A recent study conducted by the University College of London contrasts prior claims that marijuana use lowers IQ. The study and its results were presented at the European Conference of Neuropsychopharmacology in Berlin.
The study was performed on over 2,000 students, and information was gathered at age 8 and again at age 15. The goal was to determine if cannabis use and/or other substances such as alcohol and drugs do in fact cause a decline in IQ. Results showed “no relationship between cannabis use and lower IQ at age 15,” and a report from The Washington Post stated “even heavy marijuana use wasn’t associated with IQ.”
The study did take into account the other socioeconomic factors that exist as part of one’s education and use, stating that “in particular alcohol use was found to be strongly associated with IQ decline,” and there were “no other factors were found to be predictive of IQ change.”
According to a recent report from Pew Research Center, “About seven-in-ten (69%) Americans believe alcohol is more harmful to a person’s health than marijuana.”
The study should be indicative of a more thorough examination of the many health benefits cannabis carries, and a removal of the outdated stigma that marijuana users are generally less intelligent than non-users. Author of the study Claire Mokrysz mentioned that “this is a potentially important public health message- the belief that cannabis is particularly harmful may detract focus from and awareness of other potentially harmful behaviors.”
The evidence in this report will hopefully make a big difference in the thinking of governments and organizations that seem to be presently focusing on marijuana use alone, leaving out the other obvious and differing variables that people are faced with throughout their lives. The case is hopefully the first in a positive chain of awareness that will allow society to step back and reevaluate what is actually detrimental to us.
BY NATHAN FOISY