Home > Uncategorized > NZ study: Cannabis smoking by teens risks lowered IQ

NZ study: Cannabis smoking by teens risks lowered IQ

A 25 year long study following one thousand New Zealanders through adolescence and beyond indicates that cannabis use by teenagers risks irreversibly lowering their intelligence.

“Persistent cannabis use over 20 years was associated with neuropsychological decline, and greater decline was evident for more persistent users.”

“Collectively, these findings are consistent with speculation that cannabis use in adolescence, when the brain is undergoing critical development, may have neurotoxic effects.”

The report is widely covered in the mainstream press… here’s the BBC’s story, or you can just google New Zealand cannabis study.

Perhaps the federal government will finally see the usefulness of legalizing pot.

  1. Jack Sherman
    August 27, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Persistent doses of oxygen would kill them.

  2. Mitch
    August 27, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Sorry, Jack, but this is pretty clear and no amount of snark will change it.

    Pot is bad for developing brains. That may not be PC for Humboldt, but it appears to be the very likely reality.

  3. High Finance
    August 27, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    We have all known for years that pot makes you stupid.

  4. Eric Kirk
    August 27, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Mitch, you beat me to it! Probably because my reflexes are slow and my short term memory and all that stuff… When is the fourth season of Damages coming to Netflix again?

  5. Jack Sherman
    August 27, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Let me rephrase…..20 years of chronic abuse of anything is harmful to youths! I wonder what the study defined as “chronic”? Was there a tipping point for most subjects?

    I took an intelligence test 2 years ago that asked, “What does ‘pine’, ‘sauce’ and ‘crab’ have in common”.

    You have 1 minute “High Finance”.

  6. Anonymous
    August 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Seems like a very well-designed study. Of course it is just one study, and I’d need to see it replicated before attaching much importance to it.

    And of course “intelligence” is a pretty slippery thing to measure with any accuracy, and it’s not clear that “I.Q. tests” actually do a very good job of capturing what it means to be “intelligent.”

    Still, my guess is that additional research will probably confirm that heavy, continual use, started at a young age, has at least some negative effects on at least some aspects of mental performance. I mean it would be pretty surprising if it didn’t, right?

  7. tra
    August 27, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Jack: The answer is “apple.”

  8. Jack Sherman
    August 27, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Absolutely.

    When I was young, I recall an IQ test that included identifying the names of various parts on a sailboat….the rich kids did remarkably well.

  9. Jack Sherman
    August 27, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Brilliant TRA! Feel intelligent?

  10. What Now
    August 28, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Jack, “square root of purple”?

  11. August 28, 2012 at 12:43 am

    For Jack’s conundrum, I think it matters very much how the problem is stated, and that the correct statement of that problem asks in some way openly what extra word can form a compound with the given one. What the three given words ‘have in common’, otherwise, is exactly nothing, and indeed your mind will stall on that.

    Here’s quite an interesting article which turned up on that other ‘compound former’, Google. It has several examples of this kind of puzzle.

    What makes it interesting is the medical discussion of what goes on in solving a problem (properly stated) which depends on relationships you don’t immediately recognize. Trying hard doesn’t accomplish it – see the sections mentioning gamma, and later delta waves.

    The actual ‘a-ha’ has been measured to occur when these conventional thinking brain waves disappear. The mind does something unconventional at that point, to discover the connections.

    Now think about perturbing standard mental processes via drugs, even caffeine, as we non-20-year-olds can find pretty useful. Such open-mindedness might help understand what kids particularly can find so attracting about the largely harmful ones, until they understand the harm they cause themselves — and to their more real abilities for creative and useful imagination.

    I’ve no brief especially for cannabis, having seen results which look like those of this study all too often, and in fact helping a psychologist friend at the moment in helping his son get off the stuff in a country where it’s even easier to come by than here.

    In 70’s youth I thought I wasn’t affected by the stuff, could afford to take a small hit once in a while just to be social, living for a while where it was very prevalent. That was until one evening a little older, out with (real) musician friends, and trying to be social on their break though warned that what they had was strong. Well, it was. It just about completely disconnected my ability to speak, for hours. The quite intelligent young woman I was with in the group thought this was pretty amusing — no more for a while of what I usually ‘was’. Quite a lesson.

    It’s interesting to realize what the article expresses about creative thought, though, isn’t it. Thus to appreciate what may be in close but not actually accurate connection, fooling those seeking the experience.

  12. August 28, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Whoops, the link: http://www.sharonlbegley.com/eureka-how-the-brain-has-aha-moments

    What you preferably get, we might say, when you ‘don’t inhale’…

  13. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Another longitudinal study (published in 2002), compared subjects tested in early adolescence (before any cannabis use), and then again in early adulthood, and found that I.Q. actually increased by an average of 5.8 points among moderate current cannabis users, compared to an increase of 3.5 points for former users, and an increase of only 2.6 points for non-users. On the other hand, for heavy current cannabis users, their I.Q.s had declined by an average of 4.1 points.

    http://www.cmaj.ca/content/166/7/887.long

    In this 2002 study from Canada, “heavy users” were defined as those smoking more than 5 joints per week. So, according to that study, young people actually got significantly “smarter” if they smoked 5 or fewer joints per week than they did if they didn’t smoke any cannabis at all!

    It would be interesting to compare the methodology and definitions used in this recent New Zealand study, compared to the 2002 study from Canada. If the 8 point drop in I.Q. reported in the New Zealand study was among people who smoked more than 5 joints per week, then that particular finding would be entirely consistent with the findings of the Canadian study, but would leave unanswered the question of what the effects of light-to-moderate use were.

    Unfortunately, I was only able to find the abstract of the recent New Zealand study, and not the full text (at least without shelling out some money for access), so I’m not sure if the underlying data was all that different, or whether the differences are mostly attributable to differences in methodology, including which I.Q. tests were used, the ages at which the subjects were tested, how “heavy use” was defined, etc.

  14. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 1:45 am

    While I don’t doubt that there’s some significant kernel of truth to these findings, it does appear that we’re dealing with another case of the headlines not quite matching up with the actual findings of the study:

    “At age 18, 52 participants indicated they had become dependent on marijuana, meaning that they continued to use it despite its causing significant health, social or legal problems. Ninety-two others reported dependence starting at a later age. Researchers compared their IQ scores at age 13 to the score at age 38 and found a drop only in those who had become dependent by 18.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/27/teen-pot-use-iq_n_1834392.html

    Hmmmmm. So it sounds like those findings really only applied to people who continued to use cannabis regularly despite having “significant health, social or legal problems.” It would be interesting to see what the data had to say about changes (or lack of changes) in the i.Q.s of people who continued to use cannabis and but did not have “significant health, social or legal problems.”

  15. August 28, 2012 at 2:11 am

    That’s very interesting, tra, and the correlations you are looking for.

    The one big difference I see is that according to the BBC writeup, the New Zealanders found the IQ drop was permanent, while the Canadian paper seems to say the opposite.

    The distinction we might see is in the age ranges of measurement per program, vs. the age threshold where the New Zealander’s felt that the loss was permanent. Maybe the average critical age is lower than the NZ study suggests, if we assume the science is done in comparably valid ways. It would seem very useful to find that out, to gain strength in the studies — and then be sure that onlooking children will understand that the exact age will be different and personal for each developing individual — them.

    Being still up this late to read your note, I went back to the musing which prompted mine. I keep staving off age as best possible, having things to do, and have been having to teach myself the lesson which this Begley link explains — that a form of mental relaxation is the answer to getting those ‘aha’ connections.

    I have been finding that this is equally the answer for that senior business of not always having the word or the name for a thing ready just when you want it, as well as you may know the term.

    There is that silence of the mind where it will just pop up of its own accord, for which you can learn to give the chance. And I notice the memory pause moments come most often when one is intense, maybe in a conversation, about something not in a direct line with the momentarily missing word — this sounds like the brainwave patterns, doesn’t it.

    Nice if we can really learn to use ourselves well, at any age ;) , don’t you think?

  16. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Better details here:

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/Psychiatry/Addictions/34415

    The more I find out about the details of the study, the more it seems clear that the headlines in the popular press wildly overstate the actual findings of the study. It looks like the 8 point average drop in I.Q. actually only applied to a very small number of individuals who were (a) heavy users, (b) started their use early, and (c) were repeatedly diagnosed as “dependent,” meaning that they continued their use despite “significant health, social, or legal problems.” Which doesn’t mean cannabis can’t cause a loss of mental performance, it just means that it only seems to do so in the most extreme cases. That’s a far cry from what the headlines on most of the popular press articles purport. The headlines seem geared to a “just say no” approach, whereas it seems to me that the actual findings support the idea of “all things in moderation.” In other words, don’t start too young and use too much, too often, and if you experience problems, stop using it. Well, duh.

  17. August 28, 2012 at 2:41 am

    Yes, I see what you’re getting at. I guess it would seem consistent to say that results are likely to be very individual, including all factors like relative dependency, as you state.

    I couldn’t ever go along with the narrow-minded approach of ‘just say no’ (can still somehow see Nancy Reagan, in principle at least, waggling her finger). It’s wrong and an offense at many levels.

    Having been on the responsive end of many spectrums in life, though, I think from experiene that we have to look out equally for the freedom of those who are already sensitive, or in fact, just don’t need whatever it is drugs promise.

    In fact, I remember considering this quite a lot, back in those youthful times around a lot of kinds of experimenters. I had to see that for some friends, there could be just a harmless adventure. For others, not so at all. For self, I had plenty of evident chemistry floating around in my own bloodstream, and enough to do to form a friendship and usefulness with that.

    That befriending sense — that’s the kind of approach I would like to share with children.

    Some of the best speculative fiction also deals with ways we might open ourselves to change in the future — some of which is coming to truth very rapidly at present, according to things I loosely keep up with. Just as with caffeine, and intelligent prostheses, very possibly we’ll find some of it acceptable and useful.

    I just always had a bad, or sad, feeling about cannabis. Anything that dulls, limits, so evidently…

    At the same time I have to remember how the discovery of psychotropic effects of rauwolfia made a terrific difference in life for my father. He was prescribed it for a kidney problem — and the dosage cured a terrific handicap of migraine headaches he’d lived around for many years. It fixed his personal chemistry, and we should look for where even such things as marijuana could do that for some.

    Truly personalized medicine, I think the discussion becomes, and it is about to really flower, in the present world. Who knows all it will attach to ;)

  18. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 3:14 am

    Lots of good points in your comments, Narration. It looks to me like what at first appear to be contradictions between the findings of the Canadian study from 2002 and the findings of the recent New Zealand study are probably mostly attributable to the New Zealand study’s focus on those who were repeatedly diagnosed as “dependent,” meaning that these individuals were people who had already been identified as suffering ill effects.

    That kind of fits with your anecdotal experience (and mine) that “that for some friends, there could be just a harmless adventure. For others, not so at all.” It seems that the New Zealand study highlights one of the effects on those who fit into that “not so at all” category.

    Also, the Canadian study that showed larger increases in IQ among moderate cannabis users compared to non-users measured those increases in early adulthood, whereas the New Zealand study took measurements later on, at age 38. It could be that those increases in IQ may disappeared later, or that IQs might even begin to decline at some point, even among moderate users.

    Since the idea that psychoactive substances can sometimes have significantly different effects on still-developing brains seems like a proposition that is pretty well established in general, and since these effects may only really begin to show up later, it would also be very interesting to see how having so many adolescents on prescription anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, and anti-ADHD meds may affect their I.Q.s (and other measures of mental functioning) a few decades down the line.

  19. The ghost of Timothy Leary
    August 28, 2012 at 6:07 am

    For forty years that I know of studies have been funded in THIS country to prove pot is bad for you, and yet this one makes news? If you had 40 years of studies that DIDN’T prove it was harmful, would that be significant? And if you took all the money spent on those studies, how many drones would that buy?

  20. Anonymous
    August 28, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Ahh, it’s fun to watch liberals advocate for science-based decision-making, except when they disagree with the evidence.

  21. G. Gilbert Yule
    August 28, 2012 at 7:07 am

    These sorts of studies have been going on for as long as I can remember (hmm, pot usage as a young man?). Measuring intelligence is arbitrary and these studies only prove what those administering and who ever is financing them want them to prove. Get’s a big “meh” from moi.

  22. Anonymous
    August 28, 2012 at 7:08 am

    My experience is that pot has different effects on different people. I found it decreased my ability to concentrate and it made me profoundly antisocial. One friend would smoke weed and then go to class. He was very social and did well in school. For him, pot kinda calmed him down so he could focus. I stopped smoking in my early 20s – for the better. I’ve smoked a few times sense to be social and it still has the same negative effects.
    My point is that these various reactions are difficult to characterize in one headline.

  23. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Anonymous 6:54,

    I wouldn’t use the word fun, but it’s certainly and sadly predictable.

    The study was run over 25 years, and tested IQ’s at 13 and 38 on a group of 1,000 people from a region in New Zealand. It found an apparent 8 point drop in IQ among those who had started smoking four times a week prior to 18. It was peer reviewed, appeared in an extremely prestigious journal, and has been well-received by scientists.

    If you have problems with IQ tests, well, so do I, but I’d find it alarming if my performance on one dropped by 8 points because of a recreational drug I’d been taking.

    The drop has been characterized as moving someone in the 50th percentile on a test to the 71st percentile. I’m not sure what IQ measures, but I know I wouldn’t want my kid’s to drop. Among other things, it correlates highly with a number of things they might find valuable.

    It seems pointless to try to defend the study as I haven’t read the journal article and no one here seems to have, either. I’ll just say that it had more “acceptable” results regarding use by those over 18.

    No one appears to have mentioned that the concentration of cannabis in pot has increased markedly over the past 25 years, meaning that minor use today might well be equivalent to major use 25 years ago. Nor has anyone except HiFi pointed out the obvious anecdotal evidence that has existed long before now.

  24. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 7:31 am

    News of this study has put me firmly back in the decriminalize but do not legalize camp. Our economic system has proven unable to create a category of “things that should be legal but no corporation should be able to profit from.” That means legalization would almost inevitably increase usage among high school students. Decriminalization is a ridiculous approach, but the only one that I can imagine working.

    It would be wonderful if we were able to acknowledge that certain things should be legal but protected from the corrupting effects of capitalism: gambling, tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.

    And, anonymous 6:54, my favorite response above is from the person who proposed that this 25 year process needs to be replicated before it should be listened to. Straight from the tobacco industry’s mouth.

  25. August 28, 2012 at 7:53 am

    When I was young, I recall an IQ test that included identifying the names of various parts on a sailboat….the rich kids did remarkably well.

  26. Joel Mielke
    August 28, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Oops. Anyway, as Jack Sherman pointed out, above, reliance on data from “IQ” testing should lead one to question the intelligence of those trumpeting the results.

  27. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Joel,

    I see. IQ gets scare quotes. But exactly how does an eight point decline in the tests among one group coupled with no decline in another relate to the skewing of IQ tests in favor of the wealthy?

  28. Anonymous
    August 28, 2012 at 9:15 am

    There does seem to be a certain amount of denial on this blog.
    We know much more about the adolescent brain now and it is clearly in a developmental stage throughout the teenage years and even into the early 20s. Pumping a drug into that developing system is a dangerous practice. I know because I did it in abundance and in hindsight it was not a good thing for me. I don’t want my teenage kids drinking coffee or energy drinks either, or highly processed foods and sugar. As a parent I see the local “culture” of marijuana use as much of a problem as the caffeine industry/culture, tobacco industry/culture, alcohol industry/culture, fast-food industry/culture. All are promoted and motivated, at least in part, by people wanting to profit from the habit and addiction. As one of my teenagers has said, “weed was once cool and counterculture; now it’s just stupid and mainstream.”

  29. August 28, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Mitch,

    I usually agree with your opinions but you should rethink your idea of “decriminalization.”

    We need legalization, not “decriminalization.” People who use cannabis for spiritual, medical, recreational and industrial purpuses have the right to do so. We don’t need any more opportunities for selective enforcement of law in our society. That is the road to fascism.

    How would women feel about “decriminalizing” abortion or how would gay folk feel about “decriminalizing” gay sex? When we are speaking of people’s natural rights it is uncouth to talk about decriminalization. These are rights and they are not negotiable.

    Young people (at least a portion of them) are going to experiment with both sex and mind altering substances. For some of them it will be pot, for some it will be alcohol, for some it willl be salvia, paint or glue. Of all these which does the least damage? Obvioiusly we don’t want young peoole with developing minds and bodies to use these things. But this is a matter of harm reduction too.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  30. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

    If nothing else, perhaps this discussion will clarify in some people’s minds why having so many authority figures that lie continuously is hazardous. Real warnings can be effectively dismissed as more of the same. The drug war has been littered with government lies about pot, which makes people far more comfortable in dismissing a serious alarm. The local “industry” should be happy the government has been, and continues to be, so supportive.

  31. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 9:31 am

    highboldtage,

    I agree with you that people who want to use a substance or engage in an activity should have every right to use that substance or engage in that activity.

    What makes things a bit more subtle is the question of what people actually “want.” When wants are formed out of thin air by well-paid suits, in order to make money by putting people’s heath and happiness at risk, you have to wonder whether those “wants” should be left untouched.

    While I believe anyone should be free to grow pot in their back yard and sell it to their neighbors, I’m not sure I want Phillip Morris and Joe Camel putting millions or billions of dollars into marketing it (not, of course, to kids… heavens no, they wouldn’t do that.)

    I feel the same about gambling, tobacco, and alcohol. People should be free to consume them, and there should be no restriction on small businesses selling them, but mega-corporations and advertisers should not be allowed near them.

    Unfortunately, our legal system has no way of accommodating my beliefs, so I’d have to settle for decriminalization without legalization. I agree with you that “decriminalization” of something that people have every right to do is not the most satisfactory state of affairs, but I think it’s the only pragmatic approach in a capitalist society.

  32. Anonymous
    August 28, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Funny how we can chastise Phillip Morris for marketing to, and profiting from kids, yet our local “industry” profits from selling to teenagers who inhale smoke and introduce foreign substances into their developing brains. Please spare any rationalization – inhaling smoke and introducing an external narcotic to the brain is inherently “unnatural” and counter to the body’s natural systems, especially when those systems are in a developmental stage.

  33. Fact Checker
    August 28, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Hi Finance said August 27, 2012 at 10:49 pm | #3
    “We have all known for years that pot makes you stupid.”
    Okay, I’ll bite. What is your excuse Hi Fi? How have the High Balls been on your liver?

  34. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Mitch,

    Did you read my comments from last night? While the full text of the journal article is not available (unless you pay for access) some sources do have much more detail than the BBC story. The best one I was able to find was:

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/Psychiatry/Addictions/34415

    According to that report, the 8 point decline in IQ was for a group of 23 people who (a) were defined as heavy users, (b) began before age 18, AND (c) were diagnosed at least three times with “dependency,” meaning that they continued their use despite “significant health, social or legal problems.”

    Again, that doesn’t mean that the “8 point decline” finding wasn’t valid, it just means that it only applies to the most extreme cases, and that generalizing the 8 point decline to all users who started before age 18, or even all heavy users who started before age 18, is simply inaccurate.

    Of course if you don’t use cannabis at all before age 18, there’s no risk at all of being one of those few most extreme cases, just like if you don’t have sex at all, there’s no risk of pregnancy or STDs.

    But just as with the case of teen sexual activity, if the findings are misstated in order to justify advocating complete abstention, then a very important part of the message is lost, since many teens are going to be sexually active anyway, whereas a “harm reduction” type message of “the best thing is to abstain from sex, but if you are sexually active, use condoms” can save many lives, prevent many cases of illness, and many cases of unwanted pregnancy.

