The majority of the anti-pot claims that pop up in your newsfeed on a daily basis, like marijuana is as addictive as heroin, or that weed causes lower IQ points, are supported by weak science, according to a new report released by the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy.
In the study entitled “State of Evidence: Cannabis Use and Regulation,” researchers paint a comprehensive portrait of the most common claims made in regards to cannabis use and the power of their supporting evidence.
Interestingly, researchers found that most of these declarations are cherry picked in a manner intended to bamboozle the public – contributing to policies supposedly drafted in the interest of public safety that are rooted in misinformation.
Researchers say that claims about marijuana often “confuse correlation and causation,” and that just because “scientific evidence may find associations between two events, this does not indicate that one necessarily caused the other.”
Furthermore, due to a lack of control when it comes to the many variables “means that in many cases, we cannot conclude that a particular outcome was caused by cannabis use or regulation.”
Researchers suggest that most of these claims regarding marijuana use or reasons for its continued prohibition remain inconclusive because of “insufficient evidence.”
In a statement obtained by the Huffington Post, Dr. Carl Hart, a member of the ICSDP board, said that claims like marijuana “acts as a gateway drug” and that it “can cause potential lethal damage to the heart and arteries” are not supported by solid science.
When it comes to marijuana being as addictive as heroin, for example, Hart says that the science clearly shows that “less than 1 in 10” regular pot users are at a risk for developing a dependence. For heroin, the statistics are 1 in 4.
“False claims like these hamper public understanding of the issues and ultimately lead to harmful policies,” Hart said.
While researchers found “moderate” evidence that weed is much stronger today than it was thirty years ago, they argue, “this claim overstates the existing evidence.” Meanwhile, as for the claim that marijuana impairs cognitive function, another assertion with “moderate” evidence, researchers said, “the evidence to date remains inconsistent regarding the severity, persistence, and reversibility of cognitive effects.”
While the majority of the evidence still being used today to convince the masses that marijuana is evil stems from the reefer madness propaganda that has circulated throughout the United States for decades, researchers are uncovering attributes of this medicinal herb everyday that builds a stronger case against its Schedule I dangerous drug status under the Controlled Substances Act.
You can read the full ICSDP report here.