Expert: Don’t Blame Cannabis Alone for IQ Decline in Youth, Cites Foreign Research

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thailandTHC > News > Expert: Don’t Blame Cannabis Alone for IQ Decline in Youth, Cites Foreign Research

Last updated on June 25th, 2024 at 09:56 am

  • Driving The News: Dr. Panthep Puapongphan emphasizes that parenting and environmental factors contribute to youth IQ, not just cannabis usage.
  • Why It Matters: Misattributing the causes of IQ decline can lead to misguided policies and ignore other critical factors such as economic and family issues.
  • The Big Picture: Research from the United States suggests that cannabis legalization correlates with positive outcomes like increased graduation rates and reduced use of more harmful substances.

BANGKOK, THAILAND – On June 18, Dr. PANTHEP PUAPONGPHAN, Dean of the College of Oriental Medicine at Rangsit University, urged for a balanced perspective on the impact of cannabis on youth IQ. Addressing recent concerns, Dr. Panthep highlighted that factors such as parenting, economic stress, and family problems play a significant role in youth development, rather than cannabis alone.

Dr. Panthep pointed to foreign research indicating that after cannabis legalization, there were positive educational outcomes. For example, studies from Colorado, USA, showed that while some youth did experiment with cannabis, overall, there was a decrease in alcohol and tobacco use, and an increase in graduation rates.

He emphasized that the issue is not a lack of laws but rather the need for strict enforcement against adults who illegally sell cannabis, alcohol, or tobacco to minors. “Cannabis is less addictive and less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, but misuse and illegal sales to youth are real concerns that need to be addressed with rigorous law enforcement,” he said.

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2016) and the journal Addiction (2018) supports the notion that factors other than cannabis, such as family and economic issues, are significant determinants of youth IQ levels. Dr. Panthep highlighted that these studies, including twin studies, found no significant impact of cannabis on IQ, instead pointing to family problems as the major contributing factor.

He called for more nuanced research and policy-making that considers all variables affecting youth development. “We need to focus on improving educational, economic, and social conditions to truly address the root causes of the issues facing our youth,” he concluded.

Contributing Sources: Siamrath