    In the case of under 18 marijuana use, the equivalent “harm reduction” message would be “the safest thing is not to use marijuana before age 18, but if you do, don’t use it heavily and continuously, and stop using if your use is causing you significant health, social and legal problems.”

  35. Anonymous
    August 28, 2012 at 11:48 am

    “In the case of under 18 marijuana use, the equivalent “harm reduction” message would be “the safest thing is not to use marijuana before age 18, but if you do, don’t use it heavily and continuously, and stop using if your use is causing you significant health, social and legal problems.”

    I agree – but this is not the message our kids hear from anyone in “the business”. Instead there is complete denial of potential health, social,and legal problems. It’s the other side of the absolutist approach to this issue.

  36. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 11:56 am

    tra,

    I did read it, thanks for the link.

    I don’t have a clue as to what type of technical definition is being used for dependency. It might be as simple as 4x/week use, which is the other way the results have been framed. But there is a very significant and very substantial correlation between 4x/wk users and lowered IQs. I didn’t get the impression that the effect was all coming from those defined as “dependent;” I’d anticipate that the study would say that if that were the case and “dependency” were not simply 4x/wk use.

    The study’s precise meaning needs to be pinned down, but you don’t get your paper into the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by accident, or by ignoring things, or by not understanding the difference between correlation and causation. And the initial reviews suggest that this study will be hard to refute and is relevant to all.

    If the study is pointing to brain damage due to pot smoking, and if that brain damage is a result of the components that have become tens of times more potent since the study examined its 13 year olds 25 years ago, this is a public health disaster. So what do we have? We have a demonstrated correlation substantial enough that I don’t think many will disagree it is real. And we have a theoretical framework for causation that makes the result’s specificity reasonable. No, we don’t have proof of causation.

    If this were tobacco and not pot, the voices here would be rising in outrage. Instead, we are seeing and will see exactly what we see from Philip Morris and friends — a dedicated effort not to learning more about the study or making best guesses, but to poo-poo its results or to insist that it must be replicated with a new 25 year study, or to point out that it is not offering proof of causation. I’m not referring to you, tra, but to the industry. Plus ca change.

  37. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Here’s an item, tra, on IQ loss due to various chemical exposures. Notice that it’s summed across the population. The losses they’re actually referring to are in the 1 point range for individuals.

    This cannabis study is reporting 8 points, and cannabis use at far higher potencies than those studied is now more commonplace among high school students than is tobacco use.

    http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/ehs/newscience/2012/01/2012-0223-chemicals-iq-loss-similar-to-disease/

  38. Anonymous
    August 28, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    “message would be “the safest thing is not to use marijuana before age 18, but if you do, don’t use it heavily and continuously, and stop using if your use is causing you significant health, social and legal problems”

    This is not quite the same as sexual activity. In that case a minor can consult with their doctor and their are things one can do to minimize the risk. Expecting a minor to monitor their health and social problems and stop use in those cases is unrealistic. Many people who smoke cigarettes did not suspect the health damage being caused until much later. A similar, but lesser situation occurs when a minor is inhaling resinous material into their lungs – check out the residue on your bong. Also, expecting minors to understand the implications of how this activity is effecting them socially at a time when they are developing socially is also unrealistic, and the damage may occur before they recognize the implications.
    My advice would be, I’d prefer you didn’t smoke weed, but I understand you may try it and be in situations where it is being smoked. Don’t become a daily smoker and resist the temptation to make it a regular habit or the central activity of your life (regardless if you think it is not harming you).

  39. Jack Sherman
    August 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Ironically, the broad effect of most drugs is a sense of intelligence and well-being. It’s no coincidence that industrialized societies that tolerate grinding poverty, and tragic and needless insecurities of employment, food, health, safety, shelter, retirement, etc, experience the highest incidents of drug abuse.

    Also ironic, is that New Zealand invests in its citizen’s fundamental needs, crime is extremely low, homelessness is virtually non-existent, …. but their jails are filled with youths they deem utterly out of control due to strict, overbearing laws on pot, among many other things. New Zealand, is even more nationalistic and religious right-wing than the U.S. It’s a price of industrialized societies where children’s only bond to family is emotional…jealously guarded by parents who’s children’s affection is easily stolen-away by sex and drugs. In most of the world, and for a million years, children have played serious roles alongside parents for survival, drugs have their ceremonial roles.

    Both nations anxiously seek to repress sex and drugs, (while adults appear to frequent both), at the expense of compassion and education.

    Few among us lack the experience of an alcoholic in the family who is NEVER wrong. Many rise to high positions in every community due to their decisiveness, mistaken for intelligent leadership.

    “…but I’d find it alarming if my performance on one (intelligence test) dropped by 8 points because of a recreational drug I’d been taking.” Mitch

    Most Americans would be alarmed that they, and their children, are experiencing a cancer epidemic closely related to the products we consume….thus, the reason pot makes the headlines.

  40. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Mitch,

    As far as legalization vs. decriminalization, it seems to me that this study provides a very rational basis for the former, since the effects that were found, were so clearly age-related. Legalization of cannabis, just like legalization of alcohol, could be for people over a certain age. That way the vast majority of people who want the product could buy it legally, from licensed vendors, taking vast majority of the profit out of the black market.

    Licensed vendors have a strong incentive to avoid selling to minors, since they can lose their license and be fined or otherwise penalized if caught, whereas there’s plenty of money to be made by selling to legal buyers. Recent attempted stings by local police have found very few vendors willing to sell alcohol to minors. Of course some minors do obtain alcohol, but this is mainly through older friends or family members, and that is never going to be 100% avoidable, whether adult use of alcohol (or for that matter, cannabis) is legal or illegal.

    If the current situation was that most minors were unable to obtain marijuana if they wanted it, and making adult sales legal was likely to increase teen access and use, well then the situation might be a bit different. But recent studies have shown that more teens are now using cannabis than are using tobacco, even though tobacco is legally available to anyone over age 18, is widely advertised, and even though there are essentially no legal consequences for teens caught in possession of cigarettes.

    Since we now have a large number of states in which medical cannabis has been legalized for a number of years now, there is actual data on whether increasing the supply of legal cannabis to adults increases teen cannabis use or not. According to the following report, there’s no evidence that it does:

    “Researchers examined the relationship between legalization and a variety of outcomes including: marijuana use at school, whether the respondent was offered drugs on school property, alcohol use, and cocaine use. Their results provided no evidence that legalization led to increases in the use of marijuana at school, the likelihood of being offered drugs on school property, or the use of other substances.

    In addition to using the national YRBS, the researchers drew on state YRBS data for the period 1993 through 2009 and data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97). None of these sources provided evidence that teenage marijuana use increases with the legalization of medical marijuana.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120618102834.htm

    To be fair, I should note that this report is only a “working paper” at this point, and not yet peer-reviewed. But given that the data is all taken from readily-available government statistics, it seems like the numbers should be pretty easy to confirm.

    Assuming their data is accurate, it sounds like there is even some evidence that legalization of medical cannabis may lead to lower teen use in some states, compared to states without legal medical cannabis laws:

    “This result is important given that the federal government has recently intensified its efforts to close medical marijuana dispensaries,” said Hansen, who studies risky behaviors of adolescents and adults. “In fact, the data often showed a negative relationship between legalization and marijuana use.”

    The study does not attempt to answer the question of why that would be, but two possible mechanisms are (1) the reduction of the “forbidden fruit” effect (when pot is legal, and something many/most adults can legally obtain if they want to, it’s not as seen as being as “cool” and “rebellious” by teens), and (2) The fact that more adults are getting their cannabis from legal outlets may have reduced the profitability of illegal retail-level dealers to the point where some street-level dealers have given up on making a living from dealing pot, and are therefore not available for teens to buy from.

  41. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    tra,

    I stand corrected, I think. (I’ll need a bit more time to feel sure.) Thanks.

  42. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Mitch,

    As far as the definition of “dependency” used in the New Zealand study, it was apparently based on much more than just using 4 times a week. According to the Huffington Post coverage I linked to above (as well as numerous other news reports), the 8 point I.Q. drop” finding applied only to those who were diagnosed at least three times as “dependent,” defined as continued using it despite having reported their use as causing “significant health, social, or legal problems.”

    So I’m not questioning the research itself, I’m simply pointing out that many of the headlines do not reflect the actual findings. Your headline is technically correct, as it includes the word “risks.” The details of the study apparently make clear that those risks vary not only by age and frequency of use, but also vary most significantly by whether (and how often) the individuals qualified as part of the much larger group of those who did not report “significant health, social, or legal problems” or as part of the much smaller group who were, in fact, repeatedly diagnosed as “dependent” based on that definition.

  43. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    To be clear, I’m not saying that the study found “no effect” from teen use by those not diagnosed as dependent, but it appears that the effect was much more substantial among those who were repeatedly diagnosed as dependent. From the Medpagenow article:

    “Baseline mean IQ scores were similar and close to the standardized population average of 100 in these cannabis-use subgroups. However, at age 38, the mean scores had diverged considerably. The change from baseline was as follows (P values not reported):

    Never used, never diagnosed: +0.80
    Used, never diagnosed: -1.07
    One diagnosis: -1.62
    Two diagnoses: -2.47
    Three or more diagnoses: -5.75

  44. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Sorry, that’s “medpagetoday,” not “medpagenow.” I blame the error on the 1.07 point IQ drop I probably suffered based on using, but not being “dependent on” cannabis as a teen.

    ;)

  45. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Good points, 12:20. I certainly agree with the advice you offer in your final paragraph.

  46. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    tra,

    Here’s the abstract from the PNAS article:

    Recent reports show that fewer adolescents believe that regular cannabis use is harmful to health. Concomitantly, adolescents are initiating cannabis use at younger ages, and more adolescents are using cannabis on a daily basis. The purpose of the present study was to test the association between persistent cannabis use and neuropsychological decline and determine whether decline is concentrated among adolescent-onset cannabis users. Participants were members of the Dunedin Study, a prospective study of a birth cohort of 1,037 individuals followed from birth (1972/1973) to age 38 y. Cannabis use was ascertained in interviews at ages 18, 21, 26, 32, and 38 y. Neuropsychological testing was conducted at age 13 y, before initiation of cannabis use, and again at age 38 y, after a pattern of persistent cannabis use had developed. Persistent cannabis use was associated with neuropsychological decline broadly across domains of functioning, even after controlling for years of education. Informants also reported noticing more cognitive problems for persistent cannabis users. Impairment was concentrated among adolescent-onset cannabis users, with more persistent use associated with greater decline. Further, cessation of cannabis use did not fully restore neuropsychological functioning among adolescent-onset cannabis users. Findings are suggestive of a neurotoxic effect of cannabis on the adolescent brain and highlight the importance of prevention and policy efforts targeting adolescents.

    At least in the abstract, they are associating “neuropsychological decline” with “persistent cannabis use.” I’d have to read the study myself to get a grasp on the difference between a diagnosis of dependence vs persistent use.

    I have a feeling that they are defining the diagnosis as using cannabis 4 or more times per week, but I don’t know for sure. I think they are saying that if you are using 4x or more per week, it is impacting your life at the time. Again, I’m not sure. But the abstract’s phrasing is not ambiguous.

  47. Not A Native
    August 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I sent a pdf of the study to H. Figure it’ll find its way to Mitch

  48. Mitch
  49. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    And the chart and tables are linked here:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2012/08/23/1206820109.DCSupplemental

    The tables refer to use of 4x per week or more.

  50. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Thanks, NaN. I’m curious but a cheapskate.

  51. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Mitch, you point out that:

    “….cannabis use at far higher potencies than those studied is now more commonplace among high school students than is tobacco use.”

    True. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that today’s high school students who smoke pot are actually ingesting more THC than they did when they were smoking less potent strains. Higher potency means it takes fewer inhalations to get “high.” If the cannabis is potent enough to get you “high” with half a joint, then smoking three joints doesn’t really get you any “higher” than smoking the first half of the first joint. At least not to the same extent that drinking six beers gets you a lot drunker than drinking one beer. So there’s just not that much incentive to keep toking once you’ve got your buzz — at least not until it has worn off a bit, and that’s no different whether it’s high potency or low potency.

    From a lung-health point of view, it seems like the more potent it is, the better, since it’s not the THC itself, but other substances in the smoke, that can cause damage like bronchitis or emphysema, and if you don’t have to take as many inhalations to gain the desired effect, then you’re inhaling less of the unwanted byproducts. Off course not smoking at all (either not indulging at all, or if you do indulge, using edibles) is even better, from a lung-health point of view.

  52. Not A Native
    August 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Quote the from study:

    Does Cannabis-Associated Neuropsychological Impairment Translate
    into Functional Problems in Daily Life?

    Informant reports of study members’ neuropsychological functioning were also obtained at age 38 y. Study members nominated people “who knew them well.” These informants were mailed questionnaires and asked to complete a checklist, including whether the study members had problems with their attention and memory over the past year. Table 5 shows mean informant-reported cognitive problems, adjusted for childhood IQ, as a function of persistent cannabis dependence. Informants reported observing significantly more attention and memory problems among those with more persistent cannabis dependence.

  53. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Mitch,

    According to the medpagetoday article, they broke it down a number of different ways. The “8 point drop” was among those who started before age 18 AND were diagnosed three times or more as “dependent.” They did find effects among those who used but were not diagnosed, but the effect was smaller, though it still might be significant. Unfortunately, according to the medpagetoday article, the P values for that were not reported.

  54. Not A Native
    August 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    The idea that people who get stoned will stop after one joint or two drags is ridiculous. As Obama said when asked whether he inhaled. “Well, that was the whole point of it”. Higher potency pot was developed precisely because people wanted to find ways to get higher.

    People seeking psychoactive thrills will go as far as they’re able, for the experience. Only when they pass out is it “game over”. That not to say they will do that every time, but if they are regular users they will certainly do it regularly. And practically, people using pot regularly become accomodated, thats the reason higher potency pot is in demand in the first place.

  55. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Not a Native,

    Thanks. Like Mitch, I’m curious about the details, but a cheapskate. It sounds like you got access to the full article and sent it to Heraldo, so that H could forward it to Mitch. Thanks for doing that.

  56. What Now
    August 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    The standard IQ tests STILL in use are skewered towards urban dwellers with higher levels of exposure to popular culture and that culture’s “official” language.
    A very insightful book on the abuses and prejudices of the Stanford-Benes test as well as several others developed since is “The War On The Weak.”
    An acquaintance that is a professioanl social worker in New Zealand and lectures in Australia (and is VERY anti-cannabis consumption) has made a point of arguing that the Aborigines and Maori in most cases stand virtually no chance of scoreing on tests that include questions on 19th century british literature or mataphors from cultures that are alien to them.

  57. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    “that doesn’t necessarily mean that today’s high school students who smoke pot are actually ingesting more THC than they did when they were smoking less potent strains.”

    It means you get more THC per breath. If you think that means less breaths to normalize THC, well, you know a different type of people than I know. On my planet, it means the same number of breaths and more THC. Passing a joint or a bowl around is a social activity. Of course, if people smoke until they pass out, their THC intake will probably not change depending on the concentration of THC in a joint.

    Bottom line: if you are under eighteen and value your ability to score well on IQ tests (which correlate well with success in future life, as does motivation), you ought to keep your marijuana consumption as low as you can manage, and zero or near-zero is best. If you are a parent and don’t mind that your under-18 child is a pot-smoker, you should reevaluate. And if you are a grower, your groovy business is looking substantially less groovy if any of your product finds its way to anyone under 18 or 20.

  58. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    What Now,

    The general validity of IQ tests as a way of ranking people has NOTHING to do with observing that one group’s scores decline while another group’s scores remain constant. Whatever an IQ test is testing, it is testing something. And if what it tests declines in one group while not declining in another group, something has happened to change the former group’s performance on the tests.

    So the normal complaints that IQ tests are ridiculous, or culturally biased, or skew with income, etc…, can be completely correct and, at the same time, irrelevant to this situation.

  59. Not A Native
    August 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    The study doesn’t make adolescence a “hard line”. It found effects for “young adults”

    People’s brains mature at different rates. Looking at this study’s results, a minimum age of 21 is a reasonable cutoff age for society to adopt to minimize the severe IQ reductions it found due to pot use.

    Of course, long term studies of the effects of pot on adults are needed. In the meantime, the precautionary principle is a good guide for public policy, just as it is for other uncertain but serious issues, like climate change.

  60. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Mitch,

    Looking at the info at the bottom of the chart, we find:

    “Shown is change in full-scale IQ (in SD units) from childhood to adulthood among study members with 1, 2, or 3+ diagnoses of cannabis dependence as a function of age of onset of at least weekly cannabis use.”

    “As a function of” does not mean “defined as,” it means that among those defined as having diagnoses of “dependence,” the chart shows how those people varied according to the age of onset, and how they varied according to the number of diagnoses.

    In other words, the actual definition of “dependence” is not specified there. According to numerous news reports, the diagnosis of dependence involved the person reporting that they were continuing their use despite “significant health, social, and legal problems.” Perhaps the news reports are inaccurate, and the diagnosis of dependence in the study did not include any of this and just weekly use was defined as “dependence,” but that seems pretty unlikely, since that would fly in the face of all standard definitions of dependence. For example:

    “The section about substance dependence in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (more specifically, the 2000 “text revision”, the DSM-IV-TR) does not use the word addiction at all. It explains:

    When an individual persists in use of alcohol or other drugs despite problems related to use of the substance, substance dependence may be diagnosed.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substance_dependence

    It looks like the only way to settle this issue of exactly what went into the diagnosis of “dependence” is to look at the full text of the article and see what definition was used. I may have erred above when I assumed that NAN had obtained the full text and sent that to Heraldo. If the PDFs mentioned were just this chart and the tables, that doesn’t answer the question. So if we really want to know how widely the “8-point-drop” figure applies, perhaps one of us will have to shell out for access to the full study. I’m considering it. Full, ongoing access to all PNAS documents is out of my price range, but looks like for a relatively small fee one can get full access to this specific article for a limited period of time.

    But from the medpagetoday summary, it does appear that “regular use” can have an effect even if the individual is NOT diagnosed as “dependent.” Not as dramatic an effect, but still significant:

    “The researchers also stratified participants into two groups according to whether, at a given interview, they reported using cannabis at least once a week on average (“regular user”).

    Individuals classed as regular users at least three times in the study also showed the largest declines in IQ between tests (mean -5.23 IQ points, -0.35 standard deviation units, P value not reported), whereas little change was seen in those never reporting regular use.”

    “P-value not reported” is a bit of a problem, but those results are at least suggestive.

  61. Plain Jane
    August 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Since this was all based on self-reporting by the studied groups with no drug testing, it is likely that some of the “dependent” pot smokers who continued to use despite significant negative impacts on their lives abused other substances as well.

  62. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    tra,

    The charts were online at PNAS. I haven’t received NaN’s pdf, and don’t really expect to for up to 48 hours — Heraldo and I are not joined at the hip, despite what some might think. And, just for the record, I’m not you.

  63. Not A Native
    August 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Is your email public?

  64. Not A Native
    August 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    From the study:

    Is Impairment Attributable to Persistent Cannabis Use or Are There
    Alternative Explanations?

    We ruled out six alternative explanations for the observed effects of persistent cannabis use on neuropsychological functioning, namely that these effects could be explained by (i) past 24-h cannabis use, (ii) past-week cannabis use, (iii) persistent tobacco dependence, (iv) persistent hard-drug dependence, (v) persistent alcohol dependence, and
    (vi) schizophrenia. We recalculated the mean change in full-scale IQ as a function of persistent cannabis dependence, excluding each of the aforementioned groups. We elected to show results just for full-scale IQ for this analysis as well as all subsequent analyses because full-scale IQ captures overall intellectual functioning. Fig. 1 shows that excluding each of these groups of study members did not alter the initial finding…..

  65. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    “Bottom line: if you are under eighteen and value your ability to score well on IQ tests (which correlate well with success in future life, as does motivation), you ought to keep your marijuana consumption as low as you can manage, and zero or near-zero is best. If you are a parent and don’t mind that your under-18 child is a pot-smoker, you should reevaluate.”

    We basically agree. I would add one refinement, which is that if you are a parent, you should be particulary concerned if your child is continuing regular and/or heavy use despite showing health and/or social problems. While the health and/or social problems alone should be an incentive to try to get the person to reduce or cease their use, if parents and other involved adults are aware that the ongoing dependency may result in a permanent loss of mental function (as opposed to something that will go away if they quit later) that could be an additional incentive to seek help during the teenage years.

  66. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    NaN,

    I’m m j t followed by r a c at the google mail service.

  67. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    My email address is thereasonableanonymous@gmail.com

    In case wordpress doesn’t allow it to be posted that way, I’m going to spell it out this way as well:

    thereasonableanonymous (at) gmail (dot) com

    If NAN, or anyone else, has the full text of the article and is willing to share it, I’d greatly appreciate that.

  68. Just Watchin
    August 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Interesting to watch all of the Humboldt potheads try to poke holes in this study. Actually, it’s pretty sad.

  69. August 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    There are something like 5 million US children (counting under 18s) who are prescribed Adderall by their doctors each year. Adderall is pure amphetamine and has far more severe and lasting side effects and is far more addictive than cannabis. I wonder how much their IQs are affected by long term use of meth? Oh lets add in those prescribed Ritalin too. A few million more.

    There are probably way more kids strung out on meth by their doctors than those who are sneaking a puff of pot, and the damage must be far greater to these kids.

    ref: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/medicating/drugs/stats.html

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  70. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    NAN,

    Good point about brain development varying according to the individual. I agree, 21 seems like a better cut-off age from a public policy point of view. Plus it has the advantage of being consistent with the legal age for alcohol consumption, which has the potential to simplify enforcement of age-limits on sales.

    I still think it’s a bit insane to think that it’s O.K. to trust 18 year olds to have enough maturity and judgement to operate tanks, handle howitzers and machine guns and the like, but not enough maturity and judgement to use moderation in drinking alcohol. But I’d deal with that contradiction by raising the age for military service to 21 rather than lowering the drinking to 18.

  71. Plain Jane
    August 28, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    “persistent hard-drug dependence, (v) persistent alcohol dependence” doesn’t rule out occasional to even frequent hard-drug and / or alcohol use without it being their drug of choice and becoming dependent on it. We’ve known forever that pot decreases motivation and the more you smoke, the less motivation you have. We also know that pot can be a very relaxing recreational drug that enhances some experiences, as does alcohol in moderation. Kids shouldn’t be using either one.

  72. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Thank you NaN. I’m not comfortable posting the entire article due to copyright bullshit, but here is the section of the article relevant to the question of “dependence.”

    Measures. Cannabis use. Past-year cannabis dependence was assessed with the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (43, 44) at ages 18, 21, 26, 32, and 38 y following criteria for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Dis-orders (DSM) (45, 46). Cohort members having missing data from three or more of the five study waves (ages 18, 21, 26, 32, and 38 y) were excluded when we defined our cannabis-exposure variables: 97% of living cohort members were studied, composed of 83% of living study members with no missing data points, 11% with one missing data point, and 3% with two missing data points. Our main exposure, persistence of cannabis dependence, was defined as the total number of study waves out of five at which a study member met criteria for cannabis dependence. Study members were grouped according to their number of dependence diagnoses: (i)
    those who never used cannabis at any study wave and thus could not havebecome dependent, (ii) those who used cannabis at least once at one or more study waves but never diagnosed, (iii) those who diagnosed at one wave, (iv) those who diagnosed at two waves, and (v) those who diagnosed
    at three or more waves.

    Because there were some study members who used cannabis on a regular basis but never met full criteria for a diagnosis of cannabis dependence, we repeated analyses using persistent regular cannabis use as the exposure. Ateach of the five study waves between ages 18–38 y, study members self-reported the total number of days (0–365) they used cannabis over the
    preceding year. Persistence of regular cannabis use was defined as the total number of study waves out of five at which a study member reported using cannabis 4 d/wk or more (the majority of days in a week). Study members were grouped as those who (i) never used cannabis, (ii) used but never
    regularly, (iii) used regularly at one wave, (iv) used regularly at two waves, and (v) used regularly at three or more waves. Correspondence between Meier et al. cannabis dependence and regular cannabis-use groups was high but not perfect (weighted κ = 0.77).

    The Dunedin Study uses past-year reporting to maximize validity and eliability of recall. A potential consequence is that individuals could have experienced dependence only during a gap between the Study’s five 12-mo assessment windows and gone uncounted. Our “net” of 1-y assessments at
    ages 18, 21, 26, 32, and 38 y captured all but four of the cohort members who reported receiving treatment for a drug-use problem between assessment windows. Three of the four were hard-drug and alcohol dependent, and the remaining person sought counseling for cannabis use only as part of a child custody dispute. As these four cohort members reported cannabis use but not dependence, they were classified as “used but never diagnosed.”

  73. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    And here is a table that splits things out between use and dependence. This is from the article; I may have put the table up before. Sorry about the loss of tab stops. A lot of the decline in IQ may be related to maleness. :(

    Table 1. IQ before and after cannabis use
    N % male Age 7–13 full-scale IQ Age 38 full-scale IQ Δ IQ effect size*

    Persistence of cannabis dependence
    Never used, never diagnosed 242 38.84 99.84 (14.39) 100.64 (15.25) 0.05
    Used, never diagnosed 479 49.48 102.32 (13.34) 101.25 (14.70) −0.07
    1 diagnosis 80 70.00 96.40 (14.31) 94.78 (14.54) −0.11
    2 diagnoses 35 62.86 102.14 (17.08) 99.67 (16.11) −0.17
    3+ diagnoses 38 81.58 99.68 (13.53) 93.93 (13.32) −0.38

    Persistence of regular cannabis use
    Never used 242 38.84 99.84 (14.39) 100.64 (15.25) 0.05
    Used, never regularly 508 50.59 102.27 (13.59) 101.24 (14.81) −0.07
    Used regularly at 1 wave 47 72.34 101.42 (14.41) 98.45 (14.89) −0.20
    Used regularly at 2 waves 36 63.89 95.28 (10.74) 93.26 (11.44) −0.13
    Used regularly at 3+ waves 41 78.05 96.00 (16.06) 90.77 (13.88) −0.35

  74. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    P.J.,

    It certainly possible that there may be some confounding factors not accounted for in the New Zealand study, as the authors themselves acknowledged. And it’s possible that non-reported “hard drug” use could be a confounding factor, since as you pointed out, the New Zealand researchers did not use drug tests to confirm the self-reported use or non-use of hard drugs (or for that matter, the use-or non-use of cannabis).

    The 2002 Canadian study (which was also a well-constructed, longitudinal study, published in a respected peer-reviewed journal) compared IQ scores in 9-12 year old adolescents who had not started using cannabis, with the IQ scores in those same individuals measured in early adulthood (ages 17-20), and in this study they DID use urine testing to confirm the use or non-use of both cannabis, and other hard drugs.

    http://www.cmaj.ca/content/166/7/887.long

    That study found a significantly greater increase in IQ scores among “light users” compared to non-users, and compared to former users who had since quit using. At the same time, it found a significant decrease in IQ scores among “heavy users.” In the Canadian study, their findings were not limited to those who had been repeatedly diagnosed as “dependent.”

    The fact that urine testing was used may account for some of the difference in the results between the Canadian study and the New Zealand study, but it’s also possible that much/most/all of the difference was due to the use of the “dependency” criteria in the New Zealand study, and/or to the fact that the New Zealand study measured the changes in IQ score at age 38, whereas the Canadian study measured the changes in IQ scores at ages 17-20. So it could be that both studies are accurate, but that some of the loss of mental functioning only comes later in life.

  75. August 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    My IQ at age 18 was over 150. I have smoked pot every day for the last 8 years. I just retested my IQ last year it was still over 150. I smoked pot from age 17.5 until age 25. Between ages 25 and 54 I did not smoke pot, but I did drink alcohol up to age 50 (and plenty of it. ) And yes, I smoked a bowl before I retested. It didn’t make the test any easier or harder but it sure was more fun to take.

    So whatever this study says (and I don’t trust any “self reporting”) it does not match my life experience. I expect this study to be thoroughly debunked in a few days.

    have a peaceful day,
    Bill

  76. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Thanks Mitch.

    Would you be willing to e-mail the full text to me? I won’t post it here in full but would like to take a look at it.

  77. Plain Jane
    August 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Or it could be that long term heavy use of pot (and lots of other things) isn’t good for you. Is that surprising?

  78. August 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I would be interested in the full text as well Mitch. I also pledge not to post the full text.

    humboldt.organizer @ gmail.com

    Thanks

  79. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    highboldtage,

    The study’s data does not support the idea that pot smoking harms the adult brain.

    If you began smoking at 15, maybe your IQ had been 158 before you started. Or perhaps your brain had passed through whatever maturation was necessary to avoid damage. Who knows? Not you and not I.

    The point is, the adolescent brain is a very different thing than the adult brain.

  80. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Mitch,

    I’m looking at the figures in your 3:54 comment, but I’m not sure whether the two categories are two different groups of people, or whether it’s mostly an overlapping group (looks like it’s probably the latter). In other words, does the group of 41 “used regularly at waves 3+” people include mostly the same people as the group of 38 who had “3+ diagnoses” of dependency? If so, then it doesn’t tell us much about those who used regularly but did not have the clinical symptoms of dependency. But it might suggest that only relatively few people were able to use regularly and persistently without developing the symptoms of dependency, which, if true, would itself be an important bit of data.

  81. Mitch
    August 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    tra (and bill),

    The article should be in your inbox(es).

  82. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Got it. Thanks Mitch. I’m going to give it a thorough read tonight.

    And by the way, the full text of the Canadian study from 2002 (which did include urine testing, and compared light and heavy users to former users and total non-users but without looking at “dependency” separately, but also only measured outcomes earlier, at ages 17-20) is available, for free, here:

    http://www.cmaj.ca/content/166/7/887.full.pdf+html

    As mentioned above, a major difference between the two studies is that the New Zealand study measured IQ at age 38, compared to the Canadian study that measured IQ at 17-20. So it could be that the negative effects only surface later in life. It would be great if the Canadian researchers follow up again in a few years and see if their results more closely match those of the New Zealand researchers once the Canadian subjects have reached age 38.

  83. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    And thanks again to NAN.

  84. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    Interesting. According to the table in the New Zealand study, those in the categories “used, never diagnosed” and “used, never regularly” at ages 7-13 had IQ scores several points higher at that age than those who were in the category “never used.” Even at age 38, the light users still had slightly higher scores than the non-users. The non-users scores had gone up slightly, the light users scores had gone down slightly, but the light users were still “ahead.”

    Of course this doesn’t tell us whether the slightly higher scores by light users compared to non-users was because they had higher IQs even before they started using, or whether their light use actually led to slightly increased IQs in the very earliest years of their use (and of course it could be a little bit of bothm or a larger positive effect from one and a smaller negative effect from the other, resulting in a modest net effect). It’s easier to believe the former (that the smarter kids were just a little bit more adventurous and therefore had tried it), though the Canadian study offers some evidence that the latter might actually be true (that the light use actually contributed to modest gains). On the other hand, the Canadian study looked at a much smaller group, so it’s possible that their findings of IQ increase among light users was really just statistical noise. On the other, other hand, the Canadian study was smaller in part because they were using a group of people for whom urine analysis was available, meaning that it was not entirely reliant on self-reporting, and may therefore be a bit more accurate for the individuals who were studied.

  85. August 28, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    “”Adolescent-onset cannabis users showed significant I.Q. declines, and more persistent use was associated with greater declines,” said lead author Madeline H. Meier, a researcher at Duke University. “Collectively, these findings are consistent with speculation that cannabis use in adolescence, when the brain is undergoing critical development, may have neurotoxic effects.”

    When Meier makes that suggestion, however (which is, as she herself admitted, pure speculation), she is in conflict with scientific studies which show the neuroprotective and even neurogenerative effects of cannabis. That is to say, solid scientific evidence exists that marijuana not only helps protect the brain cells you have — it also helps to grow new ones.

    The study, which its own authors admit is “not definitive,” suggested a drop (on the average) of eight points in IQ scores for those who, as teenagers, frequently smoked marijuana, was headlined by Fox News Latino as “Marijuana Linked to Low IQ In Teenagers, Study Says.” Of course, the study says no such thing — after all, an IQ of, say, 130, still isn’t “low” even at 122. But then again, two words: Fox News.

    The study also showed that, for those who become frequent users of cannabis after age 18, there is no IQ drop. Researchers said that their primary concern is that people stay away from marijuana until adulthood.

    Canadian Study Found IQ Gains For “Light Users” of Cannabis

    A 2002 longitudinal study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal concluded that “marijuana does not have a long-term negative impact on global intelligence,” and that “current marijuana use had a negative effect on global IQ score only in subjects who smoked five or more joints per week.”

    In fact, that same study — which monitored subjects since birth, and examined IQ scores before, during and after cessation of regular cannabis use — found current “light users” and former users showed average IQ gains of 5.8 and 3.5 points, respectively, compared to an IQ gain of only 2.6 among those who had never used cannabis. (The study did, however, show an average IQ decrease of 4.1 points for heavy users.)”

    Did any of you actually read the study? Probably not.

  86. August 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Just thoughts in catching up on the conversation here this evening.

    If you want to read papers which are behind a paywall, the answer would be to go to your local college/university library, and ask how you can use the wifi, often available as a guest access. You’ll then be permitted the papers online where you weren’t before, via the school’s library contract with the publishers.

    I do this from time to time at a member of the California university system, so presumably it works at Humboldt State, or whatever it’s calling itself these days. County libraries don’t typically have these agreements.

    When considering tarry resins etc. imbibed, I guess I wonder readily about cancer agents , like the benzopyrines for example as part of the problem with cigarette smoke. Both smokes no doubt have the sub-micron particle size factor, so that byproduct-coated particles remain in essence forever trapped in the alveoli of the lungs, where they irritate and incite the cancer and emphysema problems in those susceptible. One would think this to subtract from the coolness or ‘fun’ factor

    Biases. It feels there’s one showing linguistically very heavily in the NZ study’s blurry definitional ‘diagnosed’. Science is in principle just peer-reviewed knowledge gathering of some efficiency, but you can often surely feel the ways its chosen languages curtain and disturb meaning. Human characteristics finding their way back in, as they will.

    I find myself thinking that by talking so much in this vernacular as a means of discussion, the meaning, here for children especially, so easily gets lost. It’s not unlike, and actually more than subtly connected, to the way reducing every discussion to economics works. Yes, you have to have it, but the goal should be as much distance and freedom from it in daily life as possible — possible because a more whole ecology works.

    It seems like taking drugs is so often a matter like wearing colored sunglasses, and that perhaps if we discover for contemporary times more confidence in what light and life can be without such filters, the whole organism and individuals will much enjoy what improves. Well, I just completed reading a very good fiction. And don’t you find that doing or viewing art often has remarkable effects, on how you next see.

  87. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    According to Table 2 in the New Zealand study, the only aspect of measured IQ that actually improved substantially with persistent cannabis use was the “picture completion test.” That test is described as follows:

    “This is a test of visual discrimination and reasoning. The test involves looking at an incomplete picture of common objects or scenes and determining which part is missing. Test items are arranged in order of difficulty and have time limits. The test requires looking at the visual whole presented and analyzing its parts to identify what is missing.”

    I’m guessing that most of us won’t be surprised that this was the one part of the test where frequent, persistent cannabis users did better than non-users or infrequent users. It kind of fits the stereotype of pot use facilitating the ability to “see the big picture.” I’ve always felt that was a bit overblown, but it seems like maybe there’s at least something to it.

    But what WAS a surprise to me was the results for the arithmetic subtest, where frequent users with 3 or more diagnoses of cannabis dependency actually improved their scores slightly, whereas non-users and light users scores actually declined slightly. I wouldn’t have predicted that in a million years, especially after reading the description:

    “This is a test that requires working memory processes to be applied to orally presented verbal information. It involves numerical knowledge, short-term memory, attention, and concentration. Arithmetic problems are presented in story forma (e.g. Four me can finish a job in eight hours. How many men will be needed to finish it in one-half hour?). Performance requires holding information in short-term memory, accessing long-term memory to retrieve numerical rules of mathematical operation, and using the rules to manipulate the stored data. Items are arranged according to the level of difficuly and have time limits.”

    I wonder why, among the heavy, persistant users, this skill did not decline along with the others, and even seemed to improve a little, despite the fact that short-term memory is one of the key components to being able to solve these problems? Perhaps the heavier cannabis users had some improvements in attention and concentration that outweighed their losses on the short-term memory side?

    Fascinating stuff.

  88. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Mark,

    It could be be that light usage of cannabis might somewhat helpful to brain development during the teen years (as suggested by the 2002 Canadian study) even while heavy use is harmful during teen years (also suggested by the Canadian study), and that even moderate “persistent” usage can cause some damage later on, with effects that aren’t fully evident until middle age (as suggested by the recent New Zealand study). In other words, both studies may be entirely correct, but are just measuring things slightly differently, and at different times. For all we know, it might be helpful again in old age — neither study addresses that.

    With many substances, how high the dosage is, how it is ingested, and the total time period during which usage continues can make the difference between whether a substance is helpful, harmless, or harmful (for example, many medicines are helpful at a specific dose and under specific conditions, but poisonous at higher dosages or with longer exposure). Add to this the variable of a developing, somewhat differently functioning brain in youth, with a fully developed, relatively stable brain in mid-life, and a (to one degree or another) deteriorating brain in old age, and it should not be at all surprising that a substance that offers some benefit at some dosage over some period of time at one point in life may produce some harm at different dosages, over longer periods, or at a different point in life.

    I did read the 2002 Canadian study, the full text of it, and posted a link to the summary, and also to the full text of it, several times above, along with some comments outlining some of the differences in methodology and focus between the Canadian study and this more recent New Zealand study. See, for example, this comment:

    https://humboldtherald.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/nz-study-cannabis-smoking-by-teens-lowers-iq/#comment-178716

    and this one:

    https://humboldtherald.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/nz-study-cannabis-smoking-by-teens-lowers-iq/#comment-178822

    and this one:

    https://humboldtherald.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/nz-study-cannabis-smoking-by-teens-lowers-iq/#comment-178832

  89. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Mark Sailors,

    It could be be that light usage of cannabis might be somewhat helpful to brain development during the teen years (as suggested by the 2002 Canadian study) even while heavy use may be harmful during teen years (also suggested by the same Canadian study), and that even moderate “persistent” usage can cause some damage later on, with effects that aren’t fully evident until middle age (as suggested by the recent New Zealand study).

    In other words, both studies may be entirely correct, but are just measuring things slightly differently, and at different times. And perhaps cannabis might be helpful to brain function in late middle age and/or old age — neither of studies address that question one way or the other.

