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Pot Smokers Might Not Turn Into Dopes After All

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the i-see-what-you-did-there dept.

Education 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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Just when science was emotionally satisfying... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596405)

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

Who designed this religion anyway?

lol (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596513)

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

Re:lol (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:lol (1)

DaleHarris (1328785) | about 2 years ago | (#42596577)

All it takes is one case and it can convince anyone. Statistics aside, it's the same way we can be sold on anything. Would you like to see how this vacuum works at 7pm while you're eating?

Re:lol (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596593)

Read the fuckin' summary, dumbass...or, better yet, take an introductory statistics course.

The point is that other confounding factors which may or may not be accounted for can throw off a study. Besides, there is no more loathsome a creature than pill-heads. Goddamn, I hate pillheads. At least your traditional junkies and tweekers are aware that they're in deep and make little effort to hide and pretend. Pillheads not only try to keep up with the Jonses, they they think they are the fucking Jonses. They're moody and irritable when they're not outright comatose, and they believe they're better than the other addicts. Fuck your painkillers and your Xanax. Get a fucking hug and be productive, you Jonesin' sad-sacks.

-- Ethanol-fueled

So.... (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 2 years ago | (#42597065)

...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?

And .... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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!

Re:And .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596851)

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!

Uh, one study?

Do you research before trying to pull this "one study" horseshit. There are literally hundreds of studies. And no, I'm not even going to try and link to them here, but feel free to start with Granny's list and go from there. That one alone is quite extensive.

There are plenty of reasons cannabis exists as a viable alternative to many traditional (and usually harmful and powerfully addictive) alternatives that are being pushed by legal drug dealers (i.e. your bought-and-paid-for doctor, or pharma-pimp as I like to call them).

Re:And .... (2)

shaitand (626655) | about 2 years ago | (#42597045)

There are studies that show increased levels of known carcinogens compared with say tobacco smoke. Most of these are known to be byproducts of burning so they really have nothing to do with cannabis. However studies DO NOT support an actual increased incidence of cancer among marijuana smokers despite the presence of those known carcinogens.

I'll provide as many links as you've bothered to.

Finding carcinogens in the smoke is NOT a substitute for actually finding increased incidence of cancer. Since that increased incidence has been looked for (believe me there are plenty of entities including the DEA that have funded studies trying to find it) but not found it implies there is something else contained within the smoke which is minimizing or even neutralizing the cancer causing effects of these substances.

Re:lol (5, Funny)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596595)

He's fallen for another one of your classic pranks!

Re:lol (5, Interesting)

tool462 (677306) | about 2 years ago | (#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 (4, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 2 years ago | (#42596905)

LSD. Honestly, all this time I thought that was LSD talking.

Re:lol (2)

shaitand (626655) | about 2 years ago | (#42597115)

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 conclusions are almost always positive because of the extreme mind blowing euphoria that LSD brings on.

Doing this a lot means having lots of ideas you normally would have never reconsidered crushed and leads to maintaining a more open viewpoint to just about everything. And keeping an open mind without losing prospective is always a good thing.

Re:lol (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42597049)

True story: I have a Bachelor's in Astrophysics, have worked as a Software Engineer at Amazon.com for four years, and will be starting my Master's program in Aerospace Engineering in the fall.

I smoke weed (or, more accurately, vaporize it) nearly every day and have been for about a year and a half. I'm more creative than ever (the weed lets me relax and just explore different ideas and hobbies) and better at my job than ever (my stress levels are super low because I'm able to consistently relax and have fun in the evening). That said, I do it in the evening at home and after I've run any errands I need to run, not while I'm at work.

Re:lol (2)

shaitand (626655) | about 2 years ago | (#42597121)

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.

Re:lol (1)

natophonic (103088) | about 2 years ago | (#42597039)

> 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.
 

Re:lol (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#42597151)

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

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596553)

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.

Ah, so it DOES have a downward slope.

Re:lol (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596935)

Indeed. I am an engineer, and I have created my own company (running for about two years now). I'mactive, social, and I am one of those "job creators" (although the term does tend to make me want to puke due to the context it's usually used in now).

