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Wired - Does Marijuana Make You Stupid?


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207 replies to this topic

#1 Mad Mike

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:28 PM

Short answer - no.

Does Marijuana Make You Stupid?

http://www.wired.com...ake-you-stupid/

In popular culture, all it takes is one hit from a bong before people become ridiculously dumb, unable to solve the simplest problems or utter a coherent sentence. Potheads eat a lot and laugh at stupid jokes. The larger worry, of course, is that such damage is enduring and that “smoking dope” permanently impedes learning and memory.

That, at least, has been the collective stereotype for decades. There’s even been some science to back it up, especially when the marijuana use begins at an early age. But now a different answer is beginning to emerge, thanks to an authoritative new study led by Robert Tait at the Australian National University.


Taken together, these studies demonstrate that popular stereotypes of marijuana users are unfair and untrue. While it’s definitely not a good idea to perform a cognitively demanding task (such as driving!) while stoned, smoking a joint probably also won’t lead to any measurable long-term deficits. The Dude, in other words, wasn’t dumb because he inhaled. He was dumb because he was The Dude. (All those White Russians probably didn’t help, either.)

Furthermore, there’s some intriguing evidence that marijuana can actually improve performance on some mental tests. A recent paper by scientists at University College, London looked at a phenomenon called semantic priming. This occurs when the activation of one word allows us to react more quickly to related words. For instance, the word “dog” might lead to decreased reaction times for “cat,” “pet” and “Lassie,” but won’t alter how quickly we react to “chair.”

Interestingly, the scientists found that marijuana seems to induce a state of hyper-priming, in which the reach of semantic priming extends to distantly related concepts. As a result, we hear “dog” and think of nouns that, in more sober circumstances, would seem rather disconnected, such as “leash” or “hair.” This state of hyper-priming helps explain why cannabis has been so often used as a creative fuel, as it seems to make the brain better at detecting those remote associations that lead to radically new ideas.


Interestingly making those "associations that lead to radically new ideas" can still lead to some crazy "put down the bong" ideas. But as the study shows, that's more a reflection of the intelligence of the person than the pot itself. An intelligent person will make intelligent associations. A less intelligent person... not so much.

And oh yeah.... LEGALIZE IT AMERICA! :D

#2 Bubble Screen

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:29 PM

Anyone that tries marijuana is stupid.

#3 Mad Mike

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:31 PM

Anyone that tries marijuana is stupid.


OK. I've read some of your posts... :rolleyes:

#4 Bubble Screen

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:33 PM

OK. I've read some of your posts... :rolleyes:


Hey man, to each his own. I'd never touch that stuff.

#5 PiLfan

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:33 PM



(some NSFW lyrics, in case you couldn't guess... ;-)

Edited by PiLfan, 19 August 2011 - 12:36 PM.


#6 #98QBKiller

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:34 PM

And oh yeah.... LEGALIZE IT AMERICA! :D


Dude, it's only a matter of time. Yeah people have been saying that since the 70s but it's basically legal in California right now. One of their provisions for acquiring a medical license is "pain," which can mean almost anything. You can walk into a dispensary there and get bags of weed, joints, edibles, drinkables, and anything else weed related in the name of medicine. DC and some other states have legalized it medicinally just with stricter requirements.

Plus at least the last three Presidents have smoked weed before. People know more about it and eventually the lawmakers will be comprised of 90+ percent of people who have at least tried it, and probably a good portion of that who have done it regularly at some point in their lives. These days people talk about it more openly than ever before. I've heard people on the board at my company joke about it, my dad smokes it, I hear people talk about it on the train, etc.

IMO, it's only a matter of time.

#7 Mad Mike

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:36 PM

Hey man, to each his own. I'd never touch that stuff.


That's fine. But to call others stupid for their choice is... well... stupid.

#8 Predicto

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:40 PM

Anyone that tries alcohol is stupid.


Hey man, to each his own. I'd never touch that stuff.