    With many substances, how high the dosage is, how it is ingested, and the total time period during which usage continues can make the difference between whether a substance is helpful, harmless, or harmful — for example, many medicines are helpful at a specific dose and under specific conditions, but poisonous at higher dosages or with longer exposure.

    Add to this the variable of a developing, somewhat differently functioning brain in youth, with a pretty much fully developed, relatively stable brain in mid-life, and a (to one degree or another) deteriorating brain in old age, and it should not be at all surprising that a substance that offers some benefit at some dosage over some period of time at one point in life may produce some harm at different dosages, over longer periods, or at a different point in life.

    I did read the 2002 Canadian study — the full text of it — and posted a link to the summary, and also to the full text of it, several times above, along with some comments outlining some of the differences in methodology and focus between the Canadian study and this more recent New Zealand study. See, for example, comments #13, #74, and #82 above.

    The full text of the 2002 Canadian study can be found here:

    http://www.cmaj.ca/content/166/7/887.full.pdf+html

  90. August 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Very good and useful points, tra — and kind of on the side of encouraging medical research on cannabinoids as part of the palette of potential improvement drugs, as possibly quite useful.

    It’s just these harmful/beneficial regime refinements that have made most modern medicines possible, since as you correctly point out, what is helpful in one circumstance is quite often toxic in another.

    I suspect the current advances on nano-particles able to guide drug molecules to the places they’re useful, and keep them out of where they’re harmful will turn out to be an important part of the puzzle also — hearing about this vis a vis cancer treatment potentials for a brother, and there seems a lot happening in it.

    I’m sort of ruefully smiling — how we can allow children and adults of habit their rituals, while cleaning up habits that remind me in a dark moment of chewing betel nut, a good challenge surely. More of that actual cultural development required, a small voice says…

    Still smiling, Narration, even after staying up too late last night talking with tra (around other things).. What can you do ;)

  91. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Narration,

    As far as effects of cannabis smoke, there was a very careful study done a few years back that showed no increase in lung cancer, among cannabis smokers. The authors, who actually expected that they would find some increase in lung cancers among cannabis smokers, and were surprised to find out otherwise, suggested that although cannabis smoke contains many of the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke, other components of cannabis smoke (most notably THC, but also other cannabinoids) have been shown to have cancer-suppressing effects, and this may explain why cannabis smokers didn’t develop more cancers despite being exposed to some of the same carcinogens as tobacco smokers. But it apparently can cause emphysema, bronchitis, and other problems. So, if you’re going to indulge, consider edibles instead of smoke (or maybe a vaporizer, though I do not know off hand whether there is much research into whether use of a vaporizer is significantly better than smoking, from the point of view of not increasing one’s risk of emphysema, bronchitis, etc…seems like it would, but I don’t know if the research has been done yet or not).

    If it is true that cannabis contains some cancer-suppressing compounds, which counteract the carcinogens in the smoke, that leads me to wonder whether, if one were to eat instead of smoke the cannabis, one might be able to gain the benefit of the cancer-suppressing compounds without getting the carcinogens in the smoke, and therefore derive a net benefit? Seems like a great opportunity for additional research…and it wouldn’t surprise me if someone, somewhere is conducting that research right now.

    As far as the New Zealand study’s definition of “diagnosed as being clinically dependent,” from reading the full-text version of the study, it appears that they used the standard definition from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Illness. They didn’t spell out exactly what that is in the paper itself, probably because their main audience in a scholarly paper like this is folks who already know what that definition is, and/or how to find it. But putting aside the question of whether the DSM definition works well for cannabis or not, it is certainly the standard definition of “substance dependent,” accepted by the scientific community as a whole as a way to make comparisons. So, I think they’re on pretty solid ground on that one.

    I really like your last paragraph:

    “It seems like taking drugs is so often a matter like wearing colored sunglasses, and that perhaps if we discover for contemporary times more confidence in what light and life can be without such filters, the whole organism and individuals will much enjoy what improves. Well, I just completed reading a very good fiction. And don’t you find that doing or viewing art often has remarkable effects, on how you next see.”

    So true! Same with making or listening to music, and all sorts of other creative endeavors. There are many ways to “alter your perspective,” “open your mind,” “experience the divine,” etc. Most of them do not require ingesting mind-altering substances, and in many cases are best approached clear-headed. Still, if some artists, poets, musicians, philosophers and so on find that they can better create/reveal/elaborate on Truth and Beauty with a little help from a flower or a mushroom or whatever…well, that’s O.K. with me, too!

  92. Al Einstein
    August 28, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Any studies about effects if you start in your teens, abstain for 40 years, then start again in your late 50’s with modern, hi potency stuff?

    Just curious, no other particular reason.

  93. High Finance
    August 28, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I also read studies which said that pot smoking cured Acne, Whopping Cough, STD’s and grew hair back on bald men.

  94. August 28, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Quite enjoying your patience, diligence, and wide fields of view, tra. Going to get some sleep this evening, too ;)

    Have it good, please.

    Oh, and HiFi, I guess I am ready for some of that, then — especially to ward off any possibility of the last one ;)

    Einstein, I believe it may be found to be a relative matter…

  95. Amy Breighton
    August 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Remove pot from the chronic abusers in this study and a substitute will likely be sought that will be far more addictive and dangerous. Put a bucket of heroin in Old Town Eureka, and the same minority of abusers will partake, while the vast majority of citizens will not.

    It’s an unavoidable fact of life. Offer every American a living wage job…and there’s always a few who decline.

    What we must never do, is impose draconian penalties on everyone because of the few who will chronically fail!

    To have any realistic effect on limiting youth’s desires for chronic intoxication and unsafe sex is by returning to free public university educations where counseling and health care services are also provided. In addition, every patriotic American should be demanding a return to fundamental job training and placement programs in every community, as well as, affordable housing.

    Until the U.S. returns to providing American youths with a clear path to emancipation and the dignity of independence, it is irrational for anyone to condemn their behavior. Instead, we pay $40,000 a year to warehouse them in prisons where they are punished a second time for society’s neglect.

  96. tra
    August 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Thanks, Narration. I’m enjoying your comments, too. The bit about the nano-particles to help deliver drug molecules in the most helpful and least harmful way is intriguing. And best wishes to your brother. Like most folks, I’ve had loved ones who have had to battle cancer, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, even if I had any.

  97. Tyrone
    August 29, 2012 at 6:44 am

    da best when ther dippit in da pcp and smoke da joint lllllliiiiiikkkkkkeeeee wwwwooooowwwww

  98. Mitch
    August 29, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I’m wondering if I’m alone in finding the post by “Tyrone” to be an example of racism, and I’m wondering what people think can or ought to be done about it.

  99. August 29, 2012 at 9:39 am

    AB says, “Until the U.S. returns to providing American youths with a clear path to emancipation and the dignity of independence, it is irrational for anyone to condemn their behavior. Instead, we pay $40,000 a year to warehouse them in prisons where they are punished a second time for society’s neglect. ”

    What would that be? A stint in the military? A stint in prison usually provides the same kind of “emancipation” and the same kind of “dignity of independence.” I’d say “society is doing quite well.

  100. Amy Breighton
    August 29, 2012 at 11:59 am

    It’s sad how so many Americans are too young to remember, (and the media is too “bought” to remind us), about the job programs, training and placement, housing, free-educational and safety net hand-up that built this nation’s middle class that has collapsed alongside these essential programs and services.

    The Reich-Wing better hope the drugs and “low low everyday prices” never end…no matter how many foreign military bases it takes.

  101. August 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Mitch, I don’t know, but kind of feel ‘least said, soonest mended’ comes into play on a posting like this.

    If it’s a barb the way you’ve reckoned, I doubt many are impressed by it. If such keeps up, you certainly know what you can do, also.

    For me, many of the off-shoot comments people make actually speak to matters I’d like to be aware of; it’s part of the gain. This one, not so much, but even so, some.

  102. tra
    August 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Its a stupid comment, which might or might not have been intended as a racial slur (I think it probably was). If I were you, I would just leave it for now, as you’ve already made clear your concern about the possible racial intent of the comment, and people can judge for themselves whether the person posting as “Tyrone” is adding anything constructive to the discussion. But as “Narration” suggests, if comments like that become a pattern, your choice as the moderator is of course to call them out, or to delete the post, depending on the severity of the situation.

  103. Eureka' tweeka'
    August 29, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Duh!

  104. August 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    This is what you call “a clear path to emancipation and the dignity of independence”? Quote: “… the job programs, training and placement, housing, free-educational and safety net hand-up.” Surely this is a joke? Is it any wonder the Republican aristocracy treats the Democrats the way they do?

  105. August 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Funny how things change when YOU get the erasure in your dirty little mitts.

  106. August 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Joe, I’d like to come back to your prison comment, since you keep bringing this up.

    In a much younger day, I was out with troops in harsh locations, or on shipboard, and smart if young ones, who so often would have something to say to the civilian in the wee hours watches, about how the service had been such a good choice for them. They gave plenty of detail about the home which was still home but whose harder ways they’d needed to escape from.

    By contrast, a few years ago at the peak of the financial catastrophe I worked a ‘common’ job where prison outgo is taken up, along with out of work realtors, office workers, and the occasional whose overseas resume only frightens Americans, as myself. It was a call center, possibly one of the nicest ones, though you’d still have to say it was run on the lines of a low-security sentence.

    I must quite clearly tell you that with many kinds of close observation, these previously incarcerated young persons showed surely that prison time did _nothing_ as you say towards ‘the same kind of “dignity of independence.”’

    Some were actually working at it and escaping the additional mental bonds of that cell time, yes, as well as the initiating problems of their social beginnings. I would have to say that this is as it ever is, the province of individuals, and also of those other individuals with whom they can form net positive relationships.

    I think it’s clear which of prison or service is a better opportunity for that, isn’t it?

  107. Mitch
    August 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Well, Joe, what would you do? So far, I’ve just left it up, despite finding it repulsive. I think the rule I’m using, though I haven’t written it down, is that I will only delete comments that constitute personal attacks on named individuals, when they are placed anonymously or pseudonymously.

  108. August 29, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Mitch, post your rules where everyone knows what they are, then enforce them. That way the rules do the judging and you don’t.

  109. August 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Narration, what does prison and the military have in common?

  110. Mitch
    August 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Joe,

    Thank you. That’s an extremely good idea.

    It’s Heraldo’s blog, so “my rules” can only apply to the comments attached to my posts. Also, I’m not sure where I could post rules so that they would remain persistent.

    But for now, I’ll state them here: I will only delete comments if they constitute non-fact-supported personal attacks against named individuals and come from people who are not using their own actual, confirmable names. If I become aware of such comments, I will delete them.

    What’s a non-fact-supported personal attack? It’s not a verifiable statement about someone’s behavior or a repetition of something someone said in public. It’s an assertion like “Lisa Simpson is a shit-head,” or “Mayor Quimby is a jerk.” On the other hand, a statement like “Mayor Quimby has a second family living in Vegas, just check out this web site” is not necessarily a non-fact-supported personal attack.

  111. Anonymous
    August 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    After reading all this I have two comments. First, Mitch seems very correct in that the IQ test’s imperfections aren’t as pertinent here as in comparing person to person. This study looks at people compared to themselves at different times in their lives. If they didn’t know the parts of a sailboat at an early age when some of their peers did, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how they scored years later, compared to earlier.

    Also, pot smokers unfortunately seem to lose more than IQ. They lose their potential, IMO, their ability want to chase after their dreams. It doesn’t matter as much after pot. It seems more difficult to strive for success after pot. Doing things that are difficult is not a habit of most pot smokers I know.

  112. Amy Breighton
    August 29, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    During the late 1920’s and early 1930’s tens of millions of Americans also lost their ability to chase after their dreams….pot, cocaine and booze were rampant.

    Then, FDR invested in the nation’s human resources, programs that endured to create America’s first middle class, citizens not only dreamed again, they turned the U.S. into a major innovative industrial power!

    It’s astonishing that “community news” fails to remind us that all we need to do is click our heels together three times and we could be back in Kansas.

  113. tra
    August 30, 2012 at 12:18 am

    “Also, pot smokers unfortunately seem to lose more than IQ. They lose their potential, IMO, their ability want to chase after their dreams. It doesn’t matter as much after pot. It seems more difficult to strive for success after pot. Doing things that are difficult is not a habit of most pot smokers I know.”

    Of course the vast majority of cannabis users don’t even remotely resemble the stereotype you’re peddling here, and far more non-cannabis users do fit that stereotype. Millions of mainstream non-cannabis-using Americans spend endless hours on the couch, semi-snoozing in front of the TV, swilling beer and soft drinks and gorging themselves on fast food and junk food while absorbing billions of hours of commercials, mindless “reality TV” shows, home shopping network shows, sitcoms, game shows, soap operas, crime dramas and infomercials, and spending billions of additional hours wandering around shopping malls, buying useless trinkets that will soon be collecting dust in their garages and attics or fortifying landfills. But apparently that’s all an integral part of the “American Dream,” so no one can accuse these fine, upstanding citizens of not “chasing their dreams.”

    Nope, it’s the <1% of those who truly overindulge in cannabis that are the real problem, so we might as well paint all cannabis users with a broad brush, so much the better to feel superior to them and not have to face the larger cultural and economic issues that result from a continuously growing population increasingly composed of underemployed overconsumers. It's like Mark Twain said: "nothing so needs changing as other people’s habits.”

  114. Mitch
    August 30, 2012 at 7:00 am

    “It’s astonishing that “community news” fails to remind us that all we need to do is click our heels together three times and we could be back in Kansas.”

    If clicking our heels would get us back to Kansas, which, anyway, is a lousy place for a metaphor these days, we’d all be there. Unfortunately this particular myth is untrue. Getting to a better society is actually extremely hard work, which often goes unrewarded financially and unrewarded by praise.

    It requires that you choose nursing, say, as a profession as opposed to stock brokering. It requires that you choose education as a profession as opposed to real estate. It requires that you be willing, at most times, to put others first in a society that tells you, daily, how foolish that is. It requires that you be willing to build a cooperative rather than invest in an oil company. It requires that you — yes, you — have to spend hours each week working with a prisoner, or a homeless person, or a kid that is growing up in a household with pathetic losers as parents.

    It requires that you recognize that putting more money into government programs is necessary but not enough because it is, mostly, just feeding the bureaucrats and not doing what the Democrats claim it does.

    It requires that you recognize the modern Republican party for what it is — pure selfishness, pure shallowness, pure Aryan fantasy spun by a bunch of phonies and liars who don’t mind being caught lying over and over and over again. Why? Because they’ve learned that in a country of lazy people, with an inexcusable mess for a press, lying works.

    It requires that you get off your ass and do things that are harder than heel-clicking.

    This is a lesson that too many people working as “advocates” never learn. Advocacy often means pointing out what’s wrong. Everyone knows what’s wrong. What people need are demonstrations of what’s right. And those demonstrations take hard, hard work, whose only rewards are the satisfaction of doing what’s right, but which are too often met by statements that it hasn’t yet proven perfect.

  115. August 30, 2012 at 7:48 am

    And the debate drones on …

  116. August 30, 2012 at 8:29 am

    I am a new member of the “Amy Breighton” Fan-Club.

  117. August 30, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Mitch, not only rules anyone can understand, but a good explanation too. Could insert another page at top titled, “Rules.”

  118. Amy Breighton
    August 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks Moviedad, I often appreciate your insightful comments.

    “If clicking our heels would get us back to Kansas, we’d all be there. Unfortunately this particular myth is untrue”. Getting to a better society is actually extremely hard work”. (Mitch).

    The fact that FDR’s programs are already tried and proven to work, makes the metaphor apt.

    The hard work of getting the other half of America to the polls, by routinely reminding them that the economic solutions their families need are ALREADY KNOWN, is a UNIVERSE apart from the hard work of reinventing the wheel AND mobilizing voters around it.

    Folks flocked to the hard-work in the 1930’s because they needed jobs and training. Some things never change! Most were average people with average skill who are each individually capable of great achievements once the nation resolves to invests in us.

    “It requires that you get off your ass and do things that are harder than heel-clicking.” (Mitch).

    Do I hear something else “clicking”?

    Change never occurs without the desire and language needed to inspire it, language that’s being broadly self-censored today for precisely that reason. When’s the last time a local rag reminded us of the extent of FDR’s fundamental investments in U.S. citizens?? Hell, when’s the last time they told you how many lost their homes in your neighborhood last week!!??

    If/when enough Americans understand the extent of their community’s human suffering, and the repression of existing solutions, this is the environment for change. So far, the uncomfortable truths and their solutions are limited to a few blogs, a few lefty periodicals, heady books, and a few TV comics. So be it.

    Obama knows this language and can use his bully pulpit more effectively to say the obvious! So could local “leaders”. It is up to each of us who understand some portion of the truth in our community and our personal lives, to become the cacophony of voices that overwhelm them.

    Societies organizing around meeting human needs is common sense, not communism.

    “Clicking your heels together”, like clicking your keyboard, perpetuates a desire, a growth of ideas and language that play their role in change. I would rather be living amid the hard work of overcoming the repression of known solutions in the “New Gilded Age”, than the chaos and violence of the last one.

  119. August 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Joe Blow :
    Narration, what does prison and the military have in common?

    Joe, I suppose you’d say ‘discipline’. However, the odds on getting a thoughtful discipline like Brubecker’s (the film) appears to be very low in prison. Especially today.

    The only case I personally know of where prison appears to have done some good is in a young man of considerable intelligence, but a twisted background. He had a number of low-grade violence convictions from outbursts, with a ‘one more’ threat hanging over his head from the court. He finally did his time, about a year, and I could see it relaxed him as the threat was no longer there. He had done his own discipline towards a life on coming out, and was getting a job in a shipyard as I last met him.

    By comparison, my personal military stories I gave up front. I don’t think the experiences are comparable. Just my own opinion.

  120. August 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    With regard to heel clicking — Amy and Mitch

    Here’s a book I read last year about FDR’s New Deal period. This was very tough, and the book is exceptional reading. Easily found on your mzon of choice.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal: 1932-1940 [Paperback]
    William E. Leuchtenburg

    What sticks in memory for me is the vast variety of projects FDR set in motion. They were right down at the nitty-gritty level, and so were both effective at the necessary times, and hard to attack for the robust resistive climate.

    Poignant are tales such as Chicago schoolteachers fainting in the classrooms as they tried to teach on no meals — because they hadn’t been paid. Roosevelt hired some very clever and unusual people to create and administer the programs, particularly the one at the head of all this, who is worth the book to pursue of character. Don’t at the moment have his name.

    It’s like an ideal lesson in what government _can_ do, when intelligent intent and an esprit de corps operate against a very real situation. And they had one.

    Clicking heels is what it looks like, and get-your-hands-dirty is the idea which _seems_ to have operated, but I suspect the real thing was a sense of being in community with a network of other good actors, which is not as hard-line as either of these things seem, and is also a very great deal more robust and humane of all those who participate in it.

    My thought for the moment anyway: neither imagine magic nor ask the high-minded impossible. Human acts are better than either, and grow in stories.

  121. suzy blah blah
    August 30, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    It seems like taking drugs is so often a matter like wearing colored sunglasses,

    -You are ignorant. Any kid who’s experimented a little bit will see through the bullshit and will no longer trust you. Try taking a large dose of magic mushrooms yourself before you go interpreting the drug experience for others. This experience is completely different from a “filter” being employed. Rather than blocking out or dulling experience it opens up a door to a world that you cannot even conceive of. As can many other plants including marijuana. So enjoy your fiction and your art viewing but don’t compare it to ingesting drugs because you don’t know what you are talking about. Colored sunglasses, LOL! That’s the stupidest comment suzy’s heard in a long long while.

