With voters in five states planning to make their way the polls this November to make the decision whether cannabis should be made legal-putting the United States in the position of possibly having, even more, states that have legalized marijuana, some reports have implied that one of the greatest worries right now is how all of this legal marijuana will affect the overall intelligence of the great American populous.
It seems that since the federal government has maintained their position of being hell bent throughout the years in denying to allow any meaningful investigative study to take place to research the therapeutic advantages of the cannabis plant, there are still those individuals out there who are convinced that the consumption of cannabis could have negative results on the human brain.
This is mainly due to most of those people growing up during a period of time when public service announcements were viewed during Saturday morning cartoons that not only asserted that marijuana was a harmful and addictive drug but also that it would destroy your brain.
OK, yes, there has been research done which has displayed a slight drop in IQ points in those people who began smoking marijuana in their younger years during a time when the brain was still developing, however, the researchers behind these finding concluded that there was nothing to suggest that people who started using marijuana in their adult life experienced any cognitive decline.
The research collected, which was published by researchers in New Zealand, has been the center of much controversy for the last few years because other scientific minds claim that it did not take into account a number of crucial variables, including upbringing and household financial status.
This research was responsible for inspiring Nicholas Jackson, senior statistician at the University of California, who had a heavy hand in a popular marijuana IQ study published earlier this year, to get to the bottom of all this “Pot reduces intelligence” business by comparing twins.
“If marijuana was causing IQ decline, what we would expect to see is that the twin who goes on and uses marijuana should have IQ deficits,” Jackson told NPR. “We don’t find that.” Obviously, IQ points varied for the sets of twins utilized in the midst of the research conducted, but at the end of the day, researchers discovered no proof that cannabis was transforming the stoned sibling into more of a degenerate than the other.
There is not likely a single marijuana user in the world who would dare say that his or her experience with the leaf has turned them into slobbering moron-most would argue that cannabis has expanded the scope of their intelligence by allowing them to become more introspective and self-aware.
Medical experts have stated that what is typically being mistaken for a decline in brain function is actually just a marijuana user’s short-term memory taking a temporary vacation.
Dr. Mitch Earleywine, professor of psychology at the University of Albany, told NPR that while being stoned at school may prevent a student from learning a state capital, “When it comes to things that are more liquid intelligence, more fluid intelligence, they’re usually pretty good at those because it requires just intelligence in the moment, so to speak.” Interestingly, the federal government is preparing to launch a major research program to study the link, if any, between drug use during the formative years and a decline in brain function.
Researchers with the Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study will monitor thousands of 10-year-olds as they make the journey into early adulthood, utilizing neuroimaging technology to spot any discrepancies in the brain.
Some of the latest polls coming from states with marijuana ballot measures up for consideration this November seem to indicate strong support-hardly the tale of a people frightened by the possibility of slipping further into the cesspool of stupidity.
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