Teen Marijuana Use Linked to Long-Term Decline in IQ

Teens who routinely smoke marijuana risk a long-term drop in their IQ, a new study suggests.

The researchers didn’t find the same IQ dip for people who became frequent users of pot after 18. Although experts said the new findings are not definitive, they do fit in with earlier signs that the drug is especially harmful to the developing brain.

Study participants from New Zealand were tested for IQ at age 13, likely before any significant marijuana use, and again at age 38. The mental decline between those two ages was seen only in those who started regularly smoking pot before age 18.

The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wants to Decriminalize Small Amounts of Marijuana

The governor will call for the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view, administration officials said. Advocates of such a change say the offense has ensnared tens of thousands of young black and Latino men who are stopped by the New York City police for other reasons but after being instructed to empty their pockets, find themselves charged with a crime.

The police in New York City made 50,684 arrests last year for possession of a small amount of marijuana, more than for any other offense, according to an analysis of state data by Harry G. Levine, a sociologist at Queens College. 

Update: Mayor Bloomberg supports Cuomo’s plan.


Excerpts from upcoming Obama biography reveal that Barry was a huge stoner

A self-selected group of boys at Punahou School who loved basketball and good times called themselves the Choom Gang. Choom is a verb, meaning “to smoke marijuana.”

As a member of the Choom Gang, Barry Obama was known for starting a few pot-smoking trends. The first was called “TA,” short for “total absorption.” To place this in the physical and political context of another young man who would grow up to be president, TA was the antithesis of Bill Clinton’s claim that as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford he smoked dope but never inhaled.

Along with TA, Barry popularized the concept of “roof hits”: when they were chooming in the car all the windows had to be rolled up so no smoke blew out and went to waste; when the pot was gone, they tilted their heads back and sucked in the last bit of smoke from the ceiling.

When you were with Barry and his pals, if you exhaled precious pakalolo (Hawaiian slang for marijuana, meaning “numbing tobacco”) instead of absorbing it fully into your lungs, you were assessed a penalty and your turn was skipped the next time the joint came around. “Wasting good bud smoke was not tolerated,” explained one member of the Choom Gang, Tom Topolinski…

Barry also had a knack for interceptions. When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted “Intercepted!,” and took an extra hit. No one seemed to mind.

In another section of the [senior] yearbook, students were given a block of space to express thanks and define their high school experience. … Nestled below [Obama’s] photographs was one odd line of gratitude: “Thanks Tut, Gramps, Choom Gang, and Ray for all the good times.” … A hippie drug-dealer made his acknowledgments; his own mother did not.

Barry also had a knack for interceptions. When a joint was making the rounds, he often elbowed his way in, out of turn, shouted “Intercepted!,” and took an extra hit. No one seemed to mind.
- David Maraniss, Barack Obama: The Story
Do we believe, even for a second, that if Obama had been busted for marijuana — under the laws that he condones — would his life have been better? If Obama had been caught with the marijuana that he says he uses, and ‘maybe a little blow’… if he had been busted under his laws, he would have done hard fucking time. And if he had done time in prison, time in federal prison, time for his ‘weed’ and ‘a little blow,’ he would not be President of the United States of America. He would not have gone to his fancy-ass college, he would not have sold books that sold millions and millions of copies and made millions and millions of dollars, he would not have a beautiful, smart wife, he would not have a great job. He would have been in fucking prison, and it’s not a goddamn joke. People who smoke marijuana must be set free. It is insane to lock people up.

Penn Jillette

H/T Andrew Sullivan

(via huskerred)

(via jgreendc)


Marijuana Legalization Could Save U.S. $13.7 Billion Per Year

300 economists, including three nobel laureates, have signed a petition calling attention to the findings of a paper by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, which suggests that if the government legalized marijuana it would save $7.7 billion annually by not having to enforce the current prohibition on the drug. The report added that legalization would save an additional $6 billion per year if the government taxed marijuana at rates similar to alcohol and tobacco.

That’s as much as $13.7 billion per year…


The Economist: Why are the feds cracking down on marijuana in states that allow it?

[Marijuana] dispensaries, and even landlords of dispensary-operators, all over California, Colorado and Montana have been getting menacing letters. Many have closed shop. Growers and users are by turns livid and scared. Some have protested. Others have ducked back into the black market, as in the old days before medical marijuana was allowed.

The question is why the federal government is doing this. On the one hand there is a federal law, the Controlled Substances Act, which recognises no exception for medical marijuana and thus considers all use and trade of it criminal. But on the other hand the Obama administration originally signalled that it would not deliberately clash with the states about weed. In the so-called Ogden memo of 2009, the Justice Department advised its lawyers to leave small-beer marijuana enforcement to the states and focus on graver crimes.

But then, last year, the administration issued the Cole memo (these things are named after the deputy attorneys-general who draft them). It seemed, in dense verbiage, to suggest that the Ogden memo had been misunderstood, and that federal prosecutors should indeed go after the cannabis trade, especially if they suspect that serious money is being made.

The overall effect has been to confuse everybody and leave matters entirely at the discretion of individual prosecutors. Thus there are few signs of federal aggression in New Mexico, Rhode Island or Vermont, for instance. Rather, the crackdown appears to be occurring in just six federal districts—the four in California, and those in Montana and Colorado.

To Ethan Nadelmann, the head of the Drug Policy Alliance, which lobbies for an end to the failed “war on drugs”, this suggests that six federal prosecutors may be acting on their own, perhaps even in conflict with the Obama administration. The president, in this scenario, is too afraid to touch anything that looks soft on drugs in an election year and stands weakly by.

States do not like it. Democratic and Republican legislators from five medical-marijuana states have written an open letter to Barack Obama to end the “chaos” and leave this matter to the states. Christine Gregoire and Lincoln Chafee, governors of Washington state and Rhode Island, have asked the federal government to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I drug (like heroin, say) to a Schedule II drug (like morphine) so that doctors can at least prescribe it safely in certain circumstances. Vermont, Colorado, Hawaii, and Connecticut have joined in the request. Ms Gregoire has already found herself having to veto a medical-marijuana bill she supports for fear that her state employees may be indicted by federal prosecutors. To all the good reasons for drug reform can now be added this classically conservative one: states’ rights.


via anarchival

Marijuana: The Killer Weed


High Childhood IQ Linked to Subsequent Illicit Drug Use, Research Suggests

Although it is not yet clear exactly why there should be a link between high IQ and illicit drug use, the authors point to previous research, showing that highly intelligent people are open to experiences and keen on novelty and stimulation.

Other research has also shown that brainy children are often easily bored and suffer at the hands of their peers for being different, “either of which could conceivably increase vulnerability to using drugs as an avoidant coping strategy,” explain the authors.