calling themselves 'experts' and speaking out publicly against drugs who still think that everything Joe Friday said came straight from a real case and not something made up by the Dragnet writers.
                Drugs share at least one thing in common with everything else. Nothing can be learned from the people who have their basics wrong. When the government has pressured researchers to redefine addiction so it covers drugs it didn't, or to redefine"Narcotic", "Chromosome Damage" and other scientific and medical terms to let them persuade people who still think the words mean what they once did, what really happens is people stop trusting anything their government says.
                I'm a little reassured that the researchers on this study are mostly from Duke University, but include some form the UK and New Zealand. Just the fact that some of them work where the DEA might not be able to influence them so easily makes me trust the paper a bit more. But this is an area where the US government has lied so much, so deliberately, and so cynically, that the people here on slashdot who are talking 'addiction denial' and 'conspiracy nut' lines come off like a shady lawyer saying "Just because my client comitted lebenty-leben bombings using this exact same M.O., shouldn't raise the remotest suspicion it's him again.". Read up on COINTELPRO, and learn that the conspiracy nuts in this area have usually been right. Or ignore what the US government's history in this area is like, and don't be surprised when the same people try to redefine 'terrorist' so they can jail the Dixie Chicks, or 'hacker' so that disabling region encoding on your DVD player is a felony, or whatever.

  • Re:News Flash (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hazah ( 807503 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:47PM (#41153587)
    Mods... I am asking a legitimate question. Who are these "peers?" The only ones currently mentioned are in the same pockets as the author. If you think I'm flamebaiting, that's just sad.
  • Re:News Flash (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @03:30PM (#41154585) Homepage Journal

    They get defensive because results like this can be used as a reason for keeping pot illegal.

    This study can be used as evidence that it should be legal. If you have teenagers, ask them if it's easy to get pot in school, then ask them if it's easy to get a beer in school. I asked my kids that when they were in high school, and they said "of course you can buy pot in school." When I asked about beer, they laughed and said "don't be silly, of course not."

    See, it's easier for a teenager to buy pot than it is an adult. A dealer will be paranoid of an adult, because he could be the secret police, but there are no teenaged police officers.

    If you want to keep pot out of teenaged hands (and I certainly don't want kids smoking anything at all), legalize it and sell it like alcohol.

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl