PCP: Pot study tells us what we already know

Chelsey Fisher

Abbi Pittman

A recent study suggests that regular marijuana use in teenagers may result in lower IQ scores, according to the Associated Press. Duke University researchers tested the IQs of 1,000 Dunedin, New Zealand residents when they were all 13, and then again at 38. Those who admitted they had “become dependent on marijuana” before age 18 were the only participants whose IQ scores had dropped an average of 8 points between the ages of 13 and 38.

Read the counter-point here.

Chelsey FisherI have to admit, I’m surprised by all the attention this study is getting.

Why are people so surprised that drugs harm teenagers intellectually? Isn’t that kind of a given? Isn’t that why we take classes like D.A.R.E. in elementary school. 

Medical News Today reports that the adolescent brain develops slowly through the teenage years and does not stop maturing until about age 25. Teenagers have a long time to do some crucial brain development.

This study shows that participants who used marijuana frequently before age 18 are the only ones who scored lower on their second IQ test.

Clearly something is going on in the brain when smoking – otherwise, why would anybody do it in the first place?

But what some might not realize is that whatever is happening in teenagers’ developing brains while smoking weed is costing them their intelligence.

Marijuana, or any drug for that matter, isn’t good for teens. We’ve been told this over and over again, and now there are studies to prove it.

I guess D.A.R.E. was right after all.

Now, if you’re a mature, consenting adult, I personally see no harm in smoking pot. I’m not oblivious to the benefits of medical marijuana. I understand that of all the illegal drugs out there, weed is easily the safest choice.

Just not for teenagers.

The brain stops developing at 25. Until then, teens, save yourselves some IQ points.

Fisher, a junior journalism major from Fayetteville, is a senior news reporter.