'Stoner Stupid' Myth Goes Up In Smoke

[Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s media alerts and legislative advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up here.] The consumption of cannabis, even long-term, poses few adverse effects on cognitive performance, according to clinical trial data to be published in the scientific journal Addiction.
Investigators at the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University, Center for Mental Health Research assessed the impact of cannabis use on various measures of memory and intelligence in over 2,000 self-identified marijuana consumers and non-users over an eight-year period. Among cannabis consumers, subjects were grouped into the following categories: ‘heavy’ (once a week or more) users, ‘light’ users, ‘former heavy’ users, ‘former light’ users, and ‘always former’ — a category that consisted of respondents who had ceased using marijuana prior to their entry into the study.
Researchers reported: “Only with respect to the immediate recall measure was there evidence of an improved performance associated with sustained abstinence from cannabis, with outcomes similar to those who had never used cannabis at the end point. On the remaining cognitive measures, after controlling for education and other characteristics, there were no significant differences associated with cannabis consumption.”
They concluded, “Therefore, the adverse impacts of cannabis use on cognitive functions either appear to be related to pre-existing factors or are reversible in this community cohort even after potentially extended periods of use.”
Separate studies have previously reported that long-term marijuana use is not associated with residual deficits in neurocognitive function. Specifically, a 2001 study published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry found that chronic cannabis consumers who abstained from the drug for one week “showed virtually no significant differences from control subjects (those who had smoked marijuana less than 50 times in their lives) on a battery of 10 neuropsychological tests. … Former heavy users, who had consumed little or no cannabis in the three months before testing, [also] showed no significant differences from control subjects on any of these tests on any of the testing days.”
Additionally, studies have also implied that cannabis may be neuroprotective against alcohol-induced cognitive deficits. A 2009 study by investigators at the University of California and San Diego reported that binge drinkers who also used cannabis experienced significantly less white matter damage to the brain as compared to subjects who consumed alcohol alone.
For more information regarding the impact of cannabis on brain function, see NORML’s factsheet ‘Cannabis and the Brain: A User’s Guide,’ here.

100 thoughts

  1. I wonder every single time you guys post a break through story, does the federal government even read these? if so, why isn’t any of this being recognized? Seems totally counter productive to ignore the people when your government is based on the will of the people.

  2. Every time I’ve ever had an official IQ test, I’ve always scored at least 140+ (ranging from 140-160 depending on the test) and that is both pre-smoking as a teen and post-smoking for seven years including a year of heavy smoking as an adult. In fact due to my ADHD, smoking a moderate amount helps me to improve retention instead due to the facts it relaxes me and helps improves my overall concentration. Any negligible adverse effects on retention are overcome and outweighed by the benefits for me personally. This can not be said for any ADHD medicine I’ve ever used during my lifetime. Ritalin had no effect on me(I took myself off of it with doctor approval as a teen as a personal experiment) and nor did any other medicine I was ever prescribed.

  3. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act – RFRA of 1993 H.R 1308 is Unconstitutional.
    The constitutionality of RFRA as applied to the federal government was confirmed on February 21, 2006, as the Supreme Court ruled unanimously against the government in Gonzales v. O Centro Espinito Beneficente Uniao do Vegital, 546 U.S. 418 (2006), which involved the use of an otherwise illegal substance in a religious ceremony, decisively stating that the federal government must show a compelling state interest in restricting religious freedom.
    Other weaknesses still exist in the fact that, despite congressional resolution, “unofficial religious antagonism” still exists today through adverse legislation and judicial and executive decisions. Also, even with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, many members of the Native American Church still had issues using peyote in their ceremonies because of the Smith case. This led to the Religious Freedom Act Amendments in 1994 which states, “the use, possession, or transportation of peyote by an Indian for bona fide traditional ceremony purposes in connection with the practice of a traditional Indian religion is lawful, and shall not be prohibited by the United States or any state. No Indian shall be penalized or discriminated against on the basis of such use, possession or transportation.” Rastas and the Native American Church are not prohibited from their Sacraments. So then – it goes without saying – Genesists have that very same right – and – we unequivocally claim religious use – and – the “free exercise thereof.”

  4. I have used cannabis for most of my adult life. I have a graduate degree in the biological sciences, a professional job and a wonderful, successful family. So much for the myth that if you smoke pot you turn into a brainless loser. I would like see more posts like this and show the world we won’t be scared by myths and lies from the federal government.

  5. The only signs of stupidity shown associated with the use of marijuana is when we as the public are led to believe the lies put out by shills for the DEA an the government.

  6. Is it not obvious that the federal government, those who purport to serve the people, serve instead interests foreign to the people? What can be gained by any politician in a constitutional republic in ignoring and acting counter to the wishes of the citizens of that republic? Perhaps the question should not be “why aren’t you listening” but rather “who are you listening to?”. Prohibition cannot ever serve the interests of the People. Therefore, we ask, who DOES prohobition serve? Who has what to lose if this egregious and illegal pogrom is finally ended?

  7. All members of the armed forces of the United States, as well as all members of all law enforcement agencies here, i believe, are under oath to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC”. So, why haven’t the prohibitionists been arrested and incarcerated, and in some cases perhaps, even tried for treason and executed?

  8. This is not a surprise to me either, however, over 35 years ago, inundated with scare tactics I learned in HS, when I began to use cannabis, and found it good, the thoughts and fears would race through my mind that “continuous use of cannabis would cause me to burn out at an early age”! I found myself comparing myself to real burn-outs – alcoholics, heroin addicts, politicians. I thought, “so I’m going to be like them?”
    I’m 57 and it never happened – “the burn-out”. In fact, over 35 years I used half a joint to a joint a day to alleviate anxiety, distance myself from symptoms of PTSD, increase concentration, promote an interest in education and self-learning, and in general became a dynamic person who was a above average achiever and model citizen.
    Today, since turning 50, essentially, access to cannabis is not present… my creativity has declined substantially, my motivation and ability to try need things in life, like a new job has all but vanished. I drink way too much alcohol, smoke tobacco and am resigned to die at a young age during my 60’s.
    The good news? I’m not breaking the LAW!!!

  9. Thanks for screwing the USA. This is what happens when smoking something other than cannibis. So what in hell has the govt. been smoking? anyone that has a hand in this governments bullshit , will not get reelected by me. My wife just lost her job and i am disabled, ever try living on $855.00 a month? I would like to see them try.

  10. The light bulb didn’t just go on in my head – but – it just occurred to me that – if we get enough religious folks on this side of the line drawn in the sand – we will win – not that we haven’t already – government just hasn’t “got it” yet.

  11. Greenthumb, The DEA already knows that marijuana is safe, and they know that it’s an effective treatment for many conditions. The problem is that not enough Americans know.
    The DEA forbids almost all research into marijuana in the US (This study was done in Australia, by the way). Their standard response to requests by medical researchers is that “You cannot research its medicinal properties because it has no medicinal properties”.
    Did you get that? The police forbid medical research because the police claim they already know the results of all research!
    Here is the reason: If marijuana prohibition were ended, there would be no need for a massive DEA, but an end to marijuana prohibition requires DEA permission! It’s a clear conflict of interest.
    The only way prohibition will ever end is when enough Americans are educated.

  12. Ezekiel 29. And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, “NEITHER BEAR THE SHAME OF THE HEATHEN ANYMORE.” So! who doesn’t get that?

  13. It might be a good idea to change the url from ‘stonet’ to ‘stoner’ as the article reads… kinda ruins the whole point of it, imho.

