Cannabis plant
A cannabis plant is pictured during a gathering demanding the legalisation of cannabis in Athens' Syntagma Square, May 9, 2015. Reuters/Kostas Tsironis

Experts from Cornell University in New York have claimed that cannabis does not hamper youngsters’ intellectual capabilities and academic potential and that potheads are smarter than they appear. The claims by the doctors go against the popular belief that blazing weed turns smokers into idiots who cannot work or perform according to their full potential.

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The experts from Cornell University conducted the study, the first of its kind, where they examined twins to find out if potheads were always on a path to nowhere, writes Over a 10-year period, the researchers examined the intelligence quotient (IQ) five times of almost 800 pairs of twins in the age group 9-11 years. They compared the performance of cannabis smokers to that of their abstemious brothers. The study has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

According to the scientists, there was no evidence to suggest a relationship between frequent marijuana use and intelligence quotient. Moreover, the marijuana-using twins did not show greater IQ decline when compared to their abstinent siblings. Surprisingly, the experts found that the IQ scores of many twins declined during the study, dropping several points. The marijuana smokers experienced the same IQ drop as their sober siblings.

“Observed declines in measured IQ may not be a direct result of marijuana exposure but rather attributable to familial factors that underlie both marijuana initiation and low intellectual attainment,” the journal reported.

The study has also been criticised on the ground that it does not consider the amount of marijuana taken. It has also been said that even if there is connecting factor between IQ and marijuana intake, it cannot be said that heavy use of marijuana during adolescent years does not pose health hazards.

A psychiatrist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Sarah Feldstein Ewing, said that it is possible that the findings are accurate though the study represents a “missed opportunity to get a truly fine-grained analysis” of the contribution of cannabis and other substances to IQ.

Meanwhile, a pot equity private firm chief surmised that legalising cannabis in Mexico can bring medical marijuana growers and entrepreneurs $2.45 billion a year.