Pubdate: Thu, 01 Sep 2016
Source: Reno News & Review (NV)
Column: Upfront
Copyright: 2016, Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: Dennis Myers


On Aug. 22, the Tahoe Daily Tribune ran a story about Incline Village 
prohibitionist Jason Guinasso. (The piece previously appeared in the 
North Lake Tahoe Bonanza.) The article carried this quote from 
Guinasso: "At the end of the day, when we just committed to the 
biggest tax increase toward education, now we're legalizing marijuana 
to contribute to a lack of performance and addiction? ... It impacts 
our ability to educate."

The article also reported, "He [Guinasso] cites a study from Duke 
University that tells how a person's IQ drops 8 percentage points by 
using marijuana."

The Duke study Guinasso referenced was published Aug. 27, 2012 in the 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Part of the scientific method is reproducibility-repeating an 
experiment or study, either by the same researcher or an independent 
source, to determine if the same results can be duplicated. Had 
Guinasso followed up, he would have learned that, so far, no one has 
been able to duplicate the Duke results. In fact, a few months later, 
the same publication reported, "Although it would be too strong to 
say that the results have been discredited, the methodology is flawed 
and the causal inference drawn from the results premature."

Subsequently, two much larger studies by University College of 
London-in October 2014 and January 2016-found no evidence of any link 
between lower IQ and marijuana use in the young.

Among other things, the subsequent research has found that the Duke 
study was flawed by a small sample of heavy users and because it did 
not allow for environmental factors associated with low socioeconomic 
status, mental illness, and use of other drugs such as tobacco and 
alcohol. The London studies both had larger groups of test subjects.

In any event, the issue has little to do with Nevada Question Two, 
which makes underage use of marijuana illegal at section two, lines D 
and E, but prohibitionists keep using children as a campaign argument 
because voters tend to react strongly to such tactics.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom