May 9, 2008

You know what makes me depressed? Reading the news.

ggdub_coolshaker.jpg I'll leave it to Jack Shafer to untangle everything that's wrong with the AP's reprinted White House press release on The Dangers of Marijuana: This Time It's Actually True, Trust Us.

But just a couple of things off the top of my head. According to the first graf, marijuana "can lead to dependency, mental illness or suicidal thoughts."

The supposed evidence:

"A teen who has been depressed at some point in the past year is more than twice as likely to have used marijuana as teens who have not reported being depressed."


"Teens who smoke pot at least once a month over a yearlong period are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts than nonusers"

Ergo, smoking marijuana leads to suicidal thoughts! Or, perhaps, depression does. No, that can't be it. Really, one little data point could answer this question: are depressed teens who smoke more likely to consider suicide than depressed teens who don't? Guess they didn't have room in the budget for that question.

I'd also be curious as to whether the suicidal thoughts increase or decrease immediately after smoking. I mean, if depressed kids are becoming "dependent" on marijuana, might it be because marijuana helps them feel better?

Even taking the study at face value, which is never wise with a government study on drugs, the logic makes no sense. "Gee, depressed people take Prozac. Sometimes a lot. And sometimes they think about suicide. We'd better ban Prozac!"

Oh, and by the way, is there any chance these kids also drink alcohol?

Posted by Daniel Radosh


this was exactly the thought i had when i read this this morning. can someone help the government understand the difference between correlation and causation? now if you'll excuse me, i'm going to do one more bong hit and the go cash my welfare check.

What are you? Some kind of blogger?

My favorite: "Marijuana is a more consequential substance of abuse than our culture has treated it in the last 20 years," said John Walters, director of the office. "This is not just youthful experimentation that they'll get over as we used to think in the past."

Yes, it's a harmless pastime millions of productive people engage in for decades, even well into their not-at-all-premature dotage. And I say this as someone who doesn't "partake."

As for the depression and suicide claims, it brings to mind this retarded study: http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20080507/sc_livescience/conservativeshappierthanliberals;_ylt=At4o5vUhYexb5fnosEWYD6wDW7oF
Putting the two together I guess you might conclude conservatives cognitively lobotomize themselves but liberals resort to weed.

um...I forgot what I was going to say.

Oh yeah, all the hype about pot is having an interesting effect: My 81-year-old dad (a rock rib Republican, who in his prime was a Nixon-lover and hippie-hater) asked me recently: Can you get me some pot? I've always wanted to try it. I hear you don't get a hang over."

As Drudge would say "Developing..."

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