I'm smoking weed regularly. Not because I want to escape something, not because I'm depressed, but simply because I find it enjoyable and a good way to alter my perceptions and relax a bit. Drugs aren't the problem - I suppose it depends on why you take them.

Re:lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596953)

I can say from experience (from 1970's) that the effects are not permenant, However it does last for aproximately 2 weeks. Not so much a drop in IQ, but mostly in the abilty to multi task. That said it can be used to focus on a single project's details. However you may not notice you gf running around with your bf. Just saying.

Re:lol (1)

tnk1 (899206) | about 2 years ago | (#42597241)

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.

Why worry about Pos smokers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596463)

Wahhabis wankers, Shiites shits, and Sunnis loonies. Much worse than pot smokers

Uhh ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596473)

I forgot what I was going to post !

Re:Uhh ... (1, Funny)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 2 years ago | (#42596991)

I forgot what I was going to post !

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

10 years of medical marijuana (2)

kawabago (551139) | about 2 years ago | (#42597207)

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 side effects that create the need for medical marijuana will kill me far sooner than marijuana use will.

First Post (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596477)

Randomly getting the first post yo. Thank you THC.

Re:First Post (5, Funny)

box4831 (1126771) | about 2 years ago | (#42596597)

Randomly getting the first post yo. Thank you THC.

Failed first post attempt? Or subtle commentary on the effects of weed on the mind? You decide!

Re:First Post (5, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#42596659)

He's totally going to be first tomorrow, so GET OFF HIS BACK, MOM!

I could have told you this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596487)

Wait, what?

Pot smoker here... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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:Pot smoker here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596555)

+1

Re:Pot smoker here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596689)

+1

Re:Pot smoker here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596667)

If anything, it assisted me with diving in to the world of UNIX

So THAT explains it! I've been looking at this all wrong. (sometime later) Yeah, like, everything's a file. See this? It does ONE thing, really well. Just ONE thing. Wow, man!

Re:Pot smoker here... (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42596887)

If anything, it assisted me with diving in to the world of UNIX

So THAT explains it! I've been looking at this all wrong. (sometime later) Yeah, like, everything's a file. See this? It does ONE thing, really well. Just ONE thing. Wow, man!

No, man, UNIX is just a gateway drug to Plan 9. That is where the everything's a file stuff gets deep and, like, totally networked.

Re:Pot smoker here... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596709)

Been smoking for 15 years also. I haven't noticed any IQ drop. I've started learning Mandarin and I'm learning it just as fast as I have always learned anything.

Re:Pot smoker here... (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#42596903)

Almost 40yrs here, I am a completely different person to who I was in 1975, for a start I'm 20kg heavier and I've had a haircut.

Re:Pot smoker here... (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 2 years ago | (#42597141)

When you get your hair cut, go to work, and stop wearing tie-dye but don't stop smoking do you still magically stop being a hippy?

Defence of original paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596523)

And here's a defence of the original paper by one of its authors: apparently when you account for said socioeconomic factors the effect is still there. The take of this anonymous coward, who has only read his own link, is that the original paper should have included this analysis, but it turns out that its results stand nevertheless.

Re:Defence of original paper (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596549)

And here's a defence of the original paper by one of its authors: apparently when you account for said socioeconomic factors the effect is still there. The take of this anonymous coward, who has only read his own link, is that the original paper should have included this analysis, but it turns out that its results stand nevertheless.
(anons can't use hyperlinks??)
https://theconversation.edu.au/teen-cannabis-use-lowers-iq-despite-claims-to-the-contrary-11568

Re:Defence of original paper (2)

RoTNCoRE (744518) | about 2 years ago | (#42596775)

NARK!

Re:Defence of original paper (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#42596933)

If I was one of the original paper's authors I'd post as an AC as well. If smoking pot makes you stupid then I was smarter than Einstein and Feynman combined at one time. I'm not posting as an AC since it is 2013, and anyone who judges me for smoking pot is highly likely to do a much, much worse drug known as alcohol, and I don't hide from morons and hypocrites.

