Latest Media Buzz Regarding Pot’s Potential Impact On IQ Misses The Bigger Issue

The mainstream press has been abuzz in recent days regarding the findings of a recent study suggesting that early-onset, persistent cannabis exposure by those under age 18 could potentially pose adverse effects on intelligence quotient.

Yet, absent from the media’s discussion of the study — a discussion that has even included some fairly critical reviews of the study’s methodology (See here and here for just two examples.) — is any talk of the role that marijuana prohibition plays in inadvertently steering young people toward cannabis, an issue I address in depth in a column published today and excerpted below:

Pot & IQ: A Flawed Debate

[excerpt] Even if one is to accept the study’s findings at face value, it’s hard to see how concerns regarding the potential impact of cannabis on the developing adolescent brain are any way a persuasive argument in support of present day marijuana prohibition. After all, virtually no one wants kids as young as 12 or 13 years of age consuming a mood-altering substance like cannabis. Yet, under cannabis criminalization – a policy that prohibits its use for people of all ages and compels all consumers to acquire the product on the black market instead of from licensed businesses – teens are more likely to have easy access to pot, not less.

… Specifically, a June 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control reported that more teens are smoking pot than cigarettes.

Not so coincidentally, teens’ declining use of cigarettes has run parallel to increased state and federal efforts to penalize those licensed businesses that improperly sell to minors and to educate the public about the health risks associated with tobacco. Ditto for booze.

In short, it’s legalization, regulation, and public education – coupled with the imposition and enforcement of appropriate age restrictions – that most effectively keeps mind-altering substances out of the hands of children and reduces the likelihood of their abuse.

Isn’t it about time we took this same approach for pot?

You can read the full essay and comment on it here.

42 thoughts

  1. I totally agree I mean the fact alone that kids are smoking pot rather than cigarettes should be a positive in itself, Kids have internet at there disposal they can read information on both substances and realize tobacco kills and cannabis does not. I for one before smoking spent months researching reasons why I should or should not smoke.

    If people are so worried about young minds smoking cannabis then the next step should be to regulate the product and keep it off the black market!!!

  2. Yes. It seems that every single argument against adequate marijuana regulation can be used more effectively against prohibition. I can’t understand why people don’t see the obvious: that prohibition encourages teen marijuana use – it seems so obvious to me, that I can’t help but think that a good number of people actually do.

  3. I’ve first saw the article on WebMD, and that same day, it was in the local newspaper.

    It was an article by Salynn Boyles about Duke University postdoctoral researcher Madeline H. Meier, PhD, and her colleagues doing a New Zealand health study.

    It was amazing how the mainstream press went abuzz over this article.

  4. Very well said. (Paul) But the pro prohibitions will not want to look at it that way. Iam sur beer does the same thing to kids mine to

  5. The kids are smoking cannabis over tobacco due to cannabis’ ability to modulate the endogenous cannabinoid system and suppression of adverse memories.

    For kids today, not knowing who their father or parent are, is an adverse memeory.

    If we weren’t such a self-centered society, we would understand that our own lack of security, esteem and identity has led to a consumptive lifestyle where “marriage/fornication” is part of the consumption.

    Children have become the by-product of fornication rather than an intention of pro-creation.

    If you are born a mistake as a by-product of fornication rather than an intention of pro-creation, I can bet you will have adverse memories also.

    The only way to defeat the forces against cannabis are to re-educate.

    Norml should have adopted a campaign of re-education years ago instead of fighting the people who make the laws. These laws will only be lifted if the people ask.

    Hemp is NOT marijuana! – IS THE CAMPAIGN!

    Until this re-education takes place…NO MAINSTREAM VOTER will vote pro-hemp.

  6. Yet another argument that has no relevance to me. So what if this is true? Why should this have any bearing on me at 50+ years of age?

    Hell, for that matter, I started when I was 15. I still managed to graduate from high school with 3 foreign languages under my scalp and went on to college through to a master’s.

    If we banned things on the basis that there’s a few people out there that can’t handle it, then what would be banned in that same light? Motorcycles? Wilderness camping? Rock climbing?

    Republicans raise such a cry about big government being too much in people’s personal lives, yet they are the biggest proponents of keeping the prohibition machine going.

    It’s high time we Smoke the Vote!

  7. This report is juxtaposed to the article on MPP’s site about the 2012 Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Users. While some postings find fault with it or offer suggestions to include more woman, it is clear evidence that marijuana use does not make people stupid. The study referred to here in this MORML article uses the subjunctive mood “could” about marijuana use under the age of 18 maybe having adverse effects on a person’s IQ. If the teenager is diverting his/her time from their studies and getting stoned instead, of course they will not do as well on tests. They haven’t learned the material. That raises the question as to whether their IQs suffer if they do master the material and use cannabis or if their IQs suffer even after they cut down or stop using cannabis and are given a second chance to learn the material and then are tested again. What if the kid gets out of high school, then gets serious and goes to a community college to play catch-up on what they should have learned in high school, then goes on to a bachelor’s course or farther?

    MPP’s list of 50 people disproves the suggestion of the study here. Everyone on the list is successful. Actors and musicians memorize long strings of notes and lyrics, character lines, and when the cues are, for example. So much for marijuana adversely affecting memory long-term after the high has worn off.

    I don’t expect the mainstream media to dig to do any research in favor of cannabis because pro-cannabis groups are not among their paying advertisers, even if they would not be afraid of the feds or consequences from their other advertisers such as alcoholic beverage, tobacco companies, pharmaceuticals, law enforcement unions, and the slew of other prohibitionist groups.

    Even if what this study suggests were true, as mentioned and echoes by others, it argues against continuing cannabis prohibition so that a carding system is put in place as a major obstacle to underage people getting it.

    I think the list of 50 should be expanded by ethnic and gender category for 50 white men, 50 white women, 50 black men, 50 black women, 50 asian men, 50 asian women, 50 hispanic men, 50 hispanic women, along those lines, and/or in groups such as 50 republican men, 50 republican women, 50 democratic men, 50 democratic women, 50 libertarian men, 50 libertarian women, 50 green men, 50 green women, which go on ad infinitum to absurdity. A tv show by Trish Regan, who is now on Bloomberg, or somebody else, even the comedy shows like Tosh, Colbert, or Stewart.

    Saturday Night Lame (Live) appears to be totally in the pocket of prohibitionist forces.

    The only way the feds will legalize cannabis is if they have no other choice. Keep running the world economy into the ground so that cannabis prohibition is cut from the budget. If Obama is re-elected and it does not happen, see to it that there is no economic recovery even if the feds make sequestration cuts, which I have serious doubts about them doing because the republicans will want to see to it that Obama does even worse in his 2nd term. If Romney wins and like Obama does not do anything to get the feds out of MMJ states by disallowing the feds from spending any money in MMJ states where the state has not requested their help, then same thing, see to it that the economy does not recover and in fact gets worse even after whatever substantial cuts because of the sequestration. Cannabis prohibition enforcement is clearly a waste of money on a lost cause, and if the federal government makes no progress on extracting itself from it, the clear message is that Washington, D.C. is of the mindset that they can still waste money.

    Government budgets are usually begun a year or so in advance, and they are based on spending the money of the budget in the previous year. Many private sector budgets are also done this way. Basically, if you don’t spend all the money from last year’s budget, then you don’t need that much this year. You justify the next budget by spending everything in the last budget and incrementally ask for me, including your justification for your increase. However, if your company or government organization does not accept your justification for the increase or for what has historically been put in your budget, then your budget gets cut. So you disallow the U.S. Dept. of Justice, the DEA, and IRS (and other federal meddlers) from spending any money at all on going after anyone or any enterprise or organization in MMJ states UNLESS the state requests it. Local authorities must first go up through their respective state chain of command and state instances and can NOT sidestep the state and go right to the feds. Make the various federal agencies, including the fucking drug czar’s office, disallow all that, and you’ve got the beginning of the end of cannabis prohibition.

