One of the reasons it has taken 40 years to even begin a conversation about Marijuana is the spread of lies, sometimes “Official” lies about what it is, who uses it and why.
Marijuana has nothing to fear from the truth. While nothing on this Earth is perfect, Marijuana, properly called Cannabis, is about as close as it gets. Overdose, meaning death, is impossible (at least there’s never been a verified death caused by ingestion of Marijuana). It’s been proven two ways to tomorrow that not only does Cannabis not kill brain cells but actually allows the body to replicate them. It’s also been proven extensively by both the Institute of Medicine, the Rand Corporation and others, that Marijuana is not a “Gateway” to other substances.
On Sunday, June 30th, The “Indianapolis Star” printed an Associated Press article by writers Alicia A. Caldwell and Nancy Benac. This story refers to an overblown study from 2012 that claims Cannabis use reduces IQ in users under 18. Let’s take a closer look at that study.
It was conducted in New Zealand (funny how foreign studies that show the safety and efficacy of Cannabis are ignored but those showing something bad are accepted). The study showed that Cannabis use in those under 18 would reduce IQ’s by eight points.
According to “Time Magazine” writer Maia Szalavitz in 2012, quoting Madeline Meier, the lead writer of the study: “Researchers also had family members and friends of the participants confidentially rate them on attention and memory skills and those who had lost IQ points showed problems in these areas. Meier notes that an eight-point decline in IQ for someone with average intelligence (an IQ score of 100, the 50th percentile) would move that person down to the 29th percentile. “It’s fairly substantial but it does depend on where you start out,” she says.
The Study size is too small as well. According to reviewer Suzi Gage of Scilogs.com: “This study had 5 levels of cannabis use, 3 of which had at least some form of dependence. Although cannabis use is quite common, cannabis dependence is not, and so the number of people in the highest cannabis use categories are very small, 35 and 38 in the top two. So although 1000 sounds like a lot, it can mean very small numbers in each category. Indeed, later in the paper, when the authors compare those dependent by age 18 with those dependent after age 18, they are looking at groups of less than 15 people in some cases.”
This certainly isn’t the only misleading study about Marijuana. The Dr. R.G. Heath “Monkey” study that purported to show that Cannabis killed brain cells was fatally flawed in methodology. Other “Gutter science” studies have been used through the years to denigrate Cannabis. A good compendium of a number of these can be found at http://www.paulhager.org/libertarian/myths.htm.
When media runs stories about Cannabis studies without reporting the methodology and background of the studies, they fall prey to prohibitionist propaganda. The mainstream media rarely runs the results of studies showing Cannabis to be much safer, as former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrative Law Judge Francis Young said “…than many of the foods we commonly consume” said, and these must be found on pro-Cannabis websites such as this one, or dug up on one’s own.
Which means, if you want the truth of the matter, don’t trust the mainstream media on this or most other issues.