The ‘marijuana will rot your brain’ debate: neurological differences don’t necessarily mean impairment
From Boing Boing
There’s a new study out that’s being touted as proof that marijuana makes you dumb. But, while the results do show differences in the brains of people who smoked pot, the conclusion about what that means is seriously flawed, writes Maia Szalavitz at The Daily Beast.
Most of the time, it’s difficult to explain why scientific research or a conclusion about research results is flawed. That’s not the case here. You only have to understand two concepts: “normal” and “healthy”.
From Daily Beast
Can casual marijuana use damage the brains of young adults? A new study says yes—but its participants suggest otherwise.
All across the Internet, headlines are screaming Buzzkill and Marijuana Makes Young Brains Go to Pot. But a new study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, does not in any way prove that casual marijuana use is bad for your brain.
In order to understand why, all you need to do is actually read the research—and be able to think a bit critically. You don’t need to know anything particular about fMRI or any other scary acronyms and you don’t need to know your amygdala from your Shatner’s Bassoon. You don’t even need to know any statistics.
By: Jon Walker for FireDogLake
This is one of the better political stuns I’ve heard about in a long time. The Alaska marijuana legalization ballot initiative campaign promised to donate to their opponent’s campaign if they can prove alcohol is safer than pot. From the Alaska Dispatch:
In a Wednesday morning press conference, supporters of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska stood outside a downtown Anchorage office building with a giant novelty check written out to “No on 2/ Project S.A.M.” for $9,015 — the same amount of money the alcohol lobby donated to former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy during his time in office. Kennedy is the co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a national group that opposes marijuana legalization.
The event served as a challenge to opponents of the Alaska measure — a group collectively known as “Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No On 2″– to show the public the science proving that marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol.
Obviously, the legalization campaign is in no danger of losing the money. The scientific research is clear on the relative danger of alcohol and marijuana use. And Americans are quickly coming to understand this. The latest Pew poll found 69 percent think alcohol is more dangerous to an individual’s health than pot, while only 15 percent see pot as more dangerous that alcohol.
This “marijuana is safer” message proved to be very effective in Colorado during their 2012 legalization campaign and it should be a big focus in Alaska this year as well.
Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros is no stranger when it comes to throwing around money, but the former hedge fund manager is making headlines over some major donations he’s made to help legalize marijuana.
On the heels of the approval of two of the United States’ first recreational laws in Colorado and Washington, other locales across the country are considering implementing policy changes that could decriminalize pot, ease penalties for users or eliminate weed laws altogether. Advocacy groups are leading the campaign to crush marijuana prohibition from coast-to-coast, and 83-year-old Soros is helping line the pockets of those making that push. Continue reading