As a long-term study on marijuana smoking was published a week ago, does marijuana use – even for legitimate medicinal purposes – bad for one’s I.Q. scores?
By: Ringo Bones
The 20-year long study was originally conducted in New Zealand where it drew 1,000 people observing the long-term effects of marijuana use. A significant number of the participants even started smoking marijuana when they were as young as 13- years of age. According to the results of the study, long-term cannabis use by adolescents whose brains have not yet fully developed show signs of memory loss and up to an 8-point drop in their I.Q. scores. And the worst cases of memory loss and I.Q. score reductions occur in study participants who use marijuana before their 18th birthday at more than 4 times a week. Given the sobering study results, will this be used by some conservative right-wing politicians against the legalization of marijuana for legitimate medical use?
Given the supposed “neutrality” of the study from the basis of where it gets its funding and where it was conducted, medical marijuana special interest groups will look at the results with suspicion – given the long shadow cast by the Ronald Reagan era sham research on marijuana use exaggerating its supposed dangers. In some jurisdictions in the United States, the legalized medical marijuana industry is now so entrenched culturally, socially and economically that further restricting its use using this study as a justification will be seen nothing more than Reagan Administration era demagoguery – as opposed to a peer-reviewed scientifically informed argument against it.