Looking around at society as a whole and specifically at the way conservative and right-wing power structures operate to implement and uphold social engineering policies, one of the things one can rely on is for the right-wing press to come out every so often and smear cannabis and cannabis users. It is a regular and predictable aspect of British establishment to use dis-information to mislead the public – citing ‘scientific’ studies which contain little-or-no science – and very tenuous links to the outcomes described. This piece which has been pandered around the BBC & Independent via a New Zealand study is no exception.
Let’s make a start with the article:
Young people who smoke cannabis for years run the risk of a significant and irreversible reduction in their IQ, research suggests.
The findings come from a study of around 1,000 people in New Zealand.
An international team found those who started using cannabis below the age of 18 – while their brains were still developing – suffered a drop in IQ.
A UK expert said the research might explain why people who use the drug often seem to under-achieve.
For more than 20 years researchers have followed the lives of a group of people from Dunedin in New Zealand.
They assessed them as children – before any of them had started using cannabis – and then re-interviewed them repeatedly, up to the age of 38.
Having taken into account other factors such as alcohol or tobacco dependency or other drug use, as well the number of years spent in education, they found that those who persistently used cannabis – smoking it at least four times a week year after year through their teens, 20s and, in some cases, their 30s – suffered a decline in their IQ.
The more that people smoked, the greater the loss in IQ.
So, establishing what IQ actually is, is a big part of what the study is justifying in the first place.
IQ or Intelligence Quotient is a test that evolved from early psychoanalysts in France and Britain in the 19th century. The history of psychometric testing is nebulous and there have been hundreds of tests which were once en vogue and were then abandoned once they were proven to be useless in defining a participants abilities.
A modern IQ test essentially pits the individual with a series of mental tasks which deduce the capabilities of the human mind to comprehend mathematic equations, visualisation of scenarios and memory use to define the users capabilities in all areas. The metric for the test is time – whereby the shorter the length of time it takes for a participant to work out the correct answer is awarded a higher IQ score. You may be able to guess where this is heading by now.
So essentially IQ could be defined as; speed of thought in application to mental activity in problem solving. This is not as easy to digest, so TPTB decided to leave it as Intelligence Quotient and keep the people accepting it as some kind of real gauge of intelligence.
Which of course it isn’t
As I have previously stated, Cannabis slows down rudimentary thought processes, enabling lateral thought processes to occur. Creative thought (such as those used by artists, musicians, philosophers, writers or poets) utilises such thought processes and usually presents itself with alpha wave formation in the brain. A patient/participant of an IQ test high on cannabis would no doubt find the straight-forward questions in an IQ test laborious and would look for interesting tangents to explore. All of this would make for a rather poor IQ score – but an interesting test candidate to study reactions and thoughts. Are there any metrics to measure creative thought? No, thought not.
So the truth is, IQ is a measure of speed of mental task for humans in a economically useful capacity – something which the government/corporations desperately want for a country to be productive and conformist. Go to any country where there is a culture of cannabis use and we will find a ‘less productive’ work force. Note that this does not demonstrate how ‘safe’, ‘healthy’, ‘sane’ or ‘creative’ the citizens of the country in question are.
For the surface reader looking to re-enforce their prejudices on the subject of cannabis, another study on its effects on a rigged test adds to further justification of jubilant criminalisation and prohibition As for the cannabis user, they are too busy thinking sane, creative thoughts (which might take a bit more time to formulate – but are worth the effort) to get drawn into this argument – it’s far easier to find the fatal flaw in the argument and point it out to those sane enough to tell the difference.