  122. Amy Breighton
    August 30, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    “(The New Deal is) like an ideal lesson in what government _can_ do, when intelligent intent and an esprit de corps operate against a very real situation. And they had one.”

    By all accounts, we have “a very real situation” too!

    …the highest unemployment, (and under-employment), since the Great Depression; the worst income disparity since the Gilded Age, compounded by unprecedented environmental collapse; depleting and contaminated natural resources; a cancer epidemic bankrupting millions; the 6th largest extinction event in life’s history on Earth; the highest incidents of every major disease, (including suicide), the highest infant mortality, AND the shortest lifespans of every other industrialized nation; the unprecedented and unsustainable financialization of our innovative manufacturing legacy; the abandonment of usury laws and $2 trillion of outstanding credit card debt; the demise of reasonable Tariffs to return to child-dependent production; the offshore tax havens and unparallelled looting of the U.S. Treasury….

    But, unlike the drumbeat of headlines documenting the last Depression, every category of today’s popular media is remarkably centralized, and they will have NONE OF IT! Even amid these compounding catastrophes, our “small town news” is little more than a cheerleader for the development community, their political control, and the next housing boom being planned downtown, right now….while 11 million more homes are forecast to be foreclosed in the U.S.! One-half of the homes in San Bernardino County alone are under water.

    Unlike the close-nit communities and families of the 1930’s, citizens today are made oblivious of our shared experiences thanks to media’s 24/7/365 megaphone of “positive happy thoughts”. Too many people still blame themselves for their “unique” misfortunes of under-insured illnesses and financial collapse, scrambling for more credit cards and reverse mortgages to maintain a tenuous illusion of security…all the result of extreme self-censorship at every level of society.

    There are too many potential catalysts to guess which one will burst the censorship bubble to releasing a torrent of information and the angry demands for government to once again invest in its people.

    The internet, Stewart and Colbert will have to do for now.

  123. August 31, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Well Narration, when you do find out what they have in common then you’ll know they do absolutely NOTHING to enhance “a clear path to emancipation and the dignity of independence.” In fact, quite the opposite.

    Something for Amy Breighton to consider: “So, then, to every man his chance — to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining golden opportunity — to every man his right to live, to work, to be himself, to become whatever his manhood and his vision can combine to make him — this, seeker, is the promise of America.”
    – — Thomas Wolfe
    Not hardly what was coming out of Clint Eastwood’s mouth last night, was it?

  124. August 31, 2012 at 11:15 am

    susy, I’ve had quite enough friends over the years who used the magic mushrooms, etc.. Maybe the metaphor that fits that segment of drugs would be the video game.

    The challenge in art is to bring back the experience, and make something of it, which touches and illuminates for others. Many artists have tried drugs over modern(ist) years, and reported finding they don’t help, besides what they hinder or endanger. Instead, there are things a person can learn to do, with themselves, and those are great things to learn, make one capable.

    Are there mid-way views which one might respect? Possibly some American native drug customs would be an example, of which it seems quite important that the experience occurs in the presence of tribal elders, customs, stories, myth, and guiding challenge.

    If you go to the nut of it, drugs simply turn on receptors that are already there. I much suspect and experience that doing this in the context of imagination and personal awareness is a way much to be preferred, for its experience and its results.

    If children don’t know this, that’s expected, and brings us back to what to choose to teach them. You can learn why you want to in many ways, of course. We should respect that also, in my view.

  125. August 31, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Joe Blow :
    Well Narration, when you do find out what they have in common then you’ll know they do absolutely NOTHING to enhance “a clear path to emancipation and the dignity of independence.” In fact, quite the opposite.

    Ok, Joe – looks like in replying to your question for which you deliberately wrote no context, I mistook which ‘you ought to know because it’s obvious’ political cant you are on.

    For the record, I find Romney and the camp he’s in entirely repugnant.

    If you are looking with a clear eye at young persons especially, it’s possible to be quite open-minded in your views, be very interested in what political progressives at their best have been interested in, and see that of the invented lives persons may participate in (such as suburbia, such as village life, such as better-than-thou-acadamia, such as technophilic darwinism, such as resistive-left, such as poor-me, such as all-military-action-is-evil, or especially any other having excessive righteousness) can sometimes very fruitfully include a chance to serve with others in an organized larger cause.

    I’d like that national service, and non-nationals service, other than military were as available, but that’s another thing flushed down the political pipes in recent years. We can bring them back, of course.

  126. August 31, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Amy Breighton :

    By all accounts, we have “a very real situation” too!

    Amy, I entirely agree.

    It’s why I posted about that account, and what is in it, in search of the practical for today.

    I don’t think roadblocks are going to do it, and so the personalities who could be inventive in getting things created and getting things done, both to scales that worked, are to me very interesting.

  127. Amy Breighton
    August 31, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    That’s a great Thomas Wolfe quote, and coming from “Joe Blow”!

    The expanding frontier is LONG gone but the Horacio Alger myth lives on. Human beings have fundamental needs that, when provided, (by their own tax dollars), most will seek to better themselves, in place of the “free” frontier. They built this nation’s innovative, industrial powerhouse and its first middle class….but they needed FDR’s hand-up, and need it again today.

    Despite the most ubiquitous propaganda machine that civilizations have ever known, Americans will eventually figure out they’ll need to register and vote to return FDR’s policies. Obama could barely pass mediocre health care reform despite a “democratic” majority.

    In lieu of realistic opportunities, a demoralized populace will seek to expand their consciousness by whatever means necessary.

  128. August 31, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    You still haven’t figured out what they have in common. You talk about “the most ubiquitous propaganda machine” and don’t see how each of you live in the fantasy world that machine has created and enslaved you. Registering to vote and voting in a rigged election is a total waste of time. The Constitution and dollar are worthless paper. Don’t worry, though, the two presidential offerings will get the job done this time.

  129. August 31, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    By the way Narration, I don’t know what you’re talking about here: “I mistook which ‘you ought to know because it’s obvious’ political cant you are on.” Deliberately didn’t include any context, you say? Sorry if I assumed you would follow your own postings.

  130. Anonymous
    August 31, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    “Registering to vote and voting in a rigged election is a total waste of time.” (Joe Blows).

    Liar.

    Had Eureka even once voted a liberal majority on their city council, you can be sure that the Chamber of Commerce wouldn’t be receiving a $100,000+ annual public subsidy while local schools were being shuttered. There was a time when a community-interest media would demand to see the off-limits financial records of a rich, unaccountable, private club receiving millions of public dollars over the decades.

    No story = no problem!

    Our local fascists must be vigilant to ensure that Eureka’s majority of non-voters remain demoralized, never to experience a taste of the smallest victories….less the majority begin to register to vote…a remarkably simple and successful strategy.

    Yes, change often starts small in rural towns as people become increasingly dissatisfied with their illness-generated bankruptcies, foreclosures and WalMart’s rising prices for the same old crap assembled by children….while big business loots public treasuries from Wall-Street to Main Street.

  131. August 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Hmm, Joe. Please look out your window, or from your nearby beach, as I did growing up there, and consider the wide horizon, all Asia just beyond it, alone, in the mind’s eye. It is a very wide world, replete with intertwined ecologies in all scales, of which present-day America’s post-rational politics is just another resident.

    What Amy says very well about a necessary hand up really gets tho the point, doesn’t it? We have to learn ever-renewing life within the situation, the moment of ecologies that we have, each time. We have within this to intelligently with the propaganda machines there are, the coercivity even bacterial life has. It’s the challenge, and even the anarchistic tendency works best when it find it’s locality and way to contribute from it’s preferred privacy, don’t you realistically find?

    It’s Friday, and besides trying to keep this small device from putting in or taking out words to suit itself, I’m both tempted to muse about the interlinked homes we all have; and not to say so much.

    What seems sure is that we need to reassure those homes for everyone; especially anyone who has been made to feel they are losing theirs, especially children who have yet to discover their security in first personal ones.

    Intent on the breadth in which such challenges lie, I think we’re unlikely to be dissuaded much by any propaganda, while often enough unusually learning insights that can be useful, by paying attention within what it tries to be saying.

    It’s so most of us stop by here, yes?

    Wishing a nice relaxation to each, over this long summer’s weekend.

  132. August 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Worst miss corrected: ‘

  133. August 31, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    ‘We have within this to deal intelligently with the propaganda machines there are, the coercivity even bacterial life has.’

    An occasional it’s/its, also this small machine zealously having its way…

    A smile to everyone also, if you don’t guess it.

  134. suzy blah blah
    August 31, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Many artists have tried drugs over modern(ist) years, and reported finding they don’t help, besides what they hinder or endanger. Instead, there are things a person can learn to do, with themselves, and those are great things to learn, make one capable.

    -“don’t help”? LOL! You are dreaming. You’re imagining a reality that you’d like to live in but doesn’t exist. In other words you are under an illusion. Your hypothesis doesn’t stand up to investigation. Contrary to what you’ve been led to believe, the truth is that the whole vision of modern art is highly influenced by the drug experience. The leaders of the avant guard in early 20th century Europe took mescaline, and they smoked hashish. Picasso, who changed the way that we see the world, more than any other artist of the last 150 years, took mescaline and smoked hash at the beginning of the century. As did many other outstanding artists from the first half of the 20th century, including a whole slew of surrealists and other European artists at the time of the first world war. Other substances like belladonna, and absinthe were in the mix too. Not to forget writers, Think of how Sartre and Huxley influenced society.

    In America where drugs like mescaline and hashish were not nearly as available in the early part of the century as they were in Europe, you can see the difference in the vision of the art. Compare Grant Wood to Salvadore Dali. And when the center of world art moved from Paris to NYC in the 4os, the major artists on the scene, like Pollack, Kline, and Rothko were attacking consciousness with alcohol. They exhibited as destructive an expression as has ever been seen before in art. It’s is a terrible shame that other drugs weren’t readily available to them. Nonetheless, some of them were able to access the primative sensability by destroying theie everyday consciousness with enormous amounts of booze. A sad price to pay for genius. Something that is not beneficial to pass on to children. In the 60s artists like Andy Warhol tried LSD. And he was surrounded by assistants and collaborators who were on acid, pot, and many other drugs. As in Europe previously, much of it was kept under wraps because, as well as being illegal, it was being frowned upon by the mainstream straight culture. Anyway, anyone with their eyes open knows that that kind of activity has not been uncommon from the 60s to the present when almost all artists worth any thing have taken some kind of drug and it has influenced their art. As well as highly influencial writers like Ginsburg and Burroughs. Need I mention musicians? The problem has been the illegality and the propaganda. Which brings us back to you.

    Maybe the metaphor that fits that segment of drugs would be the video game

    That is an ignorant belief. Video games access info from outside, from a synthetic structure programed by other humans in the last 20 or so years. Whereas the mushroom accesses the psyche, where the structure is ancient and natural. Anything like “colors” etc. that you may be referencing second handedly is merely a superficial aspect of the trip.

    Are there mid-way views which one might respect?

    -“mid-way views”, sheesh, seems that you are just pulling this stuff out of your ass.

    Possibly some American native drug customs would be an example,

    -that is the understatement of the century. Especially as you reference modern art. Don’t
    you realize that the return to the primitive viewpoint is what art has been all about in the last 100 years. Don’t you know that the masks from Africa which were imported to Europe highly influenced modern art. Don’t you think that maybe, just maybe, they have something to do with the eheogenic experience?

    drugs simply turn on receptors that are already there.

    – no-brainer.

    I much suspect and experience that doing this in the context of imagination and personal awareness is a way much to be preferred, for its experience and its results./i>

    This is where you are seriously mistaken. The drug experience like mushrooms etc. CANNOT be duplicated by the imagination and personal awareness. Unless you ingest the substance and experience its effects you will just be left in the dark. That is the truth. And that’s fine, if that’s where you want to stay. But you are just silly to pose as knowing about something that you have not an inkling of. Because you really don’t know if you haven’t tried. So you can “suspect” all that you want to but it’s meaningless. From much personal experience with, ethnogens, (I’ve taken marijuana, peyote, cubensis mushrooms, LSD, etc. several times since I was a teen, I took amanita mescaria during prepubescent times), and I can tell you with out a doubt that the experience cannot be duplicated. To suppress it is to rob humanity of an important building block of our inherited cultural substance and conscious understanding of the universe.

    If children don’t know this, that’s expected, and brings us back to what to choose to teach them.

    They will only “know” it by means of ignorant people like you deceiving them. That was my original point. The smarter children will see through your lies when they try the stuff for themselves

    You can learn why you want to in many ways, of course. We should respect that also,
    in my view.

    respect”? Your respect is so diluted with euphemisms, illusions, and false impressions
    as to render it meaningless. In situations where the respect for the ethnogen is real,
    as when peyote is introduced to Huicholi children in the womb, during childbirth and
    breastfeeding, an effect beyond your understanding is present. What you are saying trivializes the experience with perverted analogies such as video-games, sunglasses etc.

    Bottom line, you know next to nothing about both drugs and art. It has been said somewhere that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. The danger in this case comes to play when you deceive children and they later see through your BS , discontinue any bond of trust, and then learn to suspect the rest of what you have taught them is bullshit as well.

  135. September 1, 2012 at 12:25 am

    suzy, probably the key difference between our viewpoints has to do with judgement about the quality and qualities of results — and the likelihood of the drug user to be able to gain those results, as well as the degree of risk to them.

    Undeniably there was a lot of experimentation in the scene surrounding developments of post-classical art, and certainlyan amount of it was done by educated persons seeking access to primitive experience. We just don’t agree on how much of that experimentation was relevant to the finer results of the era.

    We particularly don’t agree on the advisability of encouraging children to mess around with hallucinatory and other sensory distortive chemicals — allowing that genetic factors mean _some_ of them can do this with less risk than is quite evidently present for others. How could you possibly know the risk for an individual — and would you like to chance triggering developments such as schizophrenia? That alone I think means the choice should be entirely for relative adults to make for themselves, not made available, and certainly not encouraged for children. As far as the schizophrenia angle, as far as I am aware the particular danger extends well into the 20’s, for those whose makeup has them susceptible.

    The alternative I am suggesting is to encourage the young (or anyone) in going into the art (or music, etc.) themselves. I can tell you by direct experience that spending the day painting in a Columbia Gorge environment can dial your visual, color, and shape awareness up very high indeed — as I found in my eyesight when driving from home there finally into town towards evening for some sustenance.

    I can similarly tell you that, as my professor emeritus composition tutor told me out of his own awareness, that if I played properly in Bela Bartok’s Mikrokosmos, which he wrote to teach his son, it would (70 year old speaking who studied in parallel and shared each others concert experiences with Arthur Rubenstein) ‘make my head feel funny.’. It certainly did. I could practically see as elements in space the remarkable dual modal harmonic structure of the true folk tune behind a ballad of a mining disaster I was assigned to analyze after this; be conscious of how this had so unusually been chosen to multiply the lyric expression of the emotions of the loss.

    Long ago I loved to study certain paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe for their shifting, warped-from-our-central-world expression, such as the famous doorways of Abiquiu pueblo walls, or various landscape paintings; also in the general callligraphy of her lines and borders from earliest work. I find no evidence whatsoever of drug use by her: she saw this way, and grew to see more this way. Joni Mitchell apparently has used cocaine to some extent, as well as tobacco’s nicotine of course; her expression for them has not been of hallucinogenic effect, but of stimulation, and so would read her poetry, her unique developments in rhythm and harmony, and her painting.

    Three kinds of experience I bring you here, in a moment of hopefully useful indulgence, and behind them I keep remembering the stultifying, boring, and very limited imagery of the drug and revolution culture I lived around in the 70’s San Francisco area, and knowing some number of artists besides living when I was there in such a house. Travelling in and out from intervals with other peoples of America and Asia at the time, I kept as a young person reaching to frame and understand the meanings and potentials. I came to the conclusion that as with the art, there just was no there, there, beyond immediate moments you could be fair to, and persons you could as any individuals appreciate. There was a lot of opportunity to find any such — you could go on weekend retreats with Joan Baez and her philosopher Ira Sandperl (non-violence, where we met also exceptional emotional violence in some who were there to ‘teach’, if you had eyes for some of the occurances) ,and have any amount of similar experience close to the leaders of the movements.

    I am mentioning this last not to criticize; as visitor Berkeley residents like Czeslaw Milosz (later Nobel prize) and Herbert Marcuse (Frankfurt School) found, it was just not possible to expect the kind of educated awareness, coming back to point, that could make anything out of their ideas or indeed the new freedom in sensory experiences.

    This I think drags us back to the question of all the things, not just drugs, which were invoked in the visual and other arts, which were meant to connect to more authentic experience than the bourgeois. That was the point, you know…and I have some family who was in the real thing, another location of experience. The place I am heading you will probably guess: the sense that the wonderful things which were created, among any amount of much less so, seem to have been done _in_spite_of_ any duplication of masks, objects, rituals, drugs, etc.. of theoretically innocent cultures.

    That would be my central point in what I’m trying to say here.

    The early work of undeniably brilliant Margaret Mead is a doorway to the same thing, from another museum or library: an enormous intention of an idealism, so that she could publish the book on Samoan culture with so many untruths, to suit the ideas of her mentors, including of course Ruth Benedict who did do such a remarkable job later of making a useful view of Japanese motivational culture in her book The Chrysanthemum and the Sword. I guess it comes to mind because it was another of these abstracted works, but true enough in its truths, built not of distortion but imagination.

    You may think I am off the track now, but I don’t consider so. It is the human condition, from childhood, to sort and interpret the experiences we have, some chosen, some because we cannot avoid them. Everyone does it, and has to do it. We don’t often speak of the inner passages, because they discomfort others unless very carefully arranged: the excellent painting of an artist, just as one example pulled from where one may as a person have reservoirs out of recognizing what others have done (I contest here your metaphor, and I assure you with a smile beside the reckoning).

    Summary: it has taken very strong-minded artists to encompass the experience of distortions such as drug use, and then go on to develop finely human resutls and evocations afterwards. You can use Vincent Van Gogh and his possible acceleration of collapse due to the absinthe, among other sources of his problems; while his dear friend Gauguin could survive it enough to take his attraction in the tropics to considerable fruition. Gauguin’s is still a hard story.

    I think i appreciate well enough where you are writing from, suzy, hence the interest to write in kind back to you. I think I’ll have to stay with my view that there are long and intricate paths we engage on for intentions of valuable experience and possibly art of it, as so many of the accomplished speak of for themselves; while as far as youth and children, we do far better to answer their questions honestly about such, starting with the sense that each ‘you’ will have a long life ahead of you, and plenty of chance to do as your independence may reasonably show you have gained knowledge and wisdom for, each time you’ve done the work, and made the accomplishment for it.

    It’s the same way any craftsperson must learn, isn’t it.

    To close, it’s well possible that part of the way you write here comes from experience with the child who’s already gone and done some of it — drugs for instance. I consider that the ways I’m feeling to approach the subject have merit there also, while appreciating that it can take a particular amount of tact, in the form of personal honesty about some range of experience, to gradually open the doors to the less dangerous and more satisfying paths.

    I am sure there are many of those paths, besides the ones you and I recount of period artists, and could speak equally of the societal cauldrons that a number of those paths were tried or invented within. In spite of all the warning flags around, I think we are trying to do better, and can.

    I keep feeling you’re pretty interested in that better, and appreciate it, suzy.

    Many others here too.

  136. September 1, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Drugs may well “lift the veil” for some; but only in a corrupted way.
    Prayer and fasting is what helps the Prophet avoid his own guidance.