  14. Aren’t you feeling a little stupid by now after 74+ years of MJ Prohibition. ABOUT 10% OF OUR POPULATION IS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TELLING THE REST OF US (THE OTHER 90%) WHAT TO DO, THINK AND SAY ON ISSUES OF MJ. The feelings of being stupid are derived from our inability to take action against that 10% who are living very comfortably on our stupidity and lack of drive to take action against the Federal Government. We’ve put all our trust into National Organizations like NORML, MPP, ASA, etc. and after 74 years we’re still waiting for the 10% to approve our “Mother May I approach to legalize MJ?” I’m trying to appeal to your intelligence, your intellect, self pride and justice for all of us. We have to do more to take what is our right and vow never to be bullied by this little group ever again. Call, write or visit your Congressional Offices and deliver a clear message. Legalize or you won’t get any votes and if there’s a way to rise up, we will to make our point. Folks the Feds understand that all too well and that’s why they’ve started to legalize what they can get away with in the eyes of their voting majority. All we as MJ supporters need to do is simply remain constantly, “IN THEIR FACES WITH OUR NEVER ENDING PLEA REQUEST.” You got to make a effort to contact your Congressman, I’m begging anyone reading this, please make an effort today. It means life to the sick and dyeing of cancer and other illnesses who know that Hemp Oil will most likely cure them. Help, please help by making some kind of effort to contact your congressman, please and give’em your thoughts plain and simple.

  15. You can’t do any better than to stay, “IN YOUR CONGRESSMAN’S FACE,” with two words. “Legalize MJ!” Call’em now, send an e-mail. Come’on folks don’t be a slacker and do your part please.

  16. Our government dont care, Its all about money and control. If they really cared about your health you would not be allowed to smoke cigarettes cigars, drink alcohol cover you food with pesticides or let drug companies push there garbage, the list goes on and on. If they legalize marijuana you could grow it yourself and they would not get your money. We need to stand up to this government and let them no WE THE PEOPLE run this country.

  17. I’m think that there are two likely responses by the DEA. The first is that they will hire their own scientists to dispute the findings in this study. Or second, they will just ignore it altogether. Either way, they have proven beyond any doubt that they don’t care about the truth and have no intention of changing their ways. The only THC that they are going to approve of is if Big Pharma makes it in their laboratories and profits from it. We have absolutely no reason to trust them.
    As for the results of this study, I’m sure that many of us have already known for years that our minds work just fine in spite of cannabis use; maybe even better!

  18. No way the fools running this country are reading any info on mj, We need to do more then leave comments, we need to call them as much as possible over and over flood them with letters and let them no if they dont listen they wont be back in office. we will elect the other lier and thief and see what they do.

  19. Pretty messed up when the government doesn’t allow medical study of the plant to be allowed in the United States when big pharma has clinical studies on all types of natural and synthetic chemicals. Ive smoked marijuana and yes ive tried other narcotics because the guy had it when i went there for marijuana. People know flat out after they take any of these narcotics how bad they are for you.
    Mariuana never had that affect on me though. It calmed me down and made my life pleasent other than not being able to find a good paying job without a piss test and my moms whole Reefer madness outlook. My dad normally drinks 15-24 beers a night to pass out when hes working at the refinery for these oil companies. Now that he got layed off i passed him a joint after his first couple beers, guess what he slowed down drinking. Now he is down to a six pack and a joint a day. Better for me since he isnt the cocky/mean drunk now he is a layed back relaxed dad. THATS THE REAL CHANGE OUR COUNTRY NEEDS… The only thing is its only going to be steady here for a little while since now i hear he is going back to the refinery. He stopped smoing and already relize that he is going back to the ol ways.. When will the oppression of people ever end so we can collectivly have a somewhat normal life..

  20. It’s not “all about cannabis” – in fact – that’s just one “false front” – it’s about everything the Luciferian Party is doing. Some say the Luciferians want to “kill us.” 5.5 billion would be the correct number scheduled for “execution” [population thinning]. Their objective is to kill God, our country, the Constitution, our monetary system, and “you.” So! don’t be surprised when you hear someone say that the Luciferians doesn’t care – because – “they don’t.” Just pay attention to what they are doing as we speak – and – the pieces to the puzzle will fall into place. Everything is manipulated – every piece of that puzzle is manipulated to serve their agenda. It’s the old shell game.

