Pubdate: Tue, 09 Apr 2002
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Chris Donald


Dear Editor,

By now you have seen some press coverage of the new Carleton study of 
cannabis and IQ published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and 
you might be surprised to learn that the study found that moderate cannabis 
use actually increases IQ scores.

Funny about all that press coverage, especially the hatchet job and "Reefer 
Madness" headlines that came out of the CP wire service.

The actual Cannabis/IQ study is on the CMAJ website, with the conclusions 
of the study as they are actually written by the scientists who did the 
study, including the finding that moderate cannabis use (less than five 
joints a week) increases IQ, and that any teen or young adult who quits 
after extended periods of heavy use fully recovers prior cognitive functioning.

Johns Hopkins came to similar conclusions on the same subject, but for an 
age-group 20 to 65.

The massive Johns Hopkins study of cannabis and cognition examined almost a 
thousand individuals in their twenties to fifties for a ten-year period, 
and found no cognitive decline, even among heavy users of cannabis, when 
compared to a control group who had never done cannabis. The study did not 
test IQ, but did use a number of other respected scientific tests of 
cognitive function.

The Johns Hopkins' study should be kept in mind when looking at the recent 
JAMA-published study from Australia possible permanent loss of cognitive 
ability for heavy cannabis users: that study tested heavy users who had not 
ceased smoking cannabis for any length of time, and an editorial by a 
respected Harvard Professor and researcher in the same issue of JAMA 
basically trashed the Australian conclusions on those grounds.

As you read this, keep in mind the permanent destruction of brain cells and 
IQ that are a proven result of "heavy" drinking.

Chris Donald via e-mail 
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MAP posted-by: Beth