GOOD

An important new study tried to figure out if ‘bad’ kids smoke pot or if smoking pot makes kids behave badly.

There’s very little research on the effects of marijuana.

THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

When it comes to cannabis, there are a number of powerful misconceptions.


For years, it was called a gateway drug, but evidence suggests that’s far from true. The biggest gateway has always been and continues to be, alcohol. But in recent years, some advocates of legalization have also downplayed its potential physical and mental health risks, including Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD).

However, one area where just about everyone has agreed is that obviously smoking pot is terrible for teens. And with teenagers now smoking marijuana more regularly than cigarettes, it’s a public health problem that must be addressed.

Well, guess what? It turns out that widely help belief might also be wrong. Or, at least in need of some serious revisions.

The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania just completed a new study to examine whether smoking pot during adolescence leads to misbehavior. It turns out the “smoking pot is bad for kids” common sense isn’t as black and white as we might think.

Interestingly, the study found: “cannabis use among teens does not appear to lead to greater conduct problems or greater affiliation with other teens who smoke cannabis, associations that previous research had suggested to be possible.”

Conversely, the study suggests that teens who already have behavioral challenges are disproportionately drawn to using marijuana, which may skew the previous research, implying a correlation between cannabis use and “bad” behavior.

Annenberg Public Policy Center

From the study:

“Cannabis use in adolescence does not appear to lead to greater conduct problems or association with cannabis‐using peers apart from pre‐existing conduct problems. Instead, adolescents who (1) increasingly affiliate with cannabis‐using peers or (2) have increasing levels of conduct problems are more likely to use cannabis, and this cascading chain of events appears to predict cannabis use disorder in emerging adulthood.”

Of course, there’s room for nuance when discussing the impact of any mind-altering substance. But this study should make a lot of people rethink their assumptions about cannabis use – both as a threat to young adults but also those who think it can help change, or dilute mental health challenges for other people.

The more we learn about cannabis the more clear it becomes that it’s a far safer, and potentially beneficial, substance than nearly every other “drug,” particularly alcohol. That doesn’t mean we should ignore the risks and complications it poses to some people.

Articles
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Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

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Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

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In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

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Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

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Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

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