  21. Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member’s home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It’s time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana.
    If ordinary Americans could grow a little marijuana in their own back yards, it would be about as valuable as home-grown tomatoes. Let’s put the criminals out of business and get them out of our neighborhoods. Let’s let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.
    Here’s one way that IT IS REALLY WORKING: Arresting the criminals and collecting a fee from the registered growers (and bringing in thousands of dollars to support the county budget); what a great plan! This is the way to build a better America! http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/2011/07/the-pot-republic-one-sheriffs-quietly-radical-experiment.html
    The current proposal before Congress, bill HR 2306, will allow states to decide how they will regulate marijuana. Email your Congressperson and Senators at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml and ask them to sign on as a CO-SPONSOR of HR 2306.
    And a big THANK YOU to the courageous, freedom loving legislators, governors, and countless others who are working so hard to bring this through! You’re doing a great patriotic service for all of America!

  22. I know a guy who has smoked marijuana regularly most of his life and he is in his late 40s. This guy:
    1.) Predicted the housing market crash just by reading different magazine articles. He predicted it in 2006.
    2.) Predicted the current federal debt crisis back in 2006.
    3.) Predicted the Wall Street Crash back in 2006 also.
    This guy went into great detail about exactly how this would happen. He’s been dead-on and highly accurate. He’s not an economist; he’s a blue-collar worker. So, if pot makes people “stupid”, how is it this working-class guy surpassed all our great economists and Ivy League bankers and federal officials in seeing what was going to happen?

  23. I am a 60-yr old retired TB (race)horse trainer and breeder. For my last 45+ years of HARD physical labor and a position where you have to LEARN, REMEMBER, and pay CLOSE ATTENTION to DETAIL, I now have a few dibilitating (physical & mental)afflictions that have been dealt with by Professionals: Neurologists,Neurosurgeons, Psychiatrists, Physical Therapists), but no one that could perscribe cannibis. I also have trained and RACED my horses Holistically against horses on ALL kinds of CRAP(Steroids imparticular) with WINNING success.As a result of the horrific break-down of Eight Belles in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, the Racing community has finally banned steroid use, as well as other HARMFUL chemicals. You’d think that the so-called “Professionals”could figure it out by now!Chemicals=Destruction whereas; GREEN=SUCCESS!I have been smoking weed since I was 14 years old and now I’m 60. Through all of those 46 years and counting……I surely have NOT gone brain dead~~ Far from it! My proof of THAT is not only within my own body & mind, but the WIN pictures on my wall say it all!!!

  24. ps….I also sat on the White House lawn back in ’67:”HELL NO,WE WON’T GO, HELL NO! WE WON’T GO! I think it might be TIME…..to RALLY on the lawn once again!! WHO’S WITH ME??????? NORML NOW! O’bama LATER!

  25. 37. ConservativeChristian
    “Let’s let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards.”
    50 states are pushing for “No Home Grow Law.” Why? –
    because Monsanto has the patent for GMO seeds – and – they are out to kill organics – or – make it so expensive to grow organics it’s cost prohibitive. Guess what seed is organic? BTW – if your growing anything in your back yard they have a right to come in your back yard and inspect your crop. How do you like them apples – or – tomatoes – or – cannabis.
    “This is the way to build a better America!”
    The Luciferian Party doesn’t want to build a better America – but – they sure as hell want a North American Union to complete their European-North American “One World – New World Order.”

  26. 33. Denni66
    “Can the use of cannabis be used as US currency?”
    We can use anything for currency – and – we can barter. Frankly I love this new community grow movement – and – farmer’s markets to put money back into the community. “Americans aren’t stupid” – but – we are being stupid for letting government run our lives [completely]. The three functions of government are to 1.) to protect us from outside aggression. 2.) Protect us from inside aggression. 3.) Build and maintain buildings. How they ever got it into their heads that they were good for anything else is an enigma.