(I don't use either, so I get to be even more ridiculously self righteous than you.... :) )

#9 Jumbo

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:42 PM

Anyone that tries marijuana is stupid.



Bubble Screen, mi amigo, as many stupid posts as you make...really? :)

#10 Predicto

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:43 PM

Dude, it's only a matter of time. Yeah people have been saying that since the 70s but it's basically legal in California right now. One of their provisions for acquiring a medical license is "pain," which can mean almost anything. You can walk into a dispensary there and get bags of weed, joints, edibles, drinkables, and anything else weed related in the name of medicine.


Yep. And guess what. California still goes to work and does the high tech business it always did. Hasn't changed a thing.

What's more, the people staggering around like hobos, falling in gutters and getting into fights and making asses of themselves in California? Welp, it still is the drunks, same as it ever was.

#11 KAOSkins

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:43 PM

Hey man, to each his own. I'd never touch that stuff.


That's a much better post than your first one.

Knowing that I'm getting my legal supply for 3 months delivered to my house and it's three different varieties that I chose out of a dozen is a very good thing. Talk about some fun shopping. :evilg: I look forward to the day when the rest of my peers, who choose to, can enjoy the same.

#12 sideshow24

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:52 PM

Marijuana make you lazy.

#13 #98QBKiller

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:53 PM

Marijuana make you lazy.


Is that why you left the 's' out of "makes?"

#14 Skinz4Life12

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:55 PM

Is that why you left the 's' out of "makes?"


:ols: good one

#15 Prosperity

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:58 PM

In the past when I've been baked I've been capable of the most profound thinking as well as the most idiotic, so personally it's a wash

it depends mostly on company IMO

but the idea of the non-functional, stupid stoner... is stereotype based on people that can't help but make a scene out of themselves... y'all would be amazed how many of the upstanding citizens in your community follow the creed. Teachers, lawyers, soldiers, shop keepers, landscapers, bankers, house wives, professional moms... etc

Edited by Prosperity, 19 August 2011 - 01:02 PM.


#16 Corcaigh

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:59 PM

Sorry ... what was the question?

#17 sideshow24

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 12:59 PM

Is that why you left the 's' out of "makes?"


My attempt at a Fred Smoot quote.

#18 RVAbrendan

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:06 PM

When I smoke, I certainly feel less intelligent. That's just me, though. I know for some, it has the opposite effect. Long term though...nah. I rarely smoke during the week and do just fine at my job.

Edited by RVAbrendan, 19 August 2011 - 01:06 PM.


#19 Predicto

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:07 PM

but the idea of the non-functional, stupid stoner... is stereotype based on people that can't help but make a scene out of themselves... y'all would be amazed how many of the upstanding citizens in your community follow the creed. Teachers, lawyers, soldiers, shop keepers, landscapers, bankers, house wives, professional moms... etc


And - especially - those hard working Silicon Valley engineers and code monkeys. Those guys work 18 hours on complicated tech stuff - and then light up like christmas trees to wind down.

#20 abdcskins

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:11 PM

When I smoke I definitely have more thoughts. Some more creative. So I don't think it makes you stupid at all. If you smoke everyday when you wake up, well yeah then you will become more lazy. Usually stoners have lazy personalities to begin with.

Although I just quit so...this Cali bud is too potent. I go extended period without smoking so now it's like a gigantic wave of THC hits me every time, regardless how many hits I take. Not a good feeling.

#21 I_Bleed_B&G

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:14 PM

in high school, this girl I knew who was pretty much stoned all hours of the day was valedictorian. I mean she was constantly high

#22 Mad Mike

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:20 PM

Marijuana make you lazy.


Another falsehood. I've known pot smokers who were the hardest working people you could ever meet. I'm talking business owners who get up at 5:00 am and work till 7:00 pm. Chances are everyone on this board knows smart, motivated, hardworking people who get high. And if you don't think so, it's probably just because they haven't told you they do.

---------- Post added August-19th-2011 at 06:25 PM ----------

Sorry ... what was the question?


:rotflmao:

#23 Elessar78

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:34 PM

Another falsehood. I've known pot smokers who were the hardest working people you could ever meet. I'm talking business owners who get up at 5:00 am and work till 7:00 pm. Chances are everyone on this board knows smart, motivated, hardworking people who get high. And if you don't think so, it's probably just because they haven't told you they do.


I'm not passing judgment on it's affect on intelligence, but my experience is the opposite of yours. The heavy users were waste of space in high school and almost twenty years later have still yet to get on track.

#24 sideshow24

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:37 PM

Another falsehood. I've known pot smokers who were the hardest working people you could ever meet. I'm talking business owners who get up at 5:00 am and work till 7:00 pm. Chances are everyone on this board knows smart, motivated, hardworking people who get high. And if you don't think so, it's probably just because they haven't told you they do.




Yes, but imagine how much earlier they would get up,how much later they would work and how much smarter, more motivated and hardworking they'd be if they DIDN'T get high.

Edited by sideshow24, 19 August 2011 - 01:38 PM.


#25 Predicto

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:39 PM

I'm not passing judgment on it's affect on intelligence, but my experience is the opposite of yours. The heavy users were waste of space in high school and almost twenty years later have still yet to get on track.


You are confusing correlation with causation.

Lots of lazy people smoke marijuana. Marijuana does not make you lazy.

It's kind of like heavy use of blue eyeshadow. It does not turn high school girls into trailer trash, but it does a good job at identifying those who are. :)

#26 Elessar78

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:45 PM

You are confusing correlation with causation.

Lots of lazy people smoke marijuana. Marijuana does not make you lazy.

It's kind of like heavy use of blue eyeshadow. It does not turn high school girls into trailer trash, but it does a good job at identifying those who are. :)


I totally agree with you and like I implied, it can go both ways.

#27 brandymac27

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:48 PM

Weed doesn't make you stupid. It all depends on the person smoking it. If you're already sorta dumb, it sure won't make you a genius and could cause you to make some bad decisions, otoh, if you're smart before you started smoking it, I can definitely see how it could get the creative juices flowing :), but it won't necessarily make you smarter either.

#28 Mad Mike

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:50 PM

I'm not passing judgment on it's affect on intelligence, but my experience is the opposite of yours. The heavy users were waste of space in high school and almost twenty years later have still yet to get on track.


I've known a few of those too. And what I'm saying is that they weren't a waste of space because they were heavy users. Pot users are like everyone else, they come in all forms. Some are lazy. Some are hard working. Some are smart. Some are stupid. People are who they are, with or without pot.

And nothing I've said should be taken to mean I think everyone should get high. Some people clearly shouldn't. Just like some people should not drink. What I'm saying is that it's time we started looking at the issue with less foolish bias.

The idea that alcohol which can kill if you drink too much, and has destroyed so many lives is legal, while pot, which is virtually impossible to OD on, is arguably less destructive, and has more benefits, is not legal is simply insane. It just doesn't make sense.

#29 KAOSkins

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 01:58 PM

I have to admit I don't use it for it's enlightening qualities though I do find my mind wandering in the way the author suggests. Really, that's main way it helps me manage pain - through distraction. A thought about something simple and the ability to instantaneously look into it winds up with three hours spent on wiki going from types of game fish in Africa to the the fact that there is a brown land based eagles and a partially white (yellow beaked) eagles (like the golden and bald here) on every continent. Bet you didn't know that? The internets have made my mindless wandering even lazier than they were to begin with! lol

Yeah, I know, lot of good it does me but it's pleasant way to spend some time when I'm stuck on the couch.

