Marijuana: Mothers Who Smoke, and a New Study on Pot’s Effect on Adolescents
I’ve written about marijuana in several posts such as Marijuana, the Most Commonly Used Drug (May 2011) and The Controversy Over Legalizing Marijuana (June 2012). But pot is constantly in the news (as are most drugs, right?), and two items from last month might interest you.
First, as if there’s not enough of a controversy about pot smoking, in August a few Moms admitted in print to doing it. One wrote a jazzy essay on the popular women’s site Jezebel. Also, on TodayMoms, an NBC news site, a headline almost shouted Pot-smoking Moms Tired of Being Judged by Wine Drinkers.
Sounds like these women want their 15 minutes of fame and this is their way of getting it. They’ve found something edgy, and like some of the authors of the Details magazine articles I mentioned in my last post, they ran with it. Not that I don’t believe them — pot smoking is so rampant today that these women are documenting what’s really happening. As one of them pointed out, it wasn’t long ago that articles were appearing about Moms drinking during play dates.
I was socializing with several colleagues recently and learned that one had been stoned on pot all through college. Yet another said she still smoked every day. I almost fell off my barstool. As if I needed more proof that this “harmless” drug is so prevalent. I had no idea. By the way, yes, we were drinking, which I’ve called the most socially acceptable form of substance abuse. But none of us drinks to excess, as far as I know, so I’m not being hypocritical. I’ve also said that marijuana also seems to be just as socially acceptable, lately, which is part of the impetus to legalize it.
Recently, Steven Van Zandt, a member of Bruce Springsteen’s band, said in a New Yorker article that Bruce has never taken drugs. Ever. It has to do with his father being bipolar, if I remember correctly, and Bruce’s fear of having inherited a tendency toward the disorder. I would never have guessed that about the man who is an icon in an industry known for rampant drug abuse.
Also last month, in news on ABC TV about a study done in New Zealand, viewers learned that kids who frequently smoke pot before age 18 experience a decrease in intelligence, specifically, an “eight-point drop between the ages of 13 and 38.” The people in the study smoked at least four times a week and were studied over two decades. Those who didn’t smoke during those years gained a point.
The lead researcher said, “Collectively, these findings are consistent with speculation that cannabis use in adolescence, when the brain is undergoing critical development, may have neurotoxic effects.” So much for what another friend of mine said to me recently—“They say it’s not as bad as drinking alcohol.”
Despite the study’s findings, I bet if you ask most kids who are heavy pot smokers, they’ll tell you that they just don’t care. If only this study could make a difference. Somehow.