Re:Defence of original paper (2)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#42597145)

Any heavy drug use, be it cannabis, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, during the developing years is likely to cause significant problems in later life. That is why so many people are freaked out about the quantity of drugs given to children and young adults. For females the body might be mature by 18, but for males it is more likely 20, so any excessive drug use prior to that can be damaging.

Even though something can be explained by low SES doesn't mean it that low SES is the explanation. In fact low SES is almost never the answer by itself. it is a factor that must be controlled, and if the study in fact did not control for it then the study may in question. Even so SES may indicate that pot use, with other factors such as nutrition, may lead to lower IQ. Or it could mean that the IQ test is flawed. I was watching Firefly with the episode they had cows walking on grates. All I thought of is Josh Whedon probably has a pretty high IQ, but does not know anything about cows. Imagine that. It is hard to pinpoint exact bias in a test, but the assumptions made are the cultural norms of the test writer.

Hard to prove (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596531)

Or their smoking has lead them to drop out of school, causing them to have poorer schooling backgrounds. Its hard to make a definitive statement proving anything that way. What you can say from this data is that doing drugs correlates with being poor and uneducated.

Re:Hard to prove (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 2 years ago | (#42597181)

Perhaps being poor and uneducated correlates to being unhappy and self medicating with drugs and has nothing to do with the drug the poor are self medicating with?

Re:Hard to prove (1)

cusco (717999) | about 2 years ago | (#42597185)

Smoking pot was the only thing that got me through my senior year of high school, it's quite likely I would have dropped out (or possibly suicided) if I hadn't been able to finally do some introspection and self analysis.

What about the other way around? (4, Interesting)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | about 2 years ago | (#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!

Re:What about the other way around? (2)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | about 2 years ago | (#42596633)

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.

Re:What about the other way around? (3, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | about 2 years ago | (#42597195)

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:What about the other way around? (4, Interesting)

Splab (574204) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:What about the other way around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42597037)

There's an old saying.

Smart people smoke pot to make themselves feel dumber.
Dumb people smoke pot to make themselves feel smarter.

I've got a theory about this.

For the first case:
It may sound awful, especially if you're young. Having your brain turned on, full tilt, 24/7 is great. Why would you want to feel dumb? You're amazingly productive and everything is new. It's almost as if learning literally gets you high. Well, it's true. It does. For some people learning brings a literal pleasure reward/stimulation.. And I suspect it's a neural pathway that involves similar (naturally occurring in your brain) chemicals to what are found in cannabis.

Why could being smart all the time be bad? Well, what they don't tell you is that it never stops. Even if you want it to. As you age those discovery rushes get.. Tiring. Exhausting. Irritating. I suspect that the neural pathways easily get exhausted and depleted of those cannabanoid related chemicals. I can tell you that a bit of pot really does alleviate a whole lot of mental exhaustion.

People joke about turning your brain off, but it really is amazing to experience if you're not able to do it on your own. Off isnt even really the way to describe it. Its more like.. Unchained. Literally, THC binds to (and blocks the effect of) natural neurotransmitter inhibitors. When you see guy who's stoned he's not dumb. His brain isn't off. Quite the opposite. He's overwhelmed, and what you have to say at the moment probably just isn't very interesting.

Second case:
People we call "dumb" I suspect really do miss out on the rush and excitement that comes with learning. Learning is even annoying or painful. Getting stoned opens up the floodgates to something they don't normally enjoy. The experience must be utterly mind blowing to someone who's not very "deep". I'm not saying that it's a good way to actually learn, but it might suggest why the least.. Intellectual people I know are such avid stoners.

Re:What about the other way around? (1)

Eglaelin (564923) | about 2 years ago | (#42597245)

Why could being smart all the time be bad? Well, what they don't tell you is that it never stops. Even if you want it to. As you age those discovery rushes get.. Tiring. Exhausting. Irritating. I suspect that the neural pathways easily get exhausted and depleted of those cannabanoid related chemicals. I can tell you that a bit of pot really does alleviate a whole lot of mental exhaustion.

