Marijuana legalization appears to be gathering support throughout the U.S., butv we could end up with a nation of less-intelligent people if it happens.
Research has demonstrated an association between early marijuana use and low educational attainment. Heavy marijuana use correlates with cognitive decline in about 5 percent of teens, suggesting that the heaviest users could lose 8 IQ points.
According to the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health, youth with poor academic results were more than four times as likely to have used marijuana in the past year than youth averaging higher grades, a result consistent with studies that found that marijuana use is consistently associated with lower grades and a decreased chance of graduating from school —a potential pitfall, given the number of teens who reportedly use marijuana:
Roughly 6.5 percent of high school seniors smoke marijuana daily;
Nearly 23 percent of seniors said they smoked the drug in the last month; and
About 4 percent of 10th graders said they smoke the drug daily, and 18 percent have smoked marijuana within the last month (3).
Kent Runyon, executive director of Novus Medical Detox in Florida, discourages its legalization, as the drug has been shown to negatively impact youth academic performance and intellectual aptitude., says that as states begin to legalize marijuana, there will likely be an increase in the number of users—many of whom may be adolescents who fail to understand the potential consequences of the drug on their intellectual capacity.
“The studies show that adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the effects of marijuana, and legalizing the drug will only increase its availability,” said Runyon. “Its legalization will increase the likelihood of increased use by children and youth in our nation, leading to an increased risk of addiction and a decrease in mental capabilities.”