Middle-Aged Drug Users Have Sharper Minds
50-year-olds with history of toking scored higher on memory tests
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2012 3:45 AM CST
Updated Jan 8, 2012 7:08 AM CST
Pro-marijuana activist Rich Paul takes a puff of a marijuana joint in front of the Statehouse in Concord, N.H., Tuesday, April 20,2010.    (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

(Newser) – Past or present drug use doesn't seem to damage middle-aged brains, a new study finds. British researchers studied the mental sharpness of thousands of 50-year-old subjects, and found that those who had used illicit drugs—mainly marijuana—actually performed better than others on tests of memory and other brain functions, Reuters reports. Around a quarter of test subjects said they had taken drugs at some point in their lives; 6% were still using drugs in their 40s.

The middle-aged tokers may have scored higher than others because the drug users tended to have a higher education level than non-users, the researchers say. "The results seem to suggest that past or even current illicit drug use is not necessarily associated with impaired cognitive functioning in early middle age," the lead researcher says. "However, our results do not exclude possible harmful effects in some individuals who may be heavily exposed to drugs over longer periods of time."

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Showing 3 of 175 comments
Jan 8, 2012 6:54 PM CST
And the reason for this is obvious. When older users started smoking pot, hey look... something shiny!!
Jan 6, 2012 5:46 AM CST
Science ... a pack of lies agree on (unless it supports something you are in favor of.) Where's our sweet little friend hopey with the 'killer' new avatar?
Jan 5, 2012 10:37 PM CST
"because the drug users tended to have a higher education level than non-users" BULL CRAP!!!....It's because Marijuana is nature's way of saying "You're gonna love this and it's good for you"