Really. My mind is constantly on the move and learning, but I certainly don't find the simple fact of it exhausting. I also don't need drugs to give me a break.

Re:What about the other way around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42597105)

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...

Uh, to be honest, I consider those who partake in all the other damaging and highly addictive habits as the dumb ones.

The "smarter" ones already know which drug is the intelligent choice.

This study is dopey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596627)

IQ has been completely debunked as a measure of intelligence. Why is it being used as the yardstick in marijuana studies?

Why not just use phrenology to tell my why marijuana is bad?

Idiodic propaganda to derail the debate before it leaves the station.

So.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596631)

So, they're saying that you don't become a dope by smoking pot, you just already happen to be a dope, and it's not the pot's fault you're a moron.

Makes sense, actually. Not really a shining endorsement of pot smoking as a past time, but it's more of an indicator of being a moron, not a cause.

So the answer comes back to (1)

areusche (1297613) | about 2 years ago | (#42596639)

Correlation does not equal causation? I'll be darned....

Small minded prior results (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596677)

I partook of the herb in high school and first 3 yrs of college.
My first real job was at NASA as a rocket scientist. I wrote softare to fine rocket motors and liquid fuel rocket engines.

I was getting smarter with every inhale and those who never tried it were getting smaller and smaller minded.

Vicious circle (5, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | about 2 years ago | (#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

Re:Vicious circle (1)

Azmodan (572615) | about 2 years ago | (#42596769)

THIS!!!

Re:Vicious circle (5, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Vicious circle (2)

tnk1 (899206) | about 2 years ago | (#42597215)

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.

This new info would have come much earlier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596707)

...but the researchers got high.

Words of the Prophet (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#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

Too bad nobody's going to hear about the follow-up (2)

RoTNCoRE (744518) | about 2 years ago | (#42596739)

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 (1, Interesting)

segedunum (883035) | about 2 years ago | (#42596753)

....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 (4, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 2 years ago | (#42597001)

"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."

In my experience, yes it does (-1, Flamebait)

argStyopa (232550) | about 2 years ago | (#42596761)

I'm sure legions of potheads will jump in here to tell me how pot is harmless.

I can assert that isn't true from personal experience.

In my fraternity days, as a freshman I met and ended up being friends with a guy fairly similar to myself. Bright, introverted, we got along really well for at least 3-4 months. Then he discovered the joy of weed. From the first joint in his life, he quickly progressed to constant indulgence, and his room became a haze of bluish smoke.

Finally we went on a freshman bus trip and he brought along what I thought was a huge bag - roughly the size of a softball, maybe a little larger - and he smoked that gone in about 3-4 days.

He became a different person. Distracted, apathetic, unresponsive, glassy eyed. I can't say he became stupid, he 'discovered' apparently that if you study baked and then take the tests baked, you do just fine. I think he graduated with a 4.0 anyway.

But he was a wholly different, dislikeable person. I missed my friend.

Who knows, right? Maybe he was an addictive personality that would have similarly destroyed himself in alcohol or other drugs.

All I can tell is that the person I met and grew to like was not eventually the person he became in a very short while. And that was ENTIRELY due to weed. I watched it happen.

But go ahead, keep telling yourself that marijuana's harmless, it hasn't changed you at all.

Re:In my experience, yes it does (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596817)

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

Re:In my experience, yes it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596845)

Sounds like you are just jealous of the reefer.

Re:In my experience, yes it does (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596855)

I'll take your anecdote about your friend, and respond with my anecdote about how it has saved my life. Between my intense migraines that I suffered from for 20 years with no pharmacological relief, and my severe depression, I'm positive that I would have killed myself without it. It eases the depression and goes a long way to reduce the occurrence and intensity of my headaches.

Somehow your friend sounds like he had other problems that the weed just compounded. I'm sorry for him, but your anger is misplaced.

Re:In my experience, yes it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596885)

"My friend smoked copious amounts of weed, and graduated with a perfect GPA. Therefore, weed makes people dumber!"

