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Education Stats Science

Pot Smokers Might Not Turn Into Dopes After All 332

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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  • 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.
  • Re:lol (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:19PM (#42596541)

    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.

  • 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 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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:41PM (#42596817)

    The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".

  • Re:Vicious circle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quila ( 201335 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:50PM (#42596921)

    A report I read a while back said that overall the most damaging aspect of smoking pot on the lives of the users are the legal consequences of the prohibition, not the pot itself.

  • by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:51PM (#42596937)

    It's not really a question of "is pot harmful". It's a question of "how harmful is pot in comparison to other legal activities". Other people could provide similar anecdotes about the affects of alcohol, gambling, or online games - yet possession of any of those isn't illegal.

    Our society is hypocritical. It needs to decide once and for all, whether citizens have the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness in a manner they choose, or whether the state abrogates to itself the right to decide for its citizens what level of risk they are allowed to take, and the adopt a consistent policy.

    They won't, of course, because a consistent policy will either lead to a lessening of authority and money, as the privatised prison system is forced to downsize, and police authority curtailed, or to mass corruption and civil disobedience as briefly glimpsed in prohibition. So they'll remain happily hypocritical, not because it is the right thing to do, or backed by scientific evidence, but because it is the best way to retain the current balances of power - and that, after all, is what politics is all about.

  • by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:56PM (#42596983)

    I don't think alcohol is harmless, yet I drink beer or wine a couple of times a week. With alcohol, some people handle it just fine and others fall off a cliff. From what I've seen, pot is the same way.

  • 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."

  • So.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:04PM (#42597065) Homepage Journal
    ...when exactly will the 'blessed' leader of the country work hard to end the war on drugs, and push legislation on the federal level to at least allow the states to decide if they want pot to be legal?

    I mean, he used it (very documented) and enjoyed it, and he doesn't have to worry about being re-elected, so, when will he push for something that I'd guess a majority of his supporters and followers would support?

    Mr. Obama, are you listening?

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:16PM (#42597193) Homepage

    I'm not a pothead, I've never smoked pot (or anything else) and never been interested in doing so.

    Here's my question: Your college buddy, did he ever hurt anybody? Did he ever punch or shoot someone that he otherwise wouldn't have? Did he have a hard time maintaining relationships with his family? Did he mistreat any significant others he had? Because the only drawback you've stated is that you didn't like him anymore, and that it changed him in some ways. You also said he graduated with a 4.0, which hardly sounds like he destroyed himself.

    People change all the time, for all sorts of reasons. Alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cocaine, etc have easily documented harmful effects that far outweigh anything you've described, so if your friends' pot use is as serious a problem as you claim you should also be able to point to some actual impacts.

    If we're putting laws in place, we should have a demonstrable harm that we're protecting the public from, and that harm should be greater than the harm of enforcing the law. On that basis, outlawing PCP makes total sense, because people on angel dust pose extreme risks to people around them, but outlawing pot has not been demonstrated to be useful.

  • by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:16PM (#42597195) Journal

    Nope but I've known plenty of lazy moron layabouts who did nothing but smoke pot. The pot doesn't make them lazy moron layabouts though it's just something to do.

  • Re:So.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:27PM (#42597275) Journal

    "Not really a shining endorsement of pot smoking as a past time"

    Doesn't really indicate anything negative about it either. Pot is chemically induced euphoria. Some people add artificial in there but your emotions are nothing more than a chemical state so there is nothing artificial about it. If your life isn't a joyful wonderland pot is a fairly effective and low cost way to make it one for a little while. Being poor sucks and being dumb sucks, why wouldn't you want cheap happiness. If you aren't dumb but merely lazy and making bad choices it seems that would tend be depressing as well so ditto on cheap happiness. If you are highly intelligent and can't help but realize just how fucked we are in this life then again bring on the happiness.

    If you are rich, lazy, and dumb on the hand you don't have much to be unhappy about. You get handed degrees from the best schools, society is set up to ensure that the wealthy enjoy the most comfort and have the best of everything, and the opposite sex will throw themselves at you all day long.

  • Re:And .... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheCarp ( 96830 ) <sjc@@@carpanet...net> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @06:55PM (#42597557) Homepage

    > Finding carcinogens in the smoke is NOT a substitute for actually
    > finding increased incidence of cancer.

    While pot may be one of my favorite issues, this is also a common problem right here. There is a great talk by Dr Lustig (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM ) on sugar, where he talks about a range of issues, and this is one of them...

    That early evidence pointed to a link between cholesterol and heart disease. This has been the basis for the "low fat diet" recommendations, as dietary fat does increase cholesterol levels.

    My summary is no substitute for the video but, the basic summary is that fructose (whether from HFCS or as a product of sucrose) is metabolized in the liver, and raises vLDL levels.... making it far worst than the dietary fat which it has been replacing. (and doing so at a staggering rate)

    Hence the "war on fat", has actually caused the rise in obesity and diabetes, in addition to the heart disease that it was an attempt to reduce.

    His claim is essentially that, your liver is similarly damaged by fructose as it is by alcohol, such that a small glass of OJ is similar to a shot of bourbon.

  • Re:And .... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Synerg1y ( 2169962 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @07:43PM (#42598063)
    Could it possibly be that some of the 600 or so additives found in cigarettes but not in pot lead to the difference in cancer rates among pot smokers and cigarette smokers?
  • Re:lol (Score:3, Insightful)

    by malignant_minded ( 884324 ) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @08:28PM (#42598423)
    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 a solution. Recreational drugs do not improve people except in that most people need recreation or we would die of overload. Some people drink, some smoke, who gives a shit if you do not harm others?
  • Re:So.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @08:37PM (#42598495) Homepage Journal

    Becasue there is more to worry about. Creating an issue that pubs hate will create ANOTHER pathetic excuse to be obstructionists.

    Pay attentionh to a president first year. They try to probe what thye want and check for repson form congress. If an issue will stop a bigger issue from going through, they set it aside.

    One of the big examples from Obama is gitmo. He worked on closing it, but the pubs dug their heals in and made pathetic excuse of why a supermax prison won't hold them. Once that became an issue that the pub would stop all activity over, it was set aside. The the pubs uses it against him..the vary same ones who wouldn't let it close.

    Fact of the matter, you could put most of the remaining people at gitmo in a county prison, and it would be perfectly secure.

    So, yes he is listening, but pubs would use it as an 'evil liburl' reason not to vote for democrats.
    Same thing with Clinton.

    What Obama did to was change the priority of who to go after, and frankly, that was a pretty big step and nearly amazing accomplishment he did it so well with this congress.

  • 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?

  • 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...

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson