That’s the question many of us would love to ask after Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) said last week he didn’t support the legalization of marijuana, because it makes you dumb and lazy.
“I think people who use marijuana all the time lose IQ points. I think they lose their drive to show up for work,” Sen. Paul said, reports Eric W. Dolan at The Raw Story, showing that his attitudes toward women aren’t the only ones stuck in the 20th Century.
For those who are more interested in actual scientific studies than in the ill-considered opinions of some hayseed politician, medical science has shown that marijuana is actually good for the brain, both as a neuroprotectant — helping protect brain cells against damage from harmful chemicals — and also through its property of causing neurogenesis, or the growth of new brain cells.
As for “losing your drive to show up for work,” the biggest study of its kind done on that question — the Jamaica Study, headed by Dr. Vera Rubin in the mid-1970s, and chronicled in her book Ganja in Jamaica: The Effects of Marijuana Use — showed that workers who smoke marijuana work harder and more efficiently than their non-toking brethren.
The “amotivational syndrome” is a hoary old chestnut that has been so thoroughly debunked, only someone quite ignorant about cannabis would even bring it up as an anti-pot talking point. But then again, this is Rand Paul we’re talking about, so OK.
Senator Paul did at, at least, show some faint glimmerings of actual mental activity. He said that he believes states should be allowed to decide whether they want to legalize cannabis or not.
“What I think is that if your kid or one of his friends goes out and gets caught with marijuana, sticking them in prison is a big mistake,” Paul told Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution. “So I don’t really believe in prison sentences for these minor nonviolent drug offenses, but I’m not willing to go all the way and say it is a good idea either.”
Paul, to the great disappointment of many of his libertarian supporters who previously seemed to need to project their hero fantasies on him, recently said he doesn’t support drug legalization. Some drug policy reformers view him as an ally — because of his support for legislation to at least scale back the War On Drugs — but others view him as a sideshow distraction at best, by turns entertaining, annoying and embarrassing.
Salon: “Is Rand Paul As Dumb As He Sounds?“
Ethics Alarms: “Rand Paul’s Dumb, Wasteful and Irresponsible Filibuster“
Political Ruminations: Rand Paul Quotes
Facebook: Kentuckians Against Rand Paul