    Other states will see what the MMJ states are saving and are raking in, and they’ll jump on the money train. They’ll take their paper programs off hold, you know, and other states will enact MMJ laws.

    Then we will see if this is just a novelty that will then go away or if the public wants to legalize outright for industrial and recreation purposes, and I’m thinking full legalization is the next step.

    Keep running the economy into the ground until cannabis is legalized–no matter who the President of the U.S. is. The world economic recovery can begin slowly once the feds are out of MMJ states. I recommend holding off on orchestrating a bull market until cannabis is legalized for industrial and recreational purposes, in order to eliminate as much of the death and suffering around the world caused by cannabis prohibition, however. I recommend that cannabis be traded in U.S. dollars and the major commodity market it is traded on be in the U.S. It will create jobs worldwide, provide capital for the modernization of Afghanistan, the Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin and South America. Drug war money is not development aid. U.S. NGOs and CIA assets can have an overt or covert presence in the countries for monitoring purposes WITHOUT the current level of militarization.

    Keep running the economy into the ground until cannabis is legalized.

  8. There is a new cannabis prohibition craze on exploiting children, and that is parents are putting signs on their children and humiliate their children in public by distracting drivers at busy intersections.

  9. Don’t listen to those fucking “scientists” who work for the government and are only saying that cause the DEA told them to. They are’nt smart and would “sell their soul” for money.

    I took an IQ test after 8 straight years of smoking and was high for the test. I am not kidding swear to God I scored 132, the top 5% in the world. Why doesn’t Norml try that (hold IQ tests for those that are high). I started in ’99 when I was 15.

    Don’t listen to anything negative about pot or anything negative at all. Together we WILL win.

  10. Also absent from the media’s coverage is the hundreds of other studies which show that cannabis has absolutely no other negative side effects.

  11. Money and the power that it has.. Think about all the advertising money the news station could lose if marijuana ran those companies out of business

  12. you pick apart their methodology despite the fact that we already know smoking pot or taking any drug including alcohol before the brain has developed fully will cause many issues, hence the age limit for alcohol. Smoking pot at a young age demotivates children, so they do worse at school on average, and that is just one of the many reasons that smoking pot contributes to lower IQ’s in young people.

    i don’t understand why norml would waste their time refuting something like this after reading 90% of the comments on this site, MOST of your posters are complete morons! they can’t spell and go off on tangents and conspiracy theories not slightly related to the story!they are a complete embarrassment to the movement!

    you can’t however ignore the fact that pot is a drug that is attractive to lazy and stupid people, therefore people tend to blame pot for making them lazy and stupid, rather than just enhancing their inner sloth…when a normal intelligent human being smokes pot they do not get lazy or stupid, however almost anybody under 21 who starts smoking regularly will have emotional issues growing up, motivation issues, social problems, and a tenancy toward addiction in all its forms.

    [Paul Armentano responds: My essay doesn’t particularly address the study’s methodology, much less ‘pick it apart’ or ‘refute’ it. Rather, it argues that regulation would best address concerns about early onset cannabis use. Further, NORML’s own ‘Principles of Responsible Use’ makes clear that we seek to discourage adolescent cannabis use and abuse.

  13. Whether cannabis actually helps some (thousands of?) kids reach adulthood without getting hooked on $igarettes is the real issue– and likely reason why the $igarette industry gives more money to anti-cannabis political candidates (such as Republican Giuliani 2008).

    A reason why PROHIBITION helps cause the reported “IQ decrease”: fear of “gettin’ caught” causes particularly those youngsters who devote the most time to cannabis to spend the most time self-isolating themselves away from school, library, mentors, anywhere education is available benefiting someone else’s IQ.

    A reason why prohibition drives (not encourages) HIGHER CONSUMPTION: read UKCIA/CLEAR “PipeSafe”. You are in more danger owning a one-hitter (used as evidence against you in a cannabis persecution) than rolling a hot burning overdose joint WHICH IS EASIER TO HIDE, hurriedly use up etc. Legalization will REDUCE this fear-driven “consumption”. (And in UK there’s a “tradition”– someone hands you a joint with addictive nicotine mixed in and you accept because you don’t want to pass up the chance for a toke of cannabis. See above, about the $igarette companies and what they get out of cannabis prohibition.)

