D.A.R.E. classes around the country told crazy myths about the effects of marijuana use. However, these falsehoods and scare tactics did not stop kids from using marijuana.
Instead, a record number of kids started using marijuana from the 1960’s through the 2000’s. Not once did these kids stop to think of the effects of marijuana use on their brains. Interestingly enough, these young adults were right in their lack of worrying. As it turns out, responsible marijuana use does not make marijuana users any more stupid than non-marijuana users.
Growing up, many Generation-X kids were told that marijuana use makes people stupid. Generation-X kids were told that they would be unable to function if they smoked marijuana. The stereotypes of marijuana use’s effects included living at home forever, being stuck in the basement, being unable to graduate high school or attend college, and turning into a human vegetable.
Imagine if everyone who smoked marijuana exhibited these symptoms. Our society would be in a whole lot of trouble. Fortunately, some marijuana smokers went on to become very successful, including Steve Jobs and Barrack Obama.
A recent British study conducted on teenagers found that responsible marijuana use does not decrease IQ. Christopher Ingraham states, “cannabis use by the age of 15 did not predict either lower teenage IQ scores or poorer educational performance. These findings, therefore, suggest that cannabis use at the modest levels used by this sample of teenagers is not by itself causally related to cognitive impairment” (1).
This study disproved a 2012 study by Duke University which stated smoking marijuana lowers IQ. According to Ingraham, “the original research failed to account for a number of confounding factors that could also affect cognitive development, such as cigarette and alcohol use, mental illness and socioeconomic status” (1). Results from recent studies often conflict with results from earlier studies; however, many marijuana users have become successful.
The new marijuana study conducted by Britain may help clear some of the myths surrounding marijuana use. As marijuana continues to become legalized in different states, more research opportunities will become available to find the effects of marijuana use. The old arguments against marijuana use, especially the myth about marijuana use making people stupid, are becoming less convincing. These arguments were flimsy in the first place.
Ingraham, Christopher. “Scientist Have Found That Smoking Weed Does Not Make You Stupid after All.” Washington Post. Washington Post, 18 Jan. 2016. Web. 26 Feb. 2016. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/18/scientists-have-found-that-smoking-weed-does-not-make-you-stupid-after-all/>.