#30 brandymac27

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:06 PM

I have to admit I don't use it for it's enlightening qualities though I do find my mind wandering in the way the author suggests. Really, that's main way it helps me manage pain - through distraction. A thought about something simple and the ability to instantaneously look into it winds up with three hours spent on wiki going from types of game fish in Africa to the the fact that there is a brown land based eagles and a partially white (yellow beaked) eagles (like the golden and bald here) on every continent. Bet you didn't know that? The internets have made my mindless wandering even lazier than they were to begin with! lol

Yeah, I know, lot of good it does me but it's pleasant way to spend some time when I'm stuck on the couch.


Why don't you write some of the stuff you think about down? Save it on your computer and in 6 months go back and read it.

OT: I wonder if people who are predisposed to anxiety like anxiety disorders/panic attacks calm down when they smoke weed, or if it makes them more paranoid? Any experiences with this????

#31 ixcuincle

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:07 PM

Lmao no. That's just an urban myth

#32 Predicto

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:09 PM

OT: I wonder if people who are predisposed to anxiety like anxiety disorders/panic attacks calm down when they smoke weed, or if it makes them more paranoid? Any experiences with this????


Anecdotally - it made me feel a bit paranoid. But I am speaking from experience that is almost three decades old now.

#33 brandymac27

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:12 PM

Anecdotally - it made me feel a bit paranoid. But I am speaking from experience that is almost three decades old now.

Me too, but I haven't smoked any in almost 14 years (this was before I was really anxious and had panic attacks). I have panic attacks/anxiety now and was wondering if a person like myself smoked it would it help or just make it worse?

#34 ACW

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:17 PM

Time to post this again: http://www.drugwarra...ijuana-illegal/

#35 Mad Mike

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:18 PM

I have to admit I don't use it for it's enlightening qualities though I do find my mind wandering in the way the author suggests. Really, that's main way it helps me manage pain - through distraction. A thought about something simple and the ability to instantaneously look into it winds up with three hours spent on wiki going from types of game fish in Africa to the the fact that there is a brown land based eagles and a partially white (yellow beaked) eagles (like the golden and bald here) on every continent. Bet you didn't know that? The internets have made my mindless wandering even lazier than they were to begin with! lol

Yeah, I know, lot of good it does me but it's pleasant way to spend some time when I'm stuck on the couch.


That's pretty much the consensus view of pot for pain management. It doesn't make the pain go away but it seems to help the brain disconnect from it and make it more manageable. It's been my experience as well.

#36 Destructis

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:18 PM

OT: I wonder if people who are predisposed to anxiety like anxiety disorders/panic attacks calm down when they smoke weed, or if it makes them more paranoid? Any experiences with this????


I did it a lot when I was younger, but your post made me think of a funny moment. About 30 years ago we were sitting around stoned at 3AM and the phone rang. One of the guys there said......

"Don't answer it, they will know we are stoned because we are up"

We did used to play mind games with each other too. Say things like "Can you hand me a pen and something to write with?" Just kind of makes you stop and think.

#37 ixcuincle

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:25 PM

FYI 2 of the most smartest people I know are potheads. Unfortunately they do not post here so their intelligence cannot be verified

#38 Predicto

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:26 PM

Lmao no. That's just an urban myth


Wait, here's proof!

-hec9SMsIB0

#39 TD_washingtonredskins

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:28 PM

FYI 2 of the most smartest people I know are potheads.


:ols:

#40 Prosperity

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:33 PM

Why don't you write some of the stuff you think about down? Save it on your computer and in 6 months go back and read it.

OT: I wonder if people who are predisposed to anxiety like anxiety disorders/panic attacks calm down when they smoke weed, or if it makes them more paranoid? Any experiences with this????



BMac, there are two strains of weed
sativa, (more mental, trippy, energetic high) and indica (body high, less mental and more relaxation)... the former can lead to anxiety in people that are prone to it (and apparently just random people in general). The latter doesn't cause as much problems in that regard.

I use to get real paranoid when I smoked, and then I took a break, got my personal life in order, and after that when I smoked I didn't get paranoid. So I guess there are a lot of factors in play.

Edited by Prosperity, 19 August 2011 - 02:34 PM.