  14. Can’t potheads just admit that marijuana has negative effects instead of beating around the bush and trying to avoid directly addressing the issue? Come one, people, grow up.

  15. Seth forbis- How do you know all that? Did you do scientific research or did you buy into the propaganda bull shit. You have problems, I can tell. It’s cause of elitist assholes like you that pot is illegal now. It’s been used for thousands of years and we never heard of any of the non-existant bad effects until it became illegal and modern scientific research never happened. And the only people who develop “problems” like schizophrenia from smoking were going to get it anyway, later in life when it’s harder to treat. Weed is better for you than ANY other drug and you’re just a loser who does’nt want anyone else to have fun. Go rot somewhere.

  16. What is IQ anyway? It’s supposed to be a numerical score for a person’s intelligence. But wait, does it really test intelligence anyway?

    People who have high IQs….are simply good at taking IQ tests. I’m still astounded by the unquestioned assumption that a high IQ implies genius.

    Intelligence takes many forms. Musical ability, visual artistry, kinesthetic or athletic ability, social intelligence, emotional intelligence….these also involve the nervous system as much as any cerebral activity like solving arithmetic or verbal problems.

    IQ is a specious statistic that is given far too much credence as a measure of “intelligence,” in the first place, for that one study to be relevant. The burden is on the study authors to prove that IQ is not just some biased test method originally scripted to examine potential military entrants for mental powers or some such fantastic story.

    First, IQ is a crock. Second, Cannabis is medicine.

    IQ tests reflect the knowledge and skills of the people who made up the tests.

  17. It’s astounding how quick people will put a cause and effect on something; when in fact it’s just a correlation, not a fact. There are so many mitigating circumstances to single out any exact cause, unless there are controls, and repeatable outcomes; even then there are exceptions.

    You can expect stories such as this and others in the following months to come ahead of the legalization and regulation voting. It is the easiest way to sway public opinion to a NAY vote, play on their fears and concerns.

    It is a dirty psy-ops tactic that has been used for years by the proponents of prohibition. This study is a modern version of Reefer Madness, using modern themes.

    When you see such a blatant and major false disinformation being handed to the public; it’s to time to triple your efforts to counter such nonsense with real studies.

    From a teens perspective, they have it hard in the world. If a teen has developed poor coping mechanisms; they will turn to cannabis to self medicate. The issues these children have is already there as an underlying a health concern…it is not due to the use of cannabis.

    It is easier for people, to point the finger and blame cannabis; instead of their failures as a parent, or society. So instead of taking responsibility, they scapegoat the blame to cannabis.

  18. If marijuana causes a loss of IQ in young people,,,why do educational surveys claim that IQ is rising around the world? And that is with marijuana use rising also.

    It is the same thing for marijuana causing schizo,,,why has the percentage of people suffering from schizophrenia remained at the same percentage since 1970 while pot use has increased by 40%? If pot caused the problem wouldn’t there be more of populace having the problem?

    Only when speaking about marijuana can you have the numbers not add up and still equal the prohibitionist’s goal.

  19. Paul et al.

    The unwritten story behind the Dunedin study is that hard data from the Christchurch study (CHDS) informs is more…. 4:5 folk, male and female similarly studied from birth in a cohort of 1000, have used pot 5 or more times. They liked it. Indeed so few of these ‘joe’ folk rejected cannabis and were ‘zero tolerant’ that it could be fairly said cannabis and ‘breaking the law’ is more popular than God or Oatmeal.

    Now that puts us, and the interpretation drawn by the reported science in a somewhat different light.

    What is scary is that such analysis is taken as gospel and said to inform debate for what we are doing is both an injustice and insult to young people. (the very people we are trying to protect)

    The developing young brains myth. Young brains are more resilient and self repairing than at anytime in our jumbled up lives.