Re:In my experience, yes it does (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596927)

First of all, you definitely didn't answer the question posed, sounds like his intelligence might have been unaffected. Secondly, it seems that your friend moved on to a new phase in his life, and your paths diverged. People change, that's part of life, and not all change is bad, or good. It's common for people to grow apart, just as some grow closer.

Re:In my experience, yes it does (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:In my experience, yes it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596963)

"Anecdote" is not the singular form of "data." More importantly, yes that IS a clear case of an addictive personality. It is, in fact, a textbook case. Cannabis has not been proven in any way to have physically addictive properties. If he found alcohol or tobacco first I guarantee the same pattern would emerge.

His decline was only incidentally related to cannabis abuse (note, NOT use). Next time try not to use personal experience as 'evidence' in favor of your crusade against things you disapprove of.

Re:In my experience, yes it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596981)

You are part of the reason that the laws will never be changed, because you have quite simply bought into the propaganda. I guess everyone you know that drinks almost every day has a huge nose. And everyone that wears glasses in your life is a geek.

Re:In my experience, yes it does (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#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:In my experience, yes it does (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42597015)

If he is successful and happy with what he does, then who the fuck are you to criticize his character because he doesn't meet your expectations of who he should be. Talk about selfish.

Re:In my experience, yes it does (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about 2 years ago | (#42597021)

You are viewing it from one perspective and putting too much faith in that one data point. It reminds me of my daughter when she is doing something dangerous and I tell her "You are going to get hurt!"... "But I didn't!"

You are viewing pot, like a drug, as in cocaine-meth-style drug, rather than say, caffiene. A cup or three of coffee can be a godsend, but drinking pots throughout the day will kill you in more ways than one. Don't like that comparison? One vitamin is good. Six are not.

Re:In my experience, yes it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42597027)

"But he was a wholly different, dislikeable person."
"All I can tell is that the person I met and grew to like was not eventually the person he became in a very short while."

In my personal experience joining a fraternity had a similar effect on my friends.

Re:In my experience, yes it does (2)

lannocc (568669) | about 2 years ago | (#42597073)

Interesting anecdote. But you fail to make your point that pot was actually harmful, unless you only meant it was harmful to your friendship.

Yes, smoking marijuana can change a personality. Perhaps only while under the effects or perhaps indefinitely, it just depends on the person. I liken it to an "eye-opening" experience for some people, that after smoking they now view and think about the world in a different way that makes it impossible to go back to their prior-to-smoking mindset.

Smoking pot is an experience, and for some, it is profound. Like any profound experience, you may be forever changed. Consider also that some people have been doing and thinking the same things for so long in their life that when finally introduced to new/altered perceptions they simply require a period of time to "tune out", look inward, organize the new and reorganize the old thoughts. This could be a day or this could take years. Or it could simply be an excuse for the person to finally do whatever it is they have always really wanted to do, possibly to the exclusion of those around them. I don't believe any of this is necessarily harmful. I believe much of this is enlightening.

/occasional smoker

Re:In my experience, yes it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42597075)

who said marijuana is harmless? haven't read that in the comments so far....

It most certainly is not harmless, few things are, but it is not nearly as harmful as some might imagine.

PS sorry to hear about your friend. I lost my best mate to meth with a similar story.

Re:In my experience, yes it does (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42597087)

You are getting flamed, but this is a pretty common experience among potheads, in my experience. Personality-wise, they become slow-witted "Butthead" types, even though they're functionally very intelligent. Frequently they'll end up as bro-grammers. (and for the record, i'm not anti-weed)

Re:In my experience, yes it does (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#42597193)

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.

Re:In my experience, yes it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42597255)

Wow. You're pretty good at this jump-to-baseless-conclusions thing.

Maybe it just lowered his inhibitions just enough to be the asshole he really was deep down. Or maybe you're just a really irritating straight-edge that finally got kicked to the curb because you wouldn't shut up. The reasons for WHY are endless.

The fact is, there are hundreds of millions of people out there that don't have a problem and actually benefit from the many uses of Marijuana.

