We have some great news, adult pot heads: weed doesn’t make you stupid — as long as you didn’t start smoking it regularly until you’re 18.
According to a recent study conducted by researchers at Duke University, kids under the age of 18 suffer a dramatic decrease in IQ if they smoke pot regularly before they hit adulthood. However, the study found no decline in IQ for people who hold off on becoming pot heads until they turn 18.
If you don’t understand how this could potentially impact the debate over the legalization of/medical marijuana, you probably started smoking pot before you were 18.
The study tested the IQ of people at age 13 and again at age 38. A decline in IQ was only seen in subjects who smoked pot before they turned 18.
The study was released yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It tested more than 1,000 people in New Zealand during a year-long span ending in 1973. In addition to IQ tests, the subjects were interviewed five times between ages 18 and 38, including questions about how frequently they were using marijuana.
The study found that at age 18, 52 participants told researchers they had become dependent on weed, which means they continued to smoke weed despite its causing significant health or legal problems. Ninety-two others told researchers they became dependent on weed after turning 18.
Researchers then compared the IQ scores of all pot heads, and found that there was only a drop for those who became dependent on weed after they turned 18.
The study proves what Alan Arkin explained in “Little Miss Sunshine”: when you’re young, you’re crazy to use drugs. When you’re old, you’re crazy not to.