    This dangerously places the idea that anyone whose brain is under 21 years old is still developing… so remind me again why we can send them off to War, University or allow them to marry or gawd help us, vote!

    Yet there is another facet to this science (of small numbers) that begs the engagement of some anthropology. There was less than 60 out of the thousand for whom smoking pot was an issue and that it lead to a determination that a lower IQ than ‘normal’ when they matured. And there is the rub. I have done some proximal maths and determined that if ONLY TWO of the 80 percent of young people in this cohort who did pot… did so because of the ‘forbidden fruit’ syndrome (ie teenage angst, you cant tell me what to do) and another TWO ‘early entered’ because we lied to them about the harms, and ANOTHER TWO saw the social injustice and rejected the social mores, and ANOTHER TWO were challenged by a value system that lauds alcohol’s misguided association with success, AND TWO MORE were simply attracted by the entrepreneurial spirit (we applaud any other time) by the simple economics created by the artificial red lines of prohibition….. then I see some very smart kids that have not been captured by the ‘data’. Zero Sum game theory says for every one you got wrong, you weren’t measuring one right. By my calculations this makes the conclusion of 8 deficit IQ points grossly erroneous.

    The smart ones may well be the forward looking youth for whom an open and accepting mind has stood them well. Whereas the low IQ ones (at first measure) remain ‘secure’ to the backward looking and debilitating closed mind that is so attractive to the alcohol imbued and/or then disappeared off the measured data due to all that alcohol renders. (including forgetting that they tried pot at all).

    As for collecting data about those close to the target subjects and asking if they had short term memory etc… even the quietest ‘drunk’ can find moral superiority or fault in anyone not of their mind (also see self justification of the purchasing decision), all things being equal this is not so of the lifelong cannabis user, even if occasional. But we know what we do to cannabis users. We label them. We punish and pursue them. We cauterise them from society when ever we can. We make sure they fail. We make sure they will amount to nothing. That is why I don’t take the pot achievers list to seriously. They may have achieved but in a social justice sense they have done so on the back of and in spite of policy failure. One that specifically targets youth, male, skin colour and street visibility (being different).

    Youth who challenge the social mores are as important or mores so as the lauded high achievers for the former are the priests of social capital.

    When we get the base line wrong, it is dangerous to conclude who get to where and why in the grand scheme of things.

    Going by my maths, it would be safe to conclude pot smoking makes you smarter than the average Duke University post grad.

    Going by my experience around Dunedin’s Medical School, if doing drugs, street or otherwise was a determinant of who graduates… drug taking would be made compulsory.

    IQ is a very accurate measure of…. IQ!

    It is also VERY DANGEROUS to measure ‘people’ by one single parameter and conclude that it is somehow important we use it to inform and enforce policy.

    Such ‘binary’ measures gave us a legacy of white stars and pink triangles.

    The mantra for those who do smoke, snort, inject, sub or sup…. “no decision about us without us!” would resolve the tensions, provide credible health promotion targeted to those who need to know and thus lead to realistic respectful and healthy best practice for youth and adult alike.

    Funny how simply ‘drinking’ gets in the road of reasoning.

  20. The fact is that kids are smoking pot more than cigs and more than drinking is because its easier to get. drug dealers dont card clients. plane and simple. if pot was regulated and sold legally than it would also be harder for kids to get! so if we dont want kids smoking weed legalize it already!

  21. Drug dealers don’t care if teenagers smoke their pot.The people who did this study said they didn’t take into account alcohol or other drugs.

  22. In other articles, I researched and found the instigators, especially in the BBC and Huffington Post Articles, were Associate Professors with one in Post-Graduate Studies. There was little in terms of real research-certainly none of any great duration, and keeping the story alive only gives these shills free publicity. It was and is total Conservative scare tactics. If you’re smoking large amounts daily over years, you should expect to have some problems of some kind or another. If you need it daily, as in the case of chronic pain and nausea sufferers, who are not likely to ever see a “cure”, to “float this trial balloon” to stir up “Reefer Madness” reactions is, frankly, criminal in and of itself.

