All the independent, peer-reviewed research confirms what I and other experts have observed for years. Cannabis users significantly underachieve in education, their careers, and have significant problems with their most significant relationships. Two recent and eye-opening studies published in the medical journals Addiction, and Neuropharmacology respectively reveal gross deficits in cognitive ability (IQ) executive functioning, attentiveness, inhibition of impulsiveness and motivation. Continue reading Marijuana Users Grossly Underachieve→
The Danish study determined that parental factors most likely to create either violent or suicidal tendencies in adulthood are 1) parents who used marijuana; 2) having parents who are sociopaths or 3) having parents who attempt suicide. In other words, marijuana abuse is far more serious in predicting adverse behavioral outcomes than other parental mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder and alcoholism.
What is Known about ACEs?
Because the research is so extensive, we are coming to understand some of the precise mechanisms by which biography turns into biology. Heart disease, diabetes, all forms of auto-immune disease (a growing problem), addiction and obesity are connected to high ACE scores. While choices such as smoking, maintaining a good or bad diet and exercise are within a person’s control, ACEs are not.
Today there are more than 1500 studies about how ACEs affect the mental and physical health. The exploration into ACEs began with an accidental discovery by Dr. Vincent Feletti of Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. His obese patients who had high rates of cancer and heart disease also had high rates of childhood trauma. Dr. Feretti teamed up with Dr. Robert Anda of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) whose specialty was the link between heart disease and depression.
Drs. Anda and Feretti conducted a huge study on childhood trauma and disease between 1995 and 1997. The information they discovered can be revolutionary in terms of treatments linking mental and physical health. They found that 2/3 of those who suffer chronic disease had traumatic childhoods. In other words, genetics is not the only predictor of susceptibility to disease; experiences also play a crucial role.
Victims of trauma will often use marijuana, alcohol and other drugs to create a numbing effect, and to allow disassociation. Marijuana and heroin have the greatest numbing effect, writes Janina Fisher, PhD., in a paper on Traumatic Abuse and Addiction.
When the numbing is too much and the victims need to feel energized and alive again, stimulants such as cocaine and opiates can be used. Other chronic marijuana users become anxious and get prescriptions for Xanax to cope with anxiety. The need to use multiple drugs becomes a cycle, and the addicts of today tend to develop multiple addictions.
This fragile coping mechanism often blows up when drugs users have families. Raising children and needing to care for another person will expose the inability of drug-abusing parents to maintain an equilibrium.
Hurd concludes that future generations who use marijuana are more susceptible to heroin addiction. Children of drug users often carry a legacy of having been abused or neglected. Since they grew up in homes where drug use was normalized, they will tend to do the same.
Another problem is that medical marijuana practitioners are encouraging pregnant women to smoke pot for morning sickness and for breastfeeding. Dr. Steven Simerville explains the reasons why we should be concerned about the mental development of children whose mothers did not protect them from THC during crucial stages of life.