The President Says Marijuana Lowers IQ – Is That True?

It doesn’t sound like President Donald Trump will advocate for marijuana legalization anytime soon, although Lev Parnas and maybe Donald Trump Jr. seem open to the idea.

In the now-famous leaked audio that Parnas has given House of Representative investigators, Trump talks about firing then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. But more interestingly to the cannabis curious, he also spoke about marijuana.

At one point during the dinner, Parnas tells Trump that marijuana legalization is “the future, no matter how you look at it,” according to the Miami Herald. Trump disagrees and mentions statistics from Colorado, the first state to start legal recreational marijuana sales.

“In Colorado, they have more accidents,” Trump said in the audio. “It does cause an IQ problem. You lose IQ points.”

But does it? And do you?

Federal Study Shows IQ Not Impacted

In an oft-quoted paper from the National Institute of Drug Abuse,  the agency reported that studies have found using marijuana as a youth can have an impact on some cognitive abilities. However, it also states: “People who only began using marijuana heavily in adulthood did not lose IQ points.”

The NIDA also reported that two other studies “did not support a causal relationship between marijuana use and IQ loss,” even for those who used cannabis at a younger age. The studies suggested that the lower IQ was not the result of marijuana use, but because of family genetic factors and living environment.

It didn’t take long for marijuana advocates to respond to Trump’s comments. Peter Marcus, communications director for Boulder-based cannabis company Terrapin Care Station, told Colorado Politics that Trump’s comment is “silly” and added, “”It’s hard to really take the president’s comment too seriously because it’s not based in any sense of reality.”

Marcus also pointed out that Trump has been “willing to engage with stakeholders” on issues surrounding legalization, including banking reform.

Donald Trump Jr. Appears To Disagree With His Dad

It’s worth noting that after Trump made his comments, a man identified as his son, Donald Trump Jr., then said that he believes “alcohol does much more damage” and later added, “You don’t see people beating their wives on marijuana. It’s just different.”

The conversation about marijuana happens around the 45:30 mark on the taped dinner conversation.

As for the comment on car accidents, an American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) study found that legalization of adult-use marijuana in Colorado and Washington led to no increase in motor vehicle fatalities when compared to eight “control states” where marijuana is not legal.

An earlier AJPH study had found that traffic fatalities had decreased in states where medical marijuana is legal.

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