But go ahead, keep telling yourself that placing blame on marijuana is the reason your friend dumped your ass, that's a great way to divert! What you need is to see a damn shrink and grow up.

tomorrows newspaper headlines (2, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | about 2 years ago | (#42596793)

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

Re:tomorrows newspaper headlines (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 2 years ago | (#42597013)

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

Just like alcohol.

As noted in the article (1)

thoughtfulbloke (1091595) | about 2 years ago | (#42596797)

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.

Just one random example, but .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596815)

I used to spend a lot of time with a small group of friends in high-school, back in '88-'89, and for a couple of years after that. One of them was a guy who by all counts was a heavy pot smoker. I mean, we're talking a whole collection of elegant and fairly costly water bongs he kept locked up in a safe and the whole works.

I don't think I ever saw him when he wasn't obviously high.

He was also the soft-spoken type who didn't communicate much unless you directly asked him a question -- but he was still fun to be around. He always listened to interesting music, was willing to take our group around places in his vintage Mustang he liked to work on, and would occasionally just say or do something that cracked everyone up. Seemed to be pretty well read though, and had a decent sized book collection around his place -- though he didn't talk about it much.

Much later on, I ran into the guy again. I think most people I still knew who remembered him just wrote him off as a goofy stoner, and imagined he never did much with his life. But turns out he had a pretty good paying job as a C++ developer and had a lot of enlightening things to say on current events, politics, individual rights, and other such topics. I imagine he still communicate a lot more verbosely online than face to face. But he's clearly a really bright guy who didn't suffer from pot killing his brain and making him into a zombie, after all.

Reverse correlation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596833)

So they are not stupid because they smoke cannabis. They smoke cannabis because they are stupid. Got it!

Words to live by: (4, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#42596843)

"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.

What is this NUMBER in my TITLE BAR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596879)

Suddenly my title bar changed over to "Slashdot (15)"

What does the 15 mean? I looked everywhere but I only had one unread message (comment moderation) that I deleted.

Grasping at Straws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42596973)

That's all the counter-study is doing.

Easy enough to check. (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 2 years ago | (#42596997)

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.

Hurray for science! (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#42597031)

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? (4, Informative)

whitroth (9367) | about 2 years ago | (#42597067)

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

not cut and dry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42597125)

I think it depends on the person's brain chemistry AND what they do with their brain when stoned. I can agree with most of the viewpoints on here, both from personal experience and watching other people. Which is to say I don't think it's cut and dry, whether it's harmful or not. I think it also might depend on how well you eat--like it may deplete some nutrients faster in comparison, so if you don't stay on top of that, you can get burnt out. But this is kind of the same thing with any drug, especially alcohol. Also, the wisest guys I've ever met were stoners. And we're talking old buddhist monks without egos that pretty much fit my definition of enlightenment at the time (undefined now). I always hold them up as examples for how you're not doomed if you smoke. But I do worry about it a fair amount and thus go through stretches of smoking and stretches of not. Also, one thing they would talk about is the extra ego it gives you--which for them was just something else to look at and not get attached to :), but for normal people, it's ego-inflating (which might account for some of the negative effects people see).

But it's really great for thinking and creativity. I think it's a very useful tool for artists and anyone who needs to think abstractly (like, say, theoretical physicists or computer programmers coming up with novel algorithms).

Weekend Update - 1976 (1)

Alien Being (18488) | about 2 years ago | (#42597127)

Chevy Chase: A reminder to those of our viewers who missed our story last week on the influx of so-called Killer Dope in urban areas around the country. "Weekend Update" has been analyzing the samples of marijuana sent to us anonymously all week. We are pleased to report that, so far, the only significant finding has been that if you force a baby squirrel to smoke seven-hundred cannabis joints a day, he will become disoriented, seems to take the laws of self-preservation less seriously, tending to play with his nuts rather than store them.

Once again, if you should come into contact with ANY suspicious cannabis, and wish it be analyzed by "Weekend Update"'s team of research analysts, simply send a small sample immediately to: "Chevy Chase, 857 West 81 Street, New York City".

The previous study was published on BBC News (1)

blind biker (1066130) | about 2 years ago | (#42597153)

This hasn't, and it won't.

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