  23. I guess I’m still dumbfounded why pot isn’t legalized. I come from a family of alcoholics, and have seen the downfall that has become of it. No one I know who smokes pot is stupid or has been jailed and paid tons in fines and car repairs by only weed. Why is it such a big deal to leagalize when there are no side effects but yet you can show numerous alcohol commercials and that’s ok?? What about the moms who want to unwind after a day of working? But it’s ok to have a glass of wine??

  24. I’m an advocate for marijuana legalization, but I feel the need to throw some cold water the parade here.

    First, I’m a computer programmer. If I vaporize too much one evening, the next day I find it hard to do my job. It feels like I got kicked in the head by a horse. I now only vape if I’m not working the next day, or else I take it really easy.

    Second, IQ is important. In my experience, it’s the single best predictor of how well you will write computer programs. Perhaps in other fields, IQ is less important, but in computer programming, every single IQ point matters.

    Put the two together and you get: DO NOT TOUCH MARIJUANA UNTIL YOUR 21! Seriously. So many good jobs in the modern economy (computer programming, engineering, science, finance) require a high IQ, and it’s just not worth the risk while you’re young. Even if there’s only a small chance this study is correct, IQ is too important to take that chance. Even manufacturing jobs nowadays require heavy math and analytical thinking in order to automate the machines in the factory.

  25. “The kids are smoking cannabis over tobacco due to cannabis’ ability to modulate the endogenous cannabinoid system and suppression of adverse memories.
    For kids today, not knowing who their father or parent are, is an adverse memeory.” beyond obvious spelling hilarity (which this will also have) as a long term mega pot smoker, this sentence would really be one to use against the idea of use of pot, though I dont think you intended that lol. You actually think kids are smoking pot due to daddy issues! whoa.

    this is a blatantly silly conversation, that study was debunked based on its comparison studies, and the lack of info released based on basic questions, and the fact it was funded by a pharmo company known for making a dangerous synthetic alternative to pot. As well as the released statement saying 50-1000 were the ones affected negatively, not really a viable number based on counter ideas (such as non included liquor use or other brain damaging incadents) that being said, anyone who thinks pot ISNT bad for you before 18 or EVEN AFTER, is an idiot. Smoking isnt good for you regardless, that has nothing to do with government subtance control ie prohibition. those are different arguments, so if you want to be taken seriously in this type on conversation, be rational, but maybe thats way to much to ask of the internet.

  26. Think about the children…… Anyone that continues to hang up pictures of kids as part of an argument for or against any public issue should not be listened to as they have no legitimate leg to stand on. My child is mine and my wife’s responsibility and not the governments concern, unless they hurt someone or their property. While I believe this stupid war on drugs should end, it does not mean I think my child should smoke a joint, drink a pint of Jack and huff down a cigarette. Most of Americans agree, children should go to school and be taught to become responsible, producing members of society. Stop using children as poster children to prohibit adult liberty.

  27. One of the problems with the marijuana legalization issue is that while supporters are making logical, pragmatics arguments and points, their opponents are still making emotional tugs, religious interpretations and even racial arguments. It’s one of the most unusual political contradictions we have in America.

    Where is President Obama on this issue?

  28. Add these facts to your study. I started smoking cannabis daily at around 14 a few times here and there prior to that .Now 31 years later my IQ is 136 my job as a machinist requires math and other skills and memory .I have no problems mental or otherwise.of course I dont go to work high, but I could do my job or anything else while high,weed does not hinder my judgement or thinking. but after 31 years I should be good at it.

