What Scientific Studies Say About Marijuana: PART 1

If you’re here, chances are you’re interested in knowing everything there is to know about marijuana. We like to share all perspectives on what some suggest is nature’s miracle drug, and not all science seems to agree with those who like to use it. We decided to offer this comprehensive platform to discuss what scientific studies have discovered over the years. 

Before we start, we’d like to point out one thing: the scientific process isn’t just about one study but rather, a body of studies. What does that mean? Generally, when one study is published, 10,000 scientists will jump all over it, say “here’s the 18 million things you did wrong that I can do better,” and then publish a study of their own to either affirm or disprove the results of the last study. That’s the reason why you should believe the science of climate change, for example. The studies all say the same thing, or at least lean in the same general direction.

What we’re saying is this: we don’t sanction any of these scientific studies. We aren’t here to discuss whether or not they’re valid. We are here to say that before making conclusions based on any of these studies you should ask the question: do other studies say the same thing or similar?

We’ll start with the research of Dr. Robert Galbraith Heath, who in 1974 published a Tulane University study that found marijuana caused brain damage. The study has since been largely debunked by other scientists who acknowledge its inherent biases and flaws. But it provided President Ronald Reagan with a great reason to keep marijuana illegal or start the war on drugs.

The findings were based on animal testing. Martin Lee wrote in Smoke Signals: A social History of Marijuana: “Shackled in air tight gas masks, Heath’s monkeys were [regularly] forced to inhale the equivalent of 63 high-potency marijuana cigarettes in five minutes. Lo and behold, the primates suffered brain damage from suffocation and carbon monoxide poisoning, but Heath attributed the results to marijuana toxicity.”