Debunking the Cannabis IQ scare of 2015
For decades, there has been a conspiracy in the works to debunk the medical benefits of cannabis. Stemming from the period known as “Reefer Madness,” a swell of misinformation has been pushed down the unsuspecting throats of the American people.
The original scare tactics used by proponents of prohibition no longer can stand the scrutiny of present man. Previously, claims like “marijuana makes you violent” or “marijuana leads to crime” were blindly accepted by the citizens of the country, however these days the deception needs to be much more subtle in order to convince Americans to maintain the prohibition of marijuana, or at the very least stall it for as long as “they” can.
Using Pseudo Science to Keep a Policy
“Scientific Studies” on cannabis has been tainted for decades now and many of the alleged “negative effects” of marijuana consumption were derived from manipulated data, phony studies and superstitious beliefs.
There are some prime examples of this. For instance, the claim that marijuana causes brain damage, which was concluded by Dr. Robert G. Heath, was in fact 100% fallacious in nature. Heath conducted a study on 30 rhesus monkeys by exposing them to an equivalent of 30 joints per day. Ninety days later, the monkeys died. After performing an autopsy on the monkeys, he reported significant brain damage and concluded that marijuana was to blame.
Despite being federally funded, the study was criticized by many scientists and eventually was found that the monkeys were in fact suffocated to death, which caused the brain damage.
The only reason I mention this study is to make sure you understand that the “research” into the risks of marijuana has always been heavily altered to fit the prohibitionist rhetoric.
Reefer Madness in the Modern Age
While before scientists could get away with studies that suffocated monkeys, today the research needs to be a lot more careful in execution. From “marijuana causes psychosis” to “marijuana causes schizophrenia”, the studies seem much more “scientific” in nature, however, upon further review you will usually find a factor that was conveniently left out or overlooked.
This brings me to the IQ scare of 2015.
The IQ Scare of 2015
For decades, people have claimed that marijuana makes you dumb. The problem is that there was no scientific evidence to support this theory. This was until a few scientists in 2015 got together and tried to claim that smoking marijuana in your adolescent years will have a significant impact on your IQ.
The study allegedly followed thousands of people from the year of their birth all the way until their 40s. According to their findings, there was a significant decline in IQ for people who started smoking in their teen years and even greater decline to those who continued to use cannabis heavily.
According to them, they found a direct association between marijuana use and IQ decline. However, around comes 2016 and once more another well furbished Reefer Madness study was debunked.
The Debunking of the Scare
A recent study published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that marijuana consumption among teens has absolutely no impact on IQ. Imagine that!
The difference between this study and the aforementioned study was that this one was actually using Twins as the basis for their study. The data was pulled from two different studies; The Risk Factor of Antisocial Behavior which assessed 789 twins who had their IQ tested in the late 90’s and then again ten years later.
The second study collected data from the IQ tests of 2,277 Twins between 1990 and 1996, and then again between 1999 and 2006.
The participants completed confidential surveys on their use about marijuana, binge drinking, use of other drugs, painkillers and cocaine. Then, the researchers analyzed the data from twins who had never used marijuana and those who habitually used it for a period of six months.
There was a consistent drop of 4 points in IQ in both groups leading to the conclusion that Marijuana does indeed have no effect on your IQ. Researchers concluded that genetics and a change in home environment might play a bigger role in regards to IQ.
88% of Studies can’t be replicated
Now for the kicker! How much can you actually trust these studies? In a recent analysis of cancer studies, researchers found that 88% of the studies can’t be replicated by other scientists. The same goes for most psychological studies. I’m sure if you dig enough, you’ll find these trends happen across the board.
The reason that many of these studies can’t be replicated is because researchers are funded by companies that are expecting specific results. In many cases, researchers will cut corners or simply discard results that don’t fit the rhetoric to satisfy the will of their investors.
Understanding that marijuana is a politically charged topic, the people who fund these studies are in most cases organizations that depend on the continued existence of marijuana prohibition. This means that the information provided by these organizations cannot and should not be trusted. Always follow the money to discover whether a study is bias towards a particular result. In the case of marijuana studies, most were funded by prohibition-based organizations and should be taken with a grain of salt.
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