If you want to believe that marijuana damages your brain, be my guest. There are plenty of folks who’ll be more than happy to support you in that belief, and now, weed-hater, there’s a new scientific study which you can brandish at your pothead friends, as well. Ah, the delicious superiority you’ll feel, as you make it clear to these weed-addled burnouts that they are just plain unacceptable in polite society.
But once you get over that last little orgasmic shudder of righteousness — at least, if you’re interested in maintaining some sort of tenuous contact with the non-Reefer Madness reality under which most of us operate — you might want to consider that maybe this study, trumpeted loudly by all the usual mass media suspects, might just reflect the fact that serious, practicing cannabis users aren’t that into taking IQ tests. You might want to also remember that — even according to this study — marijuana use by adults has no effect on IQ scores.
Adolescent-onset cannabis users showed significant I.Q. declines, and more persistent use was associated with greater declines,” said lead author Madeline H. Meier, a rsearcher at Duke University. “Collectively, these findings are consistent with speculation that cannabis use in adolescence, when the brain is undergoing critical development, may have neurotoxic effects.”
The study, which its own authors admit is “not definitive,” suggested a drop (on the average) of eight points in IQ scores for those who, as teenagers, frequently smoked marijuana, was headlined by Fox News Latino as “Marijuana Linked to Low IQ In Teenagers, Study Says.” Of course, the study says no such thing — after all, an IQ of, say, 130, still isn’t “low” even at 122. But then again, two words: Fox News.