Since the 1930’s, starting with a movie called Reefer Madness, there has been a propaganda campaign to show marijuana in a very bad light. Today, it is not nearly as bad as it was in the 1930’s when the government was trying to ban hemp and its cousin cannabis to protect big business. Nevertheless, there are some general stereotypes for those that smoke cannabis on a regular basis — mainly that it negatively affects the brain and lowers the IQ. However, a recent British study published in  Journal of Psychopharmacology found a completely different conclusion.

The study focused on 2,235 adolescents ranging from 15 to 16 years of age and found that once you adjusted for  confounders (such as:cigarette and alcohol use, childhood mental-health symptoms and behavioral problems), there was no association to lower IQ or poorer educational performance in adolescence who smoked cannabis.  For example, the researchers found, “those who had used cannabis {greater than or equal to} 50 times did not differ from never-users on either IQ or educational performance.”

Incidentally, their data showed smoking cigarettes “dramatically attenuated the associations between cannabis use and both outcomes, and further analyses demonstrated robust associations between cigarette use and educational outcomes, even with cannabis users excluded.”

The researchers concluded with, “In summary, the notion that cannabis use itself is causally related to lower IQ and poorer educational performance was not supported in this large teenage sample.”

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Cannabis is an amazing medical herb that has many medical applications dating back thousands of years. Nevertheless, the DEA still has cannabis on the Schedule I drugs list (with the likes of heroin and LSD), which they define as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence.” However, the federal government is effectively conceding that cannabis does have medical uses because they are allowing many states to sell “medical marijuana” as long as the patient pays the state for a card giving them the privileged to have access to the medical herb. Moreover, there has never been any independent study proving  cannabis causes severe psychological or physical dependence. In fact, this study shows one of the last pieces of propaganda used to justify banning the herb is incorrect!

Simply put, the US government has demonized this herb for decades to protect pharmaceutical interest that would be crushed if the people knew just how many ailments this herb can treat. All the while, the DEA has put every single highly addictive synthetic drug, such as hydrocodone and methadone along with recreational drugs like cocaine and methadone on the class 2 list.

This madness has to stop. We need to put an end on this “Reefer Madness” once and for all. To do that we need to provide the people with proper knowledge about this herb and work together to get this changed.