  27. The “war on drugs’ is a misnomer. It should read, “the war on our people.” Our government has been prosecuting us for generations. Before that, in the burning times, the powers-that-be did the same thing, only more dramatically. And before that, other imperialists did the same. Historically, to subsume a culture, the encroachers adopt some aspects of the native religion then demonize those not won over to the new hyybrid theology imposed on the population. Concurrently, they take control of the provision of health care and food/water distributin systems. Once that’s done, the population becomes maleable. It seems that cannabis may make us less controllable.
    It’s lovely to spend time among the less maleable among us. Thank you for being who you are. Now let’s get out there. Even just sending one email a day to a governmental representative would help. It’s important to talk among ourselves. It’s even better to use these conversations to propell us into sharing the information with those who don’t yet know.
    We were getting rid of some stuff at a flea market last weekend, so we put out flyers for a showing of What If Cannabis Cured Cancer at a local community center scheduled for that evening. A neighbor came by. I gave her one and wound up going with her. She’s an 80-year-old nurse who recently heard from a life-long friend with cancer who’s recovering since having abandoned the industrialized health care approach in favor of cannabis six months ago. My neighbor couldn’t believe how strong and vibrant her friend has become. On the way home she said tearfully, “I could have been better at what what I did had I known this. It really pisses me off.” It just goes to show that we never know who we’re going to reach when we put the information out there. This women spends at least four hours a day on her computer doing political activism. Guess what her new cause is?

  28. After 40 years of tokin on a regular basis what is the government going to classify me as stoner stupid, just stupid or insane. The only adverse Side I can see is MARIJUANA PROHIBITION and DRACONIAN LAWS. Do not worry no. 40 we sure are not brain dead but more educated about marijuana than the government does not want us to know about. Keep the masses stupid and they try to keep us in control with their PROHIBITIONIST MENTALITY. Just like with HOMELAND SECURITY and PATRIOT ACT= FEAR MONGERING, I DON’T FEEL ANY SAFER. The real terrorists are in our own back yard, THE FEDERALISTS in WASHINGTON D.C.. The drug war is’nt about drugs. it’s about ERODING our CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. We are not citizens anymore, just Serfs to BIG CORPORATIONS. DRACONIAN AND FEDERAL LAWS = CONTROL. IS IT FDA APPROVED THAT THE DEA KNOW ANYTING ABOUT ABOUT MARIJUANA, WHERE DID THEY GET THEIR INFORMATION FROM IF THEY SAY THERE IS NO RESAEARCH. GIVE THEM ANOTHER BONE. Only in AMERIKA!

  29. I’m 55 & have used steady since 16. I have a fairly high ranking blue collar job & am considered one of the best in that area. I also test high on IQ & problem solving…but I’ve also had 5 DUI’s thanx to alcohol & have been through 2 lite spin dries & 1 full one. Anybody that’s been in treatment knows that less than 1% of fellow patients are there for MJ & those that are is because they’re busted juveniles or those caught by surprise pee tests like the military. The repeated relapse people are all alcohol, meth, coke, heroin & percripts.In my last “term” I stood my ground for MJ & couldn’t get a counseler to put up a decent argument or the wiliness to do so with only it’s illegal as a point. The facts that are boggling are gov. subsidising tobacco, alcohol the #1 cause of domestic violence & productivity loss, and percripts leading in overdoes. Those 3 are big business with big power in Wash,DC & MJ doesn’t have that & was taken out by it. When MADD joined up with the insurance comps.for seat belt laws we gotem, even the NRA the firearms comps. as help. So we gotta keep screamin & kicking cause the cartels aren’t gonna help nor are they gonna believe scientic studies funded by us. The other big hurdle is a decent test for being under the influence.That would help a bunch & change the job market dramatically since the current test is weighted in favor of the addictives. 4.5 yrs. alcohol free 4 me

  30. Just what I always suspected!
    I knew I was not becoming more stupid. If anything the other way round!
    It would be a good idea, as suggested to start collating all this info, someone must be doing it..surely

  31. I have used Cannabis for over forty years, am now 59, grow my own, smoked almost every day, except for two years when I was critically ill. I worked for the Federal Gov for over twenty years, in high security positions, own homes in two different countries, am now retired, not rich but comfortable, have raised four daughters and now nine grandkids, who my wife and I babysit with almost every day. No, Cannabis does not prevent a person from contributing to society or preventing them from doing a good job and it being against the law is Stupid on the Feds part!

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