Legalization & Addiction

Dr. Phil Denounces Weed on His Show and Claims It Makes People Dumber

He said smoking weed is like “opening your computer up and pouring water inside.”

Celebrity talk show host Dr. Phil (who is not a doctor) made some questionable claims about cannabis on a recent episode of his show, saying that it can stunt children’s brain development and negatively affect IQ levels.  
 
On the October 29 episode, the TV host counseled a mother and her 11-year-old son, whom she said suffers from dangerous temper tantrums. She also claimed that he smokes weed and provided a photo of him holding a gun with smoke coming out of his mouth.
 
In regard to the child’s cannabis use, Dr. Phil said, “When you’re young, your brain is forming it’s changing every day.”
 
“Your brain grows until you’re 25 at least and it’s constantly changing. When you get to be 18, 19, 20, it’s actually pruning itself back,” he continued. “When you smoke marijuana it’s like opening your computer up and pouring water inside, a lot of things short out and it connects where it’s not supposed to and really creates problems.”
 
He also claimed that even occasional cannabis smokers “will look at a multi-point drop in IQ.” But many scientific studies have shown little evidence that cannabis use during adolescence is associated with a lower IQ.
 
Other doctors weighed in on Dr. Phil’s dubious claims about cannabis and pointed to more serious addictions plaguing society.
 
“Maybe Dr. Phil should redirect his hyperbole to alcohol, tobacco, opioids, and benzos, all of which are considerably more harmful, as is exploiting your trouble preteen on national television,” Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Clinical Pharmacy Head David Juurlink said.

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