  137. suzy blah blah
    September 1, 2012 at 2:13 am

    “to connect to more authentic experience than the bourgeois”

    –totally!
    Thank you for the respect filled and thought-out feedback and conversation. There is too much to reply to in whole, at least right now, but to cherry pick it a little, if you don’t mind:
    1. the thing about your eyesight and the effect of the music, i see that as having to do with “craft” as opposed to “art”. I put in quote-marks because I’m only referring to the conventional meaning and interpretation of that.
    2. We are no longer what you referred to as an “innocent culture” so to make a genuine reflection of what you perceive, and do it in a way that (somehow) resonates the spirit of the era and time is to include that aspect.
    3. The hippie era that you refer to was before my time but my parents were involved in it and my understanding is that they took psychedelics to a large degree out in public amidst lights and sounds and a lot of distracting sensual input and so forth. And it still goes on, I’ve heard people tell me today that they went to Disneyland on acid. And had fun. To me that is a horrible bummer. That’s not what it is about at all. One needs to reduce all sensual input to allow the “other” to make itself known. I will say here that i don’t entirely disagree with you that there are alternate means of doing that. I salute that. But an important and genuine point, genuine in terms of my educated opinion ;) is just that they do not equate to or envelope the psychedelic experience. There is a dimension of experience that is not reached without plant “helpers” which alter the body chemistry. A very important distinction of what is experienced.
    4. It is more important to fearlessly understand the experience than to reduce it’s importance for our fate as a species. Ie, video games, sunglasses.

    So that would be: craft vs art, innocent culture, inner rather than outer journey, and “danger”. Otherwise i feel akin to your vibe and intentions. Check this link, from what you’ve said i think you may find something interesting, dig what he says about the muse. Mitch might too, he goes into thoughts about patterns:

  138. September 1, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I’d say someone’s been smoke their own dope and got to believing it’s good.

  139. September 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Thanks, suzy. I really appreciate how you’ve replied.

    The video – from the beginning it was making me smile, as a real trip back to a time. And then he’s getting particularly interesting, in the hopes expressed, and how they are expressed more freely, late in the hour after he said he’s taking questions.

    It’s a nice afternoon here for listening to such things; I wish you the same up there for the weekend in Humboldt, where it is so often quiet in ways that suit forward thought and reflection.

    Let’s talk more later, as seems likely. A smile for now, it’s sure.

  140. suzy blah blah
    September 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    We particularly don’t agree on the advisability of encouraging children to mess around with hallucinatory and other sensory distortive chemicals

    -not sure where you get that from. I don’t encourage children to do anything. I do encourage others not to misinform children of the qualities of plants, ie comparing their effects to sunglasses or video games. A lot of young people, even here in so-called “hip” Humboldt, don’t understand the field. That’s what is dangerous. And like i said, when they experience them as different then described, because some will try them anyway (forbidden fruit syndrome) they will then start to mistrust other “education” they’ve been given.

    To get back to the Huicholes, would you advise them against their ways of using peyote, which includes its use by children? Because there is a big difference in that the Huicholes are supported in their appropriation of the substance by the whole culture and tradition. Whereas one has to find an underground culture that is fragmented, uninformed, and not in communication with main culture to get support here.

  141. Amy Breighton
    September 1, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    One of the underlying fears of drugs is that they obscure the predominant purpose of contemporary education….harmony with an imperial society and the persistent teaching of the Horacio Alger fallacy.

    Until, of course, American business discovered they could exploit other nation’s youths to work themselves into catastrophic mental and physical harm, as if U.S. corporations, or their political annointees, ever gave a damn about the effects of drug abuse on youths. With a compliant workforce overseas resigned to never earn enough to have indoor plumbing, there’s no longer reason to fund U.S. “education” like they used to.

    Taken with prudence and caution, mind-altering drugs enhance creative thought and productivity, instilling an awareness and self-confidence in one’s potential, a dangerous threat to any exploitative, predatory society.

    A “War on International Child-Labor” could be won by reestablishing a few Tariffs, without the messy death squads, defoliation, and hegemony over foreign nations that is the War on Drugs.

    It’s all about the children, right?

  142. September 2, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Hmm. suzy, probably the reason I kept speaking about children is because you did, also from the start. I re-read this morning to see where I might have been mis-interpreting, but really my comments were kind of ‘mention children in positively framed drug context, then I’m prompted to say what I feel on their danger’. I think we should leave that as that, while acknowledging that responses are always just that: complex and interwoven..

    On the Huichole customs, it occurs to ask whether you’ve ever read Frank Herbert’s Dune, and possibly Children of Dune? I kind of wonder if that’s where he got at least some tendencies for one of the avenues explored, where indeed a child is exposed to a strong drug in the womb. Actually it happens twice, with different later consequences.

    I remember a friend in one of those artist houses of the Bay Area, who I must say was often waving a hand in front of her eyes and remarking that she could still see flashes as came in a drug experience – a quite intelligent person, clearly concerned about it under the bravado. She really liked Dune, and this might have been what prompted me first to pick it up. The thought comes because I am musing after the re-read of our conversation, about some deeper view of drug-influenced and non-drug-influenced paths or possible paths of human culture. For which it really needs considering, what kinds of drugs.

    In this, there’s a quite interesting point you made about alcohol and various American abstractionists. I’m not sure if Rothko’s often considered-to-be-religious color fields fit your viewpoint, but as an expression of depressive tendencies, quite possibly so. They’re often also quite beautiful in the presence, especially if you can dissociate yourself from all the critical stories.

    Also, there’s kind of a large forest in the land of ‘disconnecting from prevalent culture/the rational tendencies all of us include’, even when it’s carefully attached to advanced or advancing, including artistic, aspirations. Authenticity at its best for me means a balance of inclusion.

    Which prompts the thought about all the rebelliousness which came with the import of 60’s culture to America, particularly from France — the premise and result was as with the later import of deconstruction culture. Disconnected from the very real and physical contest you can read in their own words and history that Derrida and his also Algerian friend who I always instinctively like, Hélène Cixous (and very free thinking, delightfully, she is) were engaged in with French elites, from the liberties which came with their second or third level academic locations(!), deconstruction and its relations led to a lot of tribal show-the-markers autonomic behaviour and confused thinking over here. If imbibed from one of the more linguistically irresponsible figures like Julia Kristeva, this movement itself could be considered much as a drug, and in that case a bad one.

    I have to stop here, for more of that freedom of consideration, but I know what I am on about is some question of disturb/distort, to what degree there is virtue in it, compared to experiencing, recognizing, and ‘going deep’ in the actually extant world. Which has plenty enough of dimensions, I believe one can find — and with such great attraction to them, once recognized.

    suzy, it will probably help here to know one fundamental influence, practically ‘from the womb’, that’s been of my own experience has been the Asian, not of genetic heredity. This means I am going to be pretty instinctively interested in those ‘forests’ of dimension and relation in the experiential world, and the human part of presence here especially. Maybe you see that this is a pathway of the attentive towards awareness and inclusion, compared to a still-western ‘break from and see it differently’ mode.

    Maybe in the way I’ve heard even contemporary, in theory culturally shifted resident Chinese speak to me when exercised and having also enough trust to do it, the reaction about drugs is kind of ‘ok, drugs. They’re there. The world is also always all around, with or without them, and it is very real, and very large, very intricate. It is also changing its challenges ever, so that we do best to respect, and act (or not-act) flexibly from wisdom, obtained and exercised as best we can.’

    Well. With its grounds, that statement comes out sounding more conservative than it is. There is always also the real presence of the child in it, which is its best secret, as in my friends. Just as the child is, at best, always there in however we grow, I think.

  143. September 2, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Here’s one more tidbit before I go off for the day, which turned up when I was looking for specifics in euro-modernists and drugs. Ellipses because edited; the original article very long and tendentious.

    I found the image of painting and viewing in the uncertain light interesting. While the psychologizing in the article mainly made me weary, in fact the moment of the last talk here about ‘immobilization of the figures’, just that phrase, does seem to have something quite significant about Picasso’s painting. I saw a lot of it during my life in Basel; there’s a lot of Picasso there. Particularly ‘twisted’ sisters (not his sister).

    Immobilized, out of life; then you could really have the freedom to paint them? And then you have also the freedom of cartoons, in the contemporary sense? That’s where I’m thinking.

    “Picasso’s use of psychotropic drugs (hashish, opium, and morphine) however, stopped by about 1908[age 27]. Picasso’s physical condition and energies were protected for his art. In addition to conjecture about the effects of drug use on his art, another more enduring idiosyncratic feature of his lifestyle may have influenced his work. Picasso actually slept a good part of the day and worked through the night until the early morning hours when others awakened….

    …The sleeper, sometimes with a voyeuristic observer, was the model for many works of art. Although these were sometimes clearly nocturnal dreamlike fantasy representations, in other works a vulnerable sleeper is under the watchful protection of a keen observer. The protecting parent maintains a vigil over the sleeping child; sleep could become eternal in death, but art could be immortal. In Picasso’s later art, the observer protects the sleeper from the rapacious minotaur. Picasso may have used both altered states of consciousness and altered perception in his work. The masterful “The Family of Saltimbanques” may have been partially or largely painted in a poorly lit room. His friends viewed different stages of the painting by candlelight. The eeriness of this scene in the darkened room is tempered by the immobilization of the figures, and their being omnipotently given the immortality of art, modulating any threat of separation or loss….”

    From http://www.palgrave-journals.com/ajp/journal/v67/n2/full/3350023a.html

  144. September 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    One more short one, suzy, before I really have to go, and since I have been taking up space anyway on this holiday.

    There’s a novel you might well enjoy for its presence of Pablo Picasso, as well as for the passages of the deep artist who’s of the subject. Lots of real Europe, also.

    ‘The Gift of Asher Lev’, by Chaim Potok. Not to be confused with the much earlier ‘My Name is Asher Lev’, I have to feel it’s a wonderful work, from the first pages.

  145. Mitch
    September 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Narration,

    Please “take up space” here as much as you’re willing. I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend.

  146. suzy blah blah
    September 2, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Taken with prudence and caution, mind-altering drugs enhance creative thought and productivity, instilling an awareness and self-confidence in one’s potential, a dangerous threat to any exploitative, predatory society.</i

    -well said.

    I am going to be pretty instinctively interested in those ‘forests’ of dimension and relation in the experiential world, and the human part of presence here especially. Maybe you see that this is a pathway of the attentive towards awareness and inclusion, compared to a still-western ‘break from and see it differently’ mode.

    -we all see it differently. It’s a wonderful thing and should be celebrated.

  147. High Finance
    September 2, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Yeah, I knew an alcoholic who thought he wrote the great novel while on a three day bender.

    Later when sober he looked at his scribbles and shocked at his nonsense. He was never the same. Later he became a poster so he could write nonsense like some of those above.

  148. September 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you, Mitch; that’s a kindly thought from you, and in kind appreciated.

    HiFi, it’s just conversation, you know. I’m delighted to be able to have it, out of my growing-up home where people were also surprisingly interesting. We had the quite independent sorts who took fish out of the ocean and carved lumber from the trees, the immigrants who had dropped off working ships into the still wild-west Second street, and then maybe made small busines; the Baltic refugees and North Dakota refugees, from the then Soviet, or the sin they might have made in a human community that was too small and close to forgive. Europeans with their jewelry and clothing stores, all the come-to-America cultures, and the persons who built business Peru to there, all with children in the schools.

    Novels would be different. And, interested in the paths by which better sense will return. I’ve worked with your sort of people at all levels in a few places of the world, and found them often quite good to know, interesting in their own ways, and part of what it takes to build the tomorrows as we all are, definitely. This was before a kind of intoxication took over, which I also saw at close distance, not least in regular trips to Manhattan a decade ago. Where addiction was to 12% returns, and to slicing and dicing in the unfortunate destructive side systematically unaware capitalism can come to. I used to sit in the JFK terminal at 10:30 at night, the way you do to return to Europe with the timezones, and find an utterly black depression from the nature one could only recognize in what was seen at close range, overheard, call a brother, and true appreciation when I could come home..

    I think it takes a whole and adequately holistic mind, many of them of course, to revert this, so that all can find a happier face in looking to the future. It takes the kinds of persons who can imagine even escape as a way forward, for this is one expression of the determination for difference, as one can see in history for examples. Difference is what it is going to take: as you will know well, economic ecology thrives on that. Economic ecology as a view will also be quite clear that what goes on at present can’t be sustained. Plans such as the one laid out last week by John McCain, for those who have eyes to see, are truly the last gasp.

    So, conversations. I think you’ll be able to recognize here, when the novels begin. As you can see also, HiFi, it’s not with hard feeling. It would be nice to return to better friendships among people who can feel free to contribute the differing ways they best can. All of them.

    I just like to think again, of the Eureka and area which had unusual sparks in its time of thriving; and surprisingly has such sparks again, a long period into renewal, after.

  149. September 2, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    suzy. Last point especially: yes ;)

    And thanks for quoting Amy’s idea, which brought me to really thinking about it.

    I stil am ;)

    Mitch, hoping you are having that good holiday too. Yes to that, here.

  150. High Finance
    September 2, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Narration, you may think drugs & drug use is benign but I have too much experience with the destruction it causes for me to humor you.

    I would be glad to take you by the hand Tuesday & introduce you to dozens of people who lives have been destroyed by it. I can’t introduce you to many others because, you see, they are dead.

  151. September 2, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    HiFi, respectfully, probably it would be good to look over the conversation again.

    I was in fact the one most particularly suggesting that for individuals drugs too often not benign.

    Fairness to suzy would find she’s been quite careful about this also, of a way in keeping with her own points.

    To make what was discussed clear, think of alcohol – a big feature in Humboldt’s past. You have only to have walked around the McKinley square (with its president faced backwards…) in Arcata of a Saturday morning, at least if things are still as they were, to get a beginning picture of how much trouble the drug alcohol could cause. Yet for some writers in particular, at least of the alcohol period, it’s felt to have helped them, and they’ve often enough been a bit articulate as to why.

    This discussion was about how often and where, as well as for whom and at what age, something like the same could be true for other drugs – it would always be in particular, for each of them. It’s the same question a lawmaker would need to be asking, isn’t it?

    Of course the talk got to be a little more interesting than that, but I appreciate the point, HiFi, in what you say. Without putting words in her mouth, I’m pretty sure suzy does too.

    Please enjoy a nice evening, up there where it’s coastal too.

  152. Jim White
    September 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Everyone here knows that your “High Finance” is a provocateur, uninterested or incapable of reasoned debate.

    To make his/her point, all (illegal) drug must make you stupid or dead, regardless of prohibition’s long, deadly history or any other actual facts…like the examples provided above, or the vast majority who lead productive and sometimes extraordinary lives despite recreational use.

  153. High Finance
    September 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Perhaps you are more interested in preaching to the choir Jim ?

    Nobody there will challenge your smug assertions or to tell you the Emperor has no clothes. But it would be awfully boring to people who want to think.

  154. suzy blah blah
    September 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    -isn’t that what mainstream media propaganda is all about –high finance taking narration by the hand.

  155. Jim White
    September 4, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    And…what’s wrong with the vast majority of citizens that use mind-altering drugs judiciously?

    Shall we punish children who instinctively twirl in circles until they fall, by banning twirling? Or, should we educate them in safer quantities and places to twirl? After all, unbridled twirling could lead to sugar-addiction, then coffee, then pot!! Right??

    How long before we stop listening to the sadistic chants of Troglodyte-prohibitionist’s calls for punitive bans??

  156. September 9, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Perhaps the “drop” in IQ (which as tested, we know, depends on social, economic, race, gender, and other factors) relates to different avenues that people take when they smoke marijuana. It has been pointed out that people who smoke in younger years (teens) are more likely to get involved in social justice activities….

    I used to do crossword puzzles alot. If you do crosswords regularly, then you are able to do them easier than someone who does not AND if you pay attention to popular culture, youa re able to complete more crossword puzzles. These days, because I don’t have time and because I pay little attention to pop culture, I can hardly fill in ten squares of a crossword puzzle. I think similar factors may related to differences in “IQ” test results.

    It is disturbing Mitch, that you (and others) would focus on marijuana as a problem for youth while pharmaceutical drugs undoubtedly have a BROAD RANGE of adverse affects on the kids they are pushed on (most kids). Focusing on pot as a negative is getting sucked into the agenda of pharmaceutical lobbyist greedy pesticide biotech anti-dissent mind-controlling anti-earth artificial incarcerate-many mindset… that has been developing for too long.

    Where are the studies about the genetically engineered corn syrup in infant formula? Wonder if that affects people as they grow? This subject (IQ and pot smoking teens) is a distraction, at best.

  157. Anonymous
    September 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    We can’t expect the blogs to remain completely unaffected by the dominant irrelevance of journalism today.

  158. Anonymous
    September 11, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Mitch :Sorry, Jack, but this is pretty clear and no amount of snark will change it.
    Pot is bad for developing brains. That may not be PC for Humboldt, but it appears to be the very likely reality.

    I smoked pot during my time at HSC. What it did to me and my formerly steel-trap mind makes me believe this study has merit.

  159. Anonymous
    September 11, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Ya, I see this article being a tad dishonest. There have been similar tests done in the 80’s with similar results, only these tests were for just ‘smoke’. Ingesting any kind of smoke is not healthy, especially for developing brains apparently. The results of these tests were do to the smoke, not the stuff that gets you high with pot.
    These smoking tests can be replicated with the same results in the absence of any pot at all.
    This is not the first study of it’s kind, other studies, peer reviews and meta analysis should also be looked at. Who funded this study? Here is a couple others that give a bit different perspective; http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/149/9/794.abstract?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=cannabis&searchid=1025931713177_1410&stored_search=&FIRSTINDEX=0&journalcode=amjepid
    http://www.cmaj.ca/content/166/7/887.full?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=cannabis&searchid=1025853946146_44&stored_search=&FIRSTINDEX=0&journalcode=cmaj
    http://healthland.time.com/2012/02/07/smoking-may-lead-to-faster-cognitive-decline-in-men/

  160. C-dub
    September 11, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Ya, I see this article being a tad dishonest. There have been similar tests done in the 80’s with similar results, only these tests were for just ‘smoke’. Ingesting any kind of smoke is not healthy, especially for developing brains apparently. The results of these tests were do to the smoke, not the stuff that gets you high with pot.
    These smoking tests can be replicated with the same results in the absence of any pot at all.
    This is not the first study of it’s kind, other studies, peer reviews and meta analysis should also be looked at. Who funded this study? Here is a couple others that give a bit different perspective; http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/149/9/794.abstract?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=cannabis&searchid=1025931713177_1410&stored_search=&FIRSTINDEX=0&journalcode=amjepid
    http://www.cmaj.ca/content/166/7/887.full?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=cannabis&searchid=1025853946146_44&stored_search=&FIRSTINDEX=0&journalcode=cmaj
    http://healthland.time.com/2012/02/07/smoking-may-lead-to-faster-cognitive-decline-in-men/

  161. Mitch
    September 11, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Verbena wrote:

    It is disturbing Mitch, that you (and others) would focus on marijuana as a problem for youth while pharmaceutical drugs undoubtedly have a BROAD RANGE of adverse affects on the kids they are pushed on (most kids).

    The post mentions a new article in a top scientific journal about results from a rare 25 year long study. The results (if correct) represent a danger to people in this community. In my opinion, it’s worth publicizing the study.

    I don’t think that constitutes focussing on pot as a problem to the detriment of big pharma’s drugs, but I DO think people have a right to learn about the study results and decide for themselves what they think about smoking pot.

    Do you actually think it would be better for the community if nobody reported about this study, on the grounds that other problems may be worse?

  162. Jack Sherman
    September 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Most human beings have instinctively known for a long time that excessive consumption of anything is detrimental, and that there will always be a minority of abusers, no matter what studies are produced.

    Pot is indeed a convenient distraction for corporate media’s continuing censorship of the cancer epidemic that will effect 1-in-2 men, and 1-in-3 women. Childhood cancer rates are soaring.

    “Personal choice” won’t remove the dozens of PCB’s, Dioxin’s, heavy metals and pesticides that accumulate in every U.S. child in increasing qualities, childhood brain tumors have increased steadily since industry introduced plastic toys for them to chew on. It has resulted in a delinquent ban on Pthalates, (the chemical compounds that make softer plastics also make them more toxic. Cosmetics and perfumes are unregulated and still contain them: “Exposed” by Mark Shapiro).

    Pot needs to be legalized, taxed, and regulated.

    Any society that lacks fundamental education, job training, health care, shelter and the rehab. centers needed to cope with drug abusers is barbaric.

  163. Mitch
    September 11, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Jack,

    You are probably correct that there will always be some people who abuse any drug.

    But people are entitled to know that, according to this study, people under 18 who use pot four times a week or more showed serious and irreversible loss of whatever it is that IQ tests measure. It’s important that young people and their associated adults know that.

    The various posters here who express discomfort about posting this study’s results, because of a “censored” cancer epidemic, or big pharma, or anything else, are following in the footsteps of apologists throughout history.

  164. Jack Sherman
    September 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    It is impossible to be an “apologist” for any stand-alone study reliant upon “whatever (questionable, and often irrelevant) IQ tests measure”.

    OF COURSE excessive drug use, of any kind, has detrimental side-effects, especially for children…this has been common knowledge forever.

    No one is denying anyone’s “right” to read this study, however, put into this subject’s proper “news” context, one must ask, “when was the last time Heraldo posted anything on the local/national explosion of childhood cancer rates? (For example, Heraldo’s indirect coverage of our child-labor-dependent imperial economy, ala Walmart, is greatly appreciated and literally found nowhere else in mainstream media!).

    On the other hand, this “pot study” has received phenomenal mainstream coverage, providing another critical distraction to the larger reality of how this nation actually treats children everywhere.

  165. Mitch
    September 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Jack,

    Don’t blame Heraldo for the pot item, I posted it. I’m not anti-pot, but when a major study issues a warning like this one did, I think it deserves front page treatment.

    You sound like an apologist to me. Is 4x week pot smoking “excessive?” For someone under 18? If so, I hope you will say so loudly and clearly, and warn kids about this study’s results. I think a lot of today’s kids, especially in Humboldt, have been raised to think pot is like aspirin and to laugh about anything that suggests otherwise. There’s good reason to laugh at a lot of the drug war propaganda — this study appears to be an exception to the rule.

    You don’t have to think of IQ tests as a useful way of comparing intelligence between people to find it chilling that pot use by adolescents may be resulting in irreversible loss of IQ. When heavy users IQ scores decline while those of non-heavy users do not, that’s important information. It means that adolescent heavy users are permanently losing some mental ability.

    If you set your ideology aside for a moment, you’d see this as a real public health crisis, especially here in the Emerald Triangle. Just replace “pot” with anything you don’t particularly like, read the study in that context, and you’ll find the study to be excellent. If the study had been examining “chocolate,” you’d probably be demanding that chocolate be banned, or that there be severe penalties for selling chocolate to kids.

    I’m glad the NZ study has received widespread attention — it is well deserved. I hope it was in the Times-Standard. Was it?

  166. suzy blah blah
    September 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    It means that adolescent heavy users are permanently losing some mental ability.

    -the test is a narrow frame of measurement and very limited way of looking at intelligence. What isn’t quantified or given credibility is the intelligence that is gained, which in many cases more than makes up for a loss in test points.

  167. Jack Sherman
    September 13, 2012 at 12:34 am

    “You don’t have to think of IQ tests as a useful way of comparing intelligence between people to find it chilling that pot use by adolescents may be resulting in irreversible loss of IQ.”

    Yes, you do.

    “I’m glad the NZ study has received widespread attention — it is well deserved.”

    No, it is not. It is ONE study!

    MEANWHILE, what ACTUALLY deserves widespread attention is what’s destroying the lives and futures of tens of millions of third-world children who survive “free-trade”, and the childhood cancer epidemic in first-world children, and adults, consuming the toxic products!

    Media’s self-censorship is extreme, for obvious, economic reasons.

    If the larger, far more hideous, realities were ever reported, let alone followed-up….then, “yes”, this single study would merit some attention with serious caveats about the controversies and inconsistencies surrounding international “IQ tests”.

    The NZ study should also be viewed within the context of their unique culture that is extremely religious, right-wing nationalist, and extremely intolerant of marijuana use. The fact that their rural jails are filled with youths caught smoking pot, could have as much impact on “IQ test” results than smoking pot “4 x week”!

    This is another great subject for research, but I would want to see more than ONE STUDY before I get a “chill”…. “If you can set your ideology aside for a moment”! I know far too many smart, successful professionals, who smoked heavily in their youth to be humbled by a single study from NZ.

    U.S. cancer-rates merely need reporting….as does the number of families foreclosed in your neighborhood last week and its effect on children suddenly caught in a huge migration of desperation….displaced from their homes, families, communities, friends and local classrooms throughout this nation. I wonder how that effects their lifelong ability to learn, and how they respond to IQ testing? Lets compare the IQ’s and learning ability of kids who suffered the PTSD of being ripped from their security, incarcerated, and hospitalized, (in unparallelled numbers), compared to children without such emotional shock-treatment.

    EVERYBODY cares about children, right up until it intrudes on their lifestyle, comfort, convenience, livelihood, and taxes.

    God, I hope this issue is not another indication of Heraldo toying with the sensational yellow journalism of the Humboldt Sentinel and the Lost Coast Outpost.

  168. Mitch
    September 13, 2012 at 7:34 am

    “Yes, you do.”

    No, you don’t. The comparisons in the study showed INDIVIDUAL drops over the 25 year period of the study. The drops showed up only in heavy smokers who had smoked regularly during adolescence. They were substantial. They did not show up in people who smoked heavily AFTER adolescence.

    No, it is not. It is ONE study!

    It appears to be the first and only study that has eliminated a number of potential confounds, and it has been widely praised by people with no ax to grind on this issue.

    MEANWHILE, what ACTUALLY deserves widespread attention

    Then attend to it and stop wasting your time defending pot use by kids. I know high school students will smoke pot, but I think they and their parents are entitled to these facts, instead of yet another lecture about the stupidity of the drug war or the greed of big pharma. Do you seriously think anyone in Humboldt County has not heard that a gazillion times?

    The measured drop in IQ in this study moved a person who was initially at the 50th percentile of the tests down to the 71st, where 1 is best and 100 is worst. And remember, this study started 25 years ago, so pot consumption by the adolescents would have been of strains much lighter in THC. (It’s not certain that it’s the THC causing the drop, though.) Other substance consumption is probably also bad for adolescent brains — tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, etc… — the brain is still laying out connections through the teen years, and that process appears to be hurt by washing it in unexpected chemicals.

  169. Jack Sherman
    September 13, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    “The drops showed up only in heavy smokers who had smoked regularly during adolescence.”

    Even Mitch questioned the legitimacy of “IQ tests”, as any intelligent person should, especially in a nation with so many kids incarcerated for smoking weed.

    “it has been widely praised by people with no ax to grind on this issue.”

    Proving the absence of prejudice is tough, however, it has also been widely praised by people with a huge ax to grind….like in NEW ZEALAND, where the study originated!

    “Then attend to it (more deadly issues) and stop wasting your time defending pot use by kids.”

    Manufacturing lies to win arguments is “High Finance’s” forte and is not very convincing. Most parents, like most people, have ALWAYS known that excessive consumption of anything is injurious to kids. I’ve already made this point, it is obviously NOT a “defense” for abuse!

    “but I think they and their parents are entitled to these facts.”

    I do too, and have already written that (above). Once again, the absence of ANY coverage on what’s actually KILLING children and RUINING the lives and learning abilities of tens of millions more….makes this SINGLE study, unfortunately, another convenient distraction; assuming the “IQ tests” are reliable; assuming further, that it would effectively impact anyone when most people ALREADY KNOW the dangers of excessive consumption of ANYTHING by children!

    New Zealand has found that both pot prohibition and mass incarcerations of their youths are an abysmal failure and have funded research proving what most people have always known. Until there’s a parallel study that includes scores of successful professionals who also smoked heavily in their youth…the use of “IQ tests” will remain highly suspect in this case, again, begging the question of where the stories are that reveal far more disturbing issues plaguing kids today.

    It’s as if we were at a football game during a fire, while all the huge video displays rightfully warn us of the dangers of smoke inhalation….instead of evacuation.

  170. suzy blah blah
    September 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    -if you extend the metaphor by adding the obvious fact that some of the average attendees of football games have lowered their average intelligence level averages by attending football games, especially heavy attenders, it doesn’t change the gist of it. Only an idiot is distracted by the video display, compelling as the statistical information on smoke inhalation it broadcasts may be.

  171. Mitch
    September 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Jack,

    MEANWHILE, what ACTUALLY deserves widespread attention is what’s destroying the lives and futures of tens of millions of third-world children who survive “free-trade”, and the childhood cancer epidemic in first-world children, and adults, consuming the toxic products!

    What can someone do, right now, at this very moment, to stop the childhood cancer epidemic?

    What can someone do, right now, at this very moment, to stop smoking pot?

    If you can find the difference, congratulations.

  172. Jack Sherman
    September 13, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    “Only an idiot is distracted by the video display, compelling as the statistical information on smoke inhalation it broadcasts may be.”

    And yet, in a culture where nearly ALL its worldwide “video displays” repeat identical propaganda, meticulously self-censoring the immense irony of a “child-loving U.S.”….that is economically dependent upon the widespread exploitation of child-labor…

    ….are the “distracted” U.S. citizens really “idiots” or mostly victims?

    You are right Suzy, how stupid I’ve been to let this kind of yellow journalism distract me!

    The most powerful propaganda machine this world has ever known has caused some very bright people to lose perspective, by advocating for mass-media exposure to avert behaviors that MIGHT cause lower IQ’s, based upon a single study, amid a ubiquitous media blackout on an avoidable EPIDEMIC that’s actually KILLING children, as well as adults!

    There will always be the defenders of rearranging deck-chairs as the Titanic sinks.

  173. Mitch
    September 14, 2012 at 8:42 am

    There will always be the defenders of rearranging deck-chairs as the Titanic sinks.

    To carry this metaphor a bit farther…

    There will always be those who issue scathing reports of the Captain’s performance as the Titanic sinks. They will gather their friends and shout about the great magnitude of the problem. They may even scoff as people suggest boarding lifeboats, on the grounds that people’s attention should be on the big problem, not small changes. “Here’s this titanic ship that is sinking, and you people are worried about tiny lifeboats.”

    You can recognize that there are big problems but still solve little ones. You can recognize that our society is as self-destructive as any in history, while at the same time noting that you’d like the children of your society to allow their brains to develop normally, or at least be aware of the potential problems of heavy pot use during adolescence.

    I will say it again: if this study had come out about anything other than pot, the people who are critical of it would instead be demanding government action.

    Imagine the headline, “NZ Study: Water Flouridation Risks Lowered IQ in Teens.”

    Imagine the headline, “NZ Study: Flu Vaccine Risks Lowered IQ in Teens.”

    Imagine the headline, “NZ Study: Heavy GMO Consumption Risks Lowered IQ in Teens.”

    If your reaction to this headline is different than your reaction to the above three, it would be worthwhile to wonder if you are blinding yourself with ideological dogma. The phenomenon is not confined to people with whom you disagree.

  174. janelle
    September 14, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Perhaps the federal government will finally see the usefulness of legalizing pot.

  175. Jack Sherman
    September 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    What Piece Of Work you are Mitch.

    I can see why folks are saying, “Heraldo is going downhill”.

    I conditionally concurred with your (2) major points, yet, you concede nothing, and infer that I suffer “ideological dogma” and “blindness”!

    God forbid that ANYONE (other than you) question an IQ-based study, the only one of its kind, funded by a nation with a clear agenda!

    “You can recognize that there are big problems but still solve little ones.”

    In concept, your are correct. but, back on Earth, you know this is not the case. Assuming that this single study is adequate, accurate, reproducible, and explains why so many young pot-abusers have led long, successful, and distinguished, professional careers….today’s “big problems” remain effectively self-censored by the most powerful propaganda machine this world has ever known, the “little problems”, if real, fill that void.

    We are already being deluged in “little problems” in a nation where EVERY measurable indicator of the economy, environment, health and society are rapidly declining. I can turn to virtually every other media source to be BLINDED by additional “little problems”!

    Each of your examples involve few child-fatalities, or the potential-crushing, abnormal brain development suffered by tens of millions of child-laborers on which this nation’s economy depends. (It’s back to the future for America). In fact, each of your examples share decades of studies that should have provided our “free-press” with persistent, serious headlines long ago. If they had, I doubt that ANY Humboldt Co. supervisor would vote against GMO food labeling!

    Apparently, the “pot lobby” has a lot of catching-up to do.

  176. suzy blah blah
    September 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    ALL its worldwide “video displays” repeat identical propaganda, meticulously self-censoring the immense irony of a “child-loving U.S.”….that is economically dependent upon the widespread exploitation of child-labor…

    -you can’t expect anyone who is embedded as deeply in denial as Mitch to be sympathetic to the irony. He is merely another ego unit, a cog in the propaganda machine’s censorship wheel. A poser. O how concerned he is about the future of —the children. Bah! the mask with the concerned look on it is slipping off his nose and showing an ugly sadistic snarl underneath.

  177. Anonymous
    September 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    …blah blah blah…
    … blah blah…
    …blah…
    .
    .
    .
    …blah…

  178. suzy blah blah
    September 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    -LOL! behold as he switches masks and hides behind “Anonymous” for a childish playground taunt … Sooooo obvious Mitch.

  179. Plain Jane
    September 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    While I don’t trust this study, attacking Mitch and accusing him of hiding behind “Anonymous,” to insult you for your personal attacks on him is despicable. Some people, like myself, do worry about children. Somebody has to, especially the children of parents who think being high all the time is somehow enlightening. If you had an open mind and have been reading Mitch for a while, you know he is scrupulously honest, doesn’t even hide behind a pseudonym, and doesn’t have a closed mind. He calls it like he sees it, voices his opinions in a rational and civil manner and addresses the points raised. Getting so offensively defensive over whether or not kids should be smoking pot heavily (or over-eating, drinking or any other abusive to themselves behavior) may be due to denial of a drug abuse problem on the part of the people attacking Mitch.

    Drugs can be pleasurable and fun, but the idea that you can take a pill, drink, snort or shoot up something and achieve enlightenment is delusional. I can remember thinking I understood the entire purpose of the universe, but I was hallucinating so hard I couldn’t write and nothing I wrote make a lick of sense the next day. Suzy might say I should have just stayed in an altered state so I didn’t suffer the disillusionment, but apparently the universe had other plans for me.

  180. suzy blah blah
    September 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    -well . . . i don’t think that you’ve ever actually experienced a deep altered state of consciousness, Jane. Nothing you’ve said leads me to believe so. Nonetheless you pose as an expert on “drugs”. LOL! Claiming this and that about their effect. Sometimes you are as obviously a phony as Mitch.

  181. Anonymous
    September 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I never caimed to be an expert on anything, Susy. I obviously haven’t devoted my life to the futile attempt to achieve enlightenment through the use of chemicals, as you obviously have, but considering how unenlightened you are, I have no regrets.

  182. Plain Jane
    September 14, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    That was me. For some reason my Kindle keeps deleting my info.

  183. Plain Jane
    September 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    And I just found out that your theory about how to tell anonymous posters apart is just as bogus as your enlightenment because my anonoymous post of a minute ago has the same Icon as the “blab blah” poster you accused Mitch of being and that wasn’t me either, although I admit I thought the same thing. You seem to be very personally invested in this issue, to the point of viciously attacking because someone thinks heavy drug use might not be good for kids. It seems likely that your income is derived from illegal drug sales, including to kids. You remind me of pedophiles who argue that being sexually molested is good for their victims. After your confessed and repeatedly justified shoe stealing, expecting anyone to believe you have any sort of moral compass is delusional (a sign of long term drug abuse). Unlike you, I’m not proud of my youthful drug use. I lost friends to drug overdoses and psychosis and I’m sure their families would strongly disagree with you as they visit their beloved children in mental hospitals or put flowers on their graves.

  184. suzy blah blah
    September 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    -Jane, if you were better able to pay attention then you wouldn’t have to set up a strawman made out of cliches to flail at in the dark –suzy has absolutely no interest in “enlightenment”. Never did. Never said i did. I think that may be Mitch’s farte. He has talked about similar smelly buddhisms in some of his previous foul offerings. Could be it’s an oriental aspect of his morality. High on the checklist for how to righteously live the righteous life. As absurd an idea as it is, taken together with a couple of empty occidental concepts, like following the red thread or going by the golden rule, it makes for an integrated, holistic, and charismatic illusion to attract the likes of shallow people like you.

  185. Plain Jane
    September 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Yeah, the Golden Rule, a perennial and virtually universal code of conduct extending back into pre- recorded history, is outdated. Steal their shoes before they can steal yours is much better. You undoubtedly had a good education, it makes an appearance once in a while, but you are a good example of why heavy drug use is detrimental.

  186. suzy blah blah
    September 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    -detrimental to the flimsy propped up dogma codes that you defer to. btw jane, you must’ve never finished reading the thread cuz me and the chick i borrowed the shoes from became friends. We still are.

  187. Plain Jane
    September 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I left hallucinogenics many years ago.Your expression of disbelief is gratifying. It means there were no lasting effects in my case. I was lucky.

  188. Plain Jane
    September 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Such blatant dishonesty doesn’t become you, Susy. You stole and altered shoes belonging to a “trustafarian.” The sort of people who befriend people like you are people like you. No doubt you are birds of a feather. I can see you bonding over a few lines, sharing stories about how much fun it is to steal someone’s shoes from a public sauna and brag about it on line all the while posing as someone of superior moral standards, at least by your own delusional standards. You are a vicious and immoral woman. Done with this.

  189. Mitch
    September 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    PJ,

    Thanks.

    suzy,

    Yes, I’m concerned that if all the children die, I’ll have nobody to eat. Love and kisses.

    Jack,

    In concept, your are correct. but, back on Earth, you know this is not the case. Assuming that this single study is adequate, accurate, reproducible, and explains why so many young pot-abusers have led long, successful, and distinguished, professional careers….today’s “big problems” remain effectively self-censored by the most powerful propaganda machine this world has ever known, the “little problems”, if real, fill that void.

    “Speaking on behalf of America’s tobacco companies, I’d just like to point out that this 25 year long study has not been reproduced. It’s a single study, and while its results are intriguing, we think further study is called for. As you know, correlation is not causation, and it’s very possible that this study’s results have nothing to do with tobacco. Millions of tobacco smokers live well into their 80s, while many non-smokers die earlier. We regret that this study’s authors did not choose to mention this, or America’s serious problems with obesity and alcohol consumption. While caution is always advisable, we do not yet see cause for major concern. You might wish to limit your tobacco smoking to two packs a day.”

