Right before the final Senate vote on Bill C-45 or the Cannabis Act, a 10-year study on cannabis use among Canadian youth says it has apparently revealed on Thursday some troubling findings.
Kara Thompson, a psychology professor at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., says the study followed cannabis users as young as 12 for a decade.
She says it shows people who start using marijuana at a young age and continue using it often during adolescence and beyond are more likely than their peers to have risky patterns associated with poorer health outcomes. They also achieve less occupational and educational success in young adulthood.
The study, published by the Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science and Prevention Science, examined data from the Victoria Healthy Youth Survey, which followed a cohort of 662 young people, who were between the ages of 12 and 18 at the start of the study, from 2003 to 2013.
Bonnie Leadbeater, a psychology professor at the University of Victoria, says with legalization around the corner it’s important to broaden our understanding of cannabis use in young Canadians.
“Our hope is that this work sheds light on how young Canadians use cannabis across adolescence and young adulthood,” says Leadbeater, who participated in the studies with Thompson and two other researchers. “We now understand better what predicts different patterns of use and how these patterns contribute to mental health and well-being of youth.”
High achievers who smoked weed
However, pro-marijuana advocates dub linking cannabis use with low performance as propaganda or claim these studies as inconclusive.
They found that by the time the students hit their late teens, the school-smart ones were 50 per cent more likely to use marijuana occasionally and nearly twice as likely to use it persistently than those who didn’t do as well at school.
While the study shows mere correlation and not causality, there are some high-achiever figures who admitted marijuana use during their teens until adulthood.
Walter Isaacson, a U.S. author, who wrote a book about Steve Jobs published in 2011, said the American entrepreneur and business magnate, experienced weed for the first time when he was 15.
“I got stoned for the first time that summer. I was fifteen, and then began using pot regularly,” Isaacson cited Jobs as saying.
In his biography, the author said Jobs, who died at the age of 56 after suffering from cancer, likely had an IQ roughly 160 or above.
Meanwhile, Oliver Sacks, a neurologist described “one of the great clinical writers of the 20th century,” is also one of the many examples of high-achievers who praised weed.
In his book, “Hallucinations,” Sacks wrote about his first time smoking marijuana:
“I was fascinated that one could have such perceptual changes, and also that they went with a certain feeling of significance, an almost numinous feeling. I’m strongly atheist by disposition, but nonetheless, when this happened, I couldn’t help thinking, ‘That must be what the hand of God is like.’”
Bill Gates, the second richest person in the world, is yet another example of a smart individual who smoked pot. He believes in the medicinal aspect of marijuana so much he launched his marijuana company, New Light CBD.
At the end of the day, a person’s biochemical individuality dictates their relationship to weed.