  29. Look, the worst thing pot does is open up your mind… We live in a negative environment and you need to know how to handle yourself and have self control. Otherwise bad thoughts like something bad about yourself, (we’re all not perfect) and you wouldn’t handle it right if you don’t have self control. One way to handle that is to get spiritual. I believe in a Mother God and Father God. You can do anything you like.
    Other ways include doing it at home. Not in the woods at night unless you have to. Try not to smoke in cars.
    I don’t have problems with pot. I have good times cause I use all that. Peace

  30. Seth, you have clearly drank the prohibitionist Kool-Aid on this one. First of all, the study (whose methodology is rather questionable, by the way) only found such adverse effects for those who began before 18, not 21 like you imply. And the 21 drinking age has NOTHING to do with brain development, it has to do with MADD’s neoprohibitionist and anti-youth ideology, and was originally about drunk driving. The argument about brain development is just an after-the-fact justification since Miron and Tetelbaum (2009) have thoroughly debunked the bogus claim that raising the drinking age to 21 saves lives on the highways.

    Actually, the latest research shows brain continues to develop well into the 30s, 40s, and possibly even beyond that. But the most critical stages of development are largely finished by 18. So 21 is completely arbitrary. And if 18-20 year olds are really so underdeveloped as you claim, why does our society allow them to go to war, vote, get married, raise kids, and enjoy all of the other rights of adulthood? And why do we punish them as adults when they break the law? Sounds like a case of liberty for “just us”, not all.

    And there is ZERO hard scientific evidence that toking up (or drinking for that matter) at 18 is significantly more dangerous than doing so at 21. There are millions of Americans who started before 21 and do NOT have “emotional issues growing up, motivation issues, social problems, and a tenancy (sic)toward addiction in all its forms” like you claim. Some of them obviously do, but clearly not all or even close to a majority. Certainly I am not encouraging 12 year olds to toke up, but there is no valid reason why 18-20 year olds belong in the same category as 12 year olds.

    If and when cannabis is legalized, which is hopefully very soon, there is no good reason why the age limit should be any higher than 18, like it currently is for tobacco in 46 states and DC. (The same should be true for booze was well.) Since 18 is the legal age of adulthood, that would be in accordance with NORML’s first principle of responsible use, “adults only”. But anything higher than that would basically be prohibition-lite.

  31. Please, seriously explain why the marijuana prohibitionist are so stupid? What happened to their brains?

  32. I have been prescribed medical marijuana for the last 2 years, instead of taking Xanax. The withdrawal from xanax almost killed me. I have PDS along with anixety disorders and severe migranes and depression. How and what should people do who have scripts from legitimate doctors and depend on it instead of chemical drugs.. I really think everyone needs to think about how much harm alcohol has done to our country instead of marijuana. People are in denial and it sucks that the abusers hurt the legitimate user…..

  33. In the education field it is classified as a “Proformance Enhancing Drug” for teachers, but teenage brains are a different story. Not only is pot use up amoung teens, but so are opiates. When students take the drug and violence survey, they respond that pot is easy to obtain. I guess all the enforcement is working!! Supply up, demand up! This is a topic for HS econ!! wow!

  34. Since this thread has taken toward offering anecdotes and personal accounts, I have to link Dr. Grinspoon’s website, Marijuana Uses. Writers (regular cannabis users) describe personal experiences with cannabis. It’s about sharing the positive side of cannabis -regular- use, instead of just the medical uses of the flower.

    “Do we know how to appreciate being High?

    How much of that precious gift of personal, social and spiritual insight that Cannabis bestows on us should be shared with our lovers, friends, comrades, or shared with the community-at-large?

    How much does society lose when we *omit* to share those insights?

    Cultivation of an expanded Consciousness and the gift of delighting in the flow of its experiences can best be achieved by identifying some of its elements. Since Cannabis is a major ally on that path, enumerating the various benefits that Cannabis bestows on the expansion of Consciousness; enumerating the enhancements it brings to the quality of the experience of Being, itself; enumerating the various ways in which Cannabis restores balance to the Heart and Mind in addition to healing the Body, restores clarity of Sensation, harmonization with the true flow of Time, harmonization with the nature of Gravity and with the essence of Light, enumerating all these can be of great value to the millions of our people who definitely experience something a lot more than just being “stoned” but who often have no words to express, or concepts within our shared culture within which these delights can be recognized, celebrated, appreciated and cultivated further.” -Dr. Lester Grinspoon

    One contributor is Dr. Carl Sagan under pseudonym Mr. X

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