    Jack, you seem to think that electrons on a screen are a scarce resource, or that the Herald’s job is to focus on the things you care about. Neither belief is true. Nor is the belief that you can usefully trade concessions in a discussion. We agree that there are many problems in the world. We disagree about the size of this particular problem.

  190. suzy blah blah
    September 14, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    -Mitch, the only worthwhile thing about this post is the picture. So if you’ll allow suzy to be uncharacteristically presumptuous, i’m suggesting that you take it for your avatar. It’s at least as chill as Heraldo’s.

    -Jane, suzy’s moral compass points to the sound of a different ringo. Give peace a chance.

    -anonymous, did you ever hear of the primal blah? It’s a nephew of the Primal Screeeeeeeam that John Lennon tried for a spell. I’m afraid that some people here would score quite low on an emotional intelligence test.

  191. Jack Sherman
    September 15, 2012 at 1:34 am

    No kidding Suzy!

    Plain Jane “doesn’t trust this study” either, but critics of Mitch’s yellow journalism, “may be due to denial of a drug abuse problem on the part of the people attacking Mitch”…???…eliciting references to “pedophiles”…???…and “selling drugs to children”…!!!???

    Maybe Plain Jane’s right, “Mitch voices his opinions in a rational and civil manner”….It feels soooo “right”, “rational and civil” when someone uses their real fist name and only INFERS that his critics suffer “ideological dogma and blindness” (#174).

    Good Grief!

    It’s gotta be painful having to resort to “Reefer Madness” (comparing pot to a narcotic), to defend another sensational distraction to any number of top issues currently devastating our communities, our economy, our environment and the very lives of so many children and adults.

    We do, indeed, disagree about the “size of this problem”….assuming it’s real, of course.

    Anyone that disagrees with me must have brain disorders, probably the result of childhood exposure of 500 hours or more each year to commercial advertizing, cartoons, and video games.

  192. Plain Jane
    September 15, 2012 at 6:58 am

    For the record, Jack, Mitch’s last name is well known in the local blogs and is visible (Ibelieve) by clicking on his avatar. Your irrationality on this issue puts you in the same box with Suzy. People who are extremely defensive, such as you and Suzy, are often in denial. It isn’t critiquing the study or Mitch’s views, it’s the vicious personal attacks on Mitch to defend drug use. Suzy defends meth as well. Frankly you both seem a bit unhinged over it. Readers can reach their own conclusions as to why, but none of us were born recently and we all know heavy drug users and their justifications. Done with you too.

  193. Mitch
    September 15, 2012 at 9:21 am

    It’s not on the avatar, PJ, but as I’ve said many times, anyone can find out my last name by going to the blog humboldtagainsthate.blogspot.com, where I feel my full name is necessary.

    Incidentally, my advice to anyone using pseudonyms is to remain pseudonymous unless there’s a really compelling reason for using your real name.

  194. suzy blah blah
    September 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    -while suzy has contributed many intelligent and researched comments to the thread which elicited many long and thoughtful responses, comments about the influence of substances on our society, including posting videos of expert spokespersons on drugs like Terrance McKenna and many many references to modern artists, writers, musicians etc, etc. all of whom have added enormously to the well being of the citizenry, as well as examples of how these great heroes in our society, who used substances such as amphetamine, mescaline, morphine, opium, hashish, LSD, psilocybin, heroin, etc., have had a positive influence on the culture, Jane has added nothing to the discussion except a few ignorant generalizations that drugs are bad and they cause a lack of motivation because “everybody knows that”. LOL! Reminiscent of Nancy Reagan’s uptight hatred of any form of life that doesn’t fall in line with her rigid rules of behavior -“just say no!” and all that crap. This is the typical neurotic behavior of people who’ve had a bad personal experience with substances and then lash out begrudgingly at those who find them useful.

    Which may be the reason that even though Jane has nothing at all to add to the topic, it doesn’t stop her from unleashing a shitstorm of raging emotionally immature false accusations at suzy, who according to Jane is supposedly “claiming enlightenment”, being “blatantly dishonest”, “using heavy drugs”, suffering from “long term drug abuse”, being “a heavy drug user”, “stealing”, “doing lines”, being “vicious”, being “despicable”, being the child of “drug using parents”, “selling drugs to children”, did she actually make an analogy with pedophilia? yep she did, she’ll stoop that low, yet she thinks suzy “seems unhinged”. This is beyond ironic, Jack, this is the kind of hysterically paranoid raving that is exemplified by reefer madness. Blindly flailing at her own strawmen made of her own delusions … and as soon as suzy knocks one of them down she doesn’t even blink but sets a new one up. All of them made from lies. But that’s okay, her motivation is not one of making coherent or truthful points on the subject (as suzy did repeatedly in the thread), on the contrary, Jane’s motivation is obviously to unleash a spewing of ignorant bias and hatred, leaving in her wake the polluted slime of ugly unfounded lies, false accusations, and sneering paranoid insults, while all the while claiming her own moral superiority and ignoring suzy’s valid and credible points.

  195. Plain Jane
    September 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Illeism is a sign of narcisistic personality disorder.

  196. Jack Sherman
    September 16, 2012 at 12:41 am

    This does seem to continue in a new direction for Heraldo, closer to the yellow-journalism of sensational mainstream media-distractions at the Humboldt Sentinel and Lost Coast Outpost and 99% of “community media”.

    MY, how far Plain Jane has fallen from the sharp retorts that vaporized “High Finance”…to the crudest hypocrisy in defense of a study that she also questions! Being labelled “irrational” and “extremely defensive” by someone hurling dog shit only confirms the “hard-hitting” milquetoast of this story and the nosedive this blog-site has taken.

    Will future posters have to face similar Pot McCarthyism if they dare question “One-study-Mitch”?

    “I do not advocate for, consume, or associate with anyone who advocates for, or consumes, weed and, therefore, must hold credible opinions on a unique pot study from New Zealand where strict prohibition fills their jails with kids”.

    I don’t know about you Suze, but my neighborhood of homeowners has become mostly rentals in less than 4 years, unemployment hasn’t been this bad since the Great Depression, income disparity the worst since the Gilded Age. We’re living in the 6th largest extinction event of life’s history on Earth. Poverty, crime, suicide, homelessness, and drug abuse have skyrocketed. Every-other family member and friend is financially stressed in battling cancer! (Great news…the hospital is expanding…while our schools close). Every time my wife and I ride bikes through Eureka’s neighborhoods we see more people shoving someone’s belongings into the front yard from more evictions, foreclosures, evacuations…or making room for adult children, and GRANDCHILDREN moving back in with parents and grandparents! Already this year several people have died in Eureka trying to use city streets while the same developers that built it into chaos still pull the political strings!

    And all we get from “community media” is an eerie silence amid the ever-vigilant mantra: “A world of plenty for the deserving”. Little wonder the majority doesn’t vote.

    Quick…look over there….could it be the millionth confirmation that excessive childhood consumption of anything is harmful?

    Maybe, maybe not!

    Oh my, what shall we do?

  197. suzy blah blah
    September 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    crude hypocrisy – Pot McCarthyism – “hard-hitting” milquetoast – the millionth confirmation -Oh my, what shall we do? – “A world of plenty for the deserving”

    -you nailed the major symptoms. But it’s become painfully obvious that the patient is too far gone and their isn’t any hope for recovery. I’m afraid the coma is that deep Jack, beyond the reach of any thing short of a miracle –too bad these well meaning but woefully narrow minded folks don’t believe in miracles. LOL! I see the horror of it, yet i magnanimously have mercy on all. Even Jane. For you see, from many hard won trials and experiences suzy has come to rest at that all-encompassing place of loving understanding for even the vilest of them. Totally.

  198. suzy blah blah
    September 16, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Illeism

    -well i had to bother to look up the word. I found out what it means and that the method has several different technically understood applications. Yes, some who have experimented with the linguistic device of illism have been narcissists. Others have been literary and artistic geniuses. There are three of four definitions. But suzy is not a narcissist or a genius. i could achieve the level of genius and have everyone admire and adore me but i have always chosen to take the higher road and humble myself. That’s why suzy’s use of illism is best understood as coming out of pure modesty. If you do the research you will find that in one of the applications illism is a symptom of just that, or – to quote Wikipedia, “This (kind of illeism) enforces the idea of the group being more important than the self. The use of illeism in this context imparts a sense of lack of self importance, implying (modesty) and a diminished importance of the speaker in relation to the addressee or to a larger whole.”

    There you have it, i don’t think i have to say any more. Another symptom of language usage that demonstrates my lowly demeanor is suzy’s refusal to bow down to the tyrannic powers of correct language protocol and capitalize my name, and/or to capitalize “i” (I). As with my usage of “suzy”, when suzy refers to myself using the pronoun “i” (I), i always choose the more unassuming lower case form of expression. i could go on and on to show more examples of my humble nature and strong sense of empathy and how its between the lines presence informs and empowers much of my writing, but that’s enough about me. Suzy wanted to go into the idea of how rude one or two of the arrogant people here can be when reacting to how their biased and myopic concepts have been debunked, and the impact that reactionary rudeness, and their general maleficent ambiance, has on society at large. It may seem a little thing but when you have a couple of megalomaniac egoist’s claiming that their grandiose opinions on substances that they know very little about trumps common sense … well you can see where suzy’s going with this. And when i have more time to investigate the corollary linkage in order to give the distinction some legs, official legs, suzy will be back. And it will be a bubble popper to beat all bubble poppers for sure.

    Until then, i’ll leave you with some food for thought: Next time anyone notices one of these insincere posers mis-characterizing, insulting, and torturing me, remember –suzy’s in good company.

  199. Plain Jane
    September 17, 2012 at 7:43 am

    “Suzy is so far above everyone that you should accept everything Suzy says without logical thought. Suzy is brilliant just like lots of famous people and more humble than everyone else and anyone who says Suzy is not brilliant and humble or who suggests Suzy might be in deep denial about Suzy’s heavy drug use and bizarre logic is a big bad paranoid liar. When Suzy steals it isn’t really stealing because Suzy only steals from “trustafarians” who deserve to go home late at night in the rain without shoes. This video that doesn’t exist proves that heavy drug use improved Suzy’s brilliance and humility. Did I mention that I’m brilliantly humble despite how exceptionally brilliant I am? It’s obvious to anyone that I am the opposite of narcissist because narcissists are delusional about how brilliant they are and Suzy is humbly truthful.”

  200. Mitch
    September 17, 2012 at 8:42 am

    PJ,

    suzy’s special. That’s fine.

    However, I think this thread is an excellent example of how people’s acceptance of a result always depends, in part, on how much they like or dislike it. For someone who is open minded, it can be really useful to see that one’s allies can exhibit exactly the same problematic behavior as one’s “enemies.”

    I’ve known that for decades now, but I really wish I’d known it in my early twenties, when it might have prevented, among other things, my working for a glorious non-profit whose founder sunk it despite its appearing to me to have been unsinkable. (The outfit, facing a budget crunch, just stopped reporting and paying withholding taxes for its employees, despite being an obvious target for the government. I think it went on for more than nine months, with the founder unjustifiably confident that his charm and connections would get the needed back-funding from various daddies.)

    I’m not saying the NZ study is correct, though as a layperson it looks pretty believable to me, and fits with what little I’ve heard of adolescent brain development. I’m just saying that it’s an alarming result that anyone who is under 20 or who knows people under 20 should be aware of, in order to make or assist in an informed decision about their intake of pot.

    I continue to believe that an equivalent result, or one supported by much less evidence, would be accepted as gospel if it were dealing with something other than pot.

    Instead, we get trivialization of results involving IQ, even though IQ is not being used to compare between people, but is being measured for drops in the same person over 25 years.

    We get complaints that it’s just one study, even though it is based on an extraordinarily rare data set — all the residents of a town were monitored from 13 onwards for 25 years, presumably not just about pot use but about a zillion different things.

    We get anecdotal evidence we all know to be true, about many brilliant people who are known to have smoked pot. The fact that the study noted significant effects only from adolescent usage, and not from adult usage, is more or less ignored.

    And we get a litany of the other, larger problems, which, in the opinions of those who are invested in this topic, mean that raising this as a concern is somehow improper.

  201. Plain Jane
    September 17, 2012 at 9:12 am

    It was particularly revealing to me how even people like you and I, who are pro-legalization but anti-kids using, are more viciously attacked, their integrity and intelligence maligned for believing that children shouldn’t be using drugs heavily, than people who are opposed to legalization of any drug for anyone. Recreational drug use is a personal choice, but kids lack the judgment to make good choices for themselves (that’s why they have parents) and their developing brains can be adversely affected. The main issue I had in this thread was over the defense of meth and other hard drugs. Citing drug using artists in different mediums as proof that heavy drug use is beneficial without acknowledging that millions of artists achieve as much or more without the use of any drugs and ignoring the possibility that these artistic geniuses may have been even more brilliant if they had abstained, and many of them would have lived longer and produced ever greater works of art had they never touched drugs, is illogical. Denial and justification are mental tricks we play on ourselves and we don’t appreciate anyone trying to pop that bubble of delusion.

  202. suzy blah blah
    September 17, 2012 at 10:32 am

    -you haven’t followed the links or done the research Jane. Try getting off your fat lazy ass and investigating things instead of this constant conservative knee-jerk reaction. Obviously you are very emotionally immature. So one more time, patiently, suzy replies in a civilized manner to your crap: do the research!! duh! There’s more than one definition for the word. Can’t you think for yourself instead of reacting in an immature emotional frenzy of lies, false accusations, insinuations, and mean-heated obstinate nastiness . Illeism is defined in several different categories. Once again, according to wikipedia and other sources, one of its definitions shows it to be a sign of modesty and humble goodness. That would be the definition that fits suzy perfectly. So go fuck yourself. And quit making up complete lies about suzy stealing(?). i have absolutely never ever done any of this so called “stealing” that you seem to have gotten an idea of in your thick head. Maybe you watch too many crime tv shows or right wing propaganda conspiracy movies. As i have already said, i “borrowed” some shoe once. That’s all. And in the face of this truth what do i get as a reply? –lies, make believe evil imaginings, and paranoid schemes to try and belittle suzy, ew. What it all breaks down to is that all that is good, humble, altruistic and loving has to continually be faced with this negative evil force working against it. And to think, it’s all just because suzy wont bow down to Janies tyrannical private rules about how to use the English language. LOL! what a lame bitch.

    Btw way, the video link works fine for suzy, i’ll see it i can find it in a different mode. Are you using Chrome?

  203. suzy blah blah
    September 17, 2012 at 10:48 am

  204. Plain Jane
    September 17, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Suzy, this is the last time I will ever respond to you on any issue. You are either a liar or mentally ill, probably both. You told us all about stealing that “trustifarian’s” shoes over at SoHum and in this thread you called it “borrowing” despite the fact that you took without permission and permanently altered a stranger’s (at the time) shoes from a public sauna. Your “moral” standards, lies, denial and justification of anything you want to do regardless of it’s negative impact on others, makes the case against you a slam dunk for reality based people who believe the “golden rule” is a valid moral structure. How you got so warped is, of course, only a matter of conjecture; but your defense of hard drugs for kids, and everyone else, leads rational people to suspect that as the cause.

  205. Jack Sherman
    September 17, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    “And we get a litany of the other, larger problems, which, in the opinions of those who are invested in this topic, mean that raising this as a concern is somehow improper.”

    Really Mitch, another mis-characterization (lie)?

    For the 3rd time (?) it is not “improper” to report this study.

    It is IMPROPER to present it ENTIRELY out of context, just like virtually ALL other mainstream media in the U.S.!

    Seen in its relevant context, this is a study funded by a nation where strict prohibition fills their jails with youths; it utilizes “I.Q. tests” that are historically abused and manipulated; and most importantly, “the litany of larger problems” that are devastating children in my community, (larger problems that are DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE to drug abuse by youths!!!), are all disappeared.

    Once again, (and again), the larger problems are effectively being self-censored EVERYWHERE in this nation’s “free-press” …relegating this issue to the pulp of other media distractions from far more prescient concerns that, if contextually reported, could actually help motivate readers to get involved. Maybe the other half of America would start to vote and stop a generation of corporate/gov. divestment in our communities to finally begin to reverse the desperation, poverty and insecurities that lead to drug abuse by youths….IF… IF… IF… some critical, and OBVIOUS, big-picture context were routinely included in featured “news” stories!

    While Plain Jane explains how her critic is psychotic, maybe Mitch can explain how I’m “blinded by ideological dogma”, maybe both can explain how their comments and insults are not “overly defensive”?

    I’ve been turning to Heraldo for years for community issues/news, not sensational reporting that belongs on corporate U.S. media and New Zealand’s front pages COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTEXT.

    The military wing of U.S. prohibition would be thrilled that a rural “liberal” blog is also towing this line!

  206. Mitch
    September 17, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    While Plain Jane explains how her critic is psychotic, maybe Mitch can explain how I’m “blinded by ideological dogma”, maybe both can explain how their comments and insults are not “overly defensive”?

    There’s no need, Jack. Have a nice day.

  207. Jack Sherman
    September 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    “Nor is the belief (true) that you can usefully trade concessions in a discussion.” (Mitch).

    This unabashed arrogance goes far in explaining why the liberal community rarely gets anything done politically within Humboldt County…especially Eureka.

  208. suzy blah blah
    September 17, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    This unabashed arrogance goes far in explaining why the liberal community rarely gets anything done politically within Humboldt County

    -you mean just because Mitch replies to ” maybe both can explain how their comments and insults are not “overly defensive”? with “No need to, Jack. Have a nice day.”

    The “free press” is only as free as its creators. With inadequate writers like Mitch vainly posting weak ineffectual articles, and rude commenters like Jane spewing hysterically biased hatred for any variation of her morally correct dogma, what you get is very inefficient. Not only has the blog taken a nose-dive in content as you pointed out Jack, but its new actualizers , while offering unproductive posts and non-essential statistical studies, have an absurd and exaggerated sense of their importance, and along with it a claim to be in possession of some ‘better than thou’ position from which they feel entitled to condescend with bloated sass. A vanity that Heraldo never had.

  209. What Now
    September 17, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    “an absurd and exaggerated sense of their importance, and along with it a claim to be in possession of some ‘better than thou’ position from which they feel entitled to condescend with bloated sass”
    !
    BEYOND pot/kettle/black.
    Ja-HEE-zuz H. Kee-rist…..

  210. suzy blah blah
    September 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    -it doesn’t add anything to have someone chiming in that’s prejudiced against Jesus Christ and blacks. Or has a negative view of pot and the BEYOND.

  211. suzy blah blah
    September 18, 2012 at 12:32 am

    psychotic critics, etc.

    –the real crazy people in our environment are often the most “normal” seeming. Psychotic behavior is exhibited much more often by those who don’t have any experience with drugs or mind alterations. Just thinking about the existence of these evil substances and this irrational magick drives some folks mad. And the more they think about it, and talk about it, the crazier it becomes. Until the fear overwhelms them and in extension the culture. This fearful culture becomes very uncomfortable when basic principles are questioned and fundamental truths threaten to topple their superficial viewpoints and nitwit ideologies. There is a serious phobia about the mind.

  212. Anonymous
    September 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Mitch
    September 17, 2012 at 8:42 am | #201

    Quote

    “And we get a litany of the other, larger problems, which, in the opinions of those who are invested in this topic….”

    Looks like you might be speaking for about 10 people making 20 posts, mostly ambivalent/critical of the study!

    The Highboldtage critique was the most eloquent. Questions raised regarding this study’s context were spot-on.

    Context is what makes reporting meaningful, the GP controversy is a great example….good work!

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