Grace Dent: So cannabis affects your IQ. Or is it the hours spent eating Peperami and watching Cheech and Chong?

Stoners just trudge on and on – often from teen years to adult life – in one long spliffy groundhog day

Share

It's official: heavy cannabis use as a teenager makes us stupider adults, knocking an average of eight points off your IQ. For today's grown-ups, those are the missing points fooling you into remembering Cypress Hill's whiny stoner dirge as "really excellent music" (it doesn't, it sounds like a man with a sinusitis reading sections of the phonebook) or believe Up In Smoke by Cheech and Chong (two twonks in a van repeating themselves endlessly) as a comedy classic.

If you spent the Nineties doctoring WD-40 cans, your parent's best cutlery set, fish tanks, demi-johns and buckets in a bid to ensure your personal weed level never fell below "really bloody mangled", there's a chance your A-level revision for French verb endings fell somewhere short of "slapdash".

We're talking heavy cannabis usage here. Not the majority of British 30somethings who had a few honks on a clumsy three-skinner around the back of a school disco, felt a bit wonky and spent a surreal journey home in their mother's Volvo estate listening to their mother's Daniel O' Donnell CD through a freshly blown mind. You guys are OK. Don't hand yourself in at A&E just yet. Tiny amounts of cannabis don't really do anyone a lot of harm. They just might make you walk a long way at 3am to buy Mr Kipling's individual apple pies or consume something unwise like a Peperami.

Continual large amounts of cannabis, however, makes people quite boring, curiously tired, underachieving and cosy in the eco-climate of their less than lemon-fresh underwear. It's one of the worst drugs. At least MDMA tempts one to leave the house and enter clubs or dark raves, chat to strangers and imagine oneself, temporarily, as a heavenly creature lighting up dance floors.

At least acid tends eventually to give people a big scare that stops them ever repeating the drug. Heavy cannabis users just trudge on and on –often from teen years to adult life – in one long spliffy groundhog day. Men: try adding "I smoke a lot of weed" to your internet dating profile and enjoy your long stoned walk in the sexual Gobi desert. Sane women have no interest in long-term heavy cannabis users as weeping "But, Zane, you said we'd go to Ikea the last five weekends!" at a lump in a tracksuit with unclipped werewolf-style toenails is terminally wearing.

"Freeing the weed" is not one of my political views. Weed made me listen to Morcheeba. I can't forgive it for that. Obviously, trendy liberal types like me (apparently this is what I am, according to my mailbag) aren't supposed to say this as this would be "getting tough on drugs", which I have no plans to do. Massive weed smokers don't need our anger or penal strength, they need our gentle and merciless derision. I suggest you start by typing the words "Puff Puff Give" by HannaH's Field into YouTube and savour the toke-tastic twaddle of a pro-weed smoker bashing away on bongos, proclaiming that weed "comes from the earth, the earth can't hurt" (HannaH was stoned the day her school was teaching her about Deadly Nightcap mushrooms and the contaminated earth around Sellafield).

Dear God, I saw the greatest minds of my generation fail their A-levels and still get thirds in sociology, and then sit in a ropey tattoo parlour having a green cannabis leaf inked onto a forearm with the legend "LEGALISE CANNABIS" beneath. "What do you think?" my ex-boyfriend asked, slumped on the shop's back step, haphazardly erecting a single skinner of Red Leb lest he gain a clear mind for one minute and realise he'd neither sent off his Ucas form nor changed his Kappa hoodie top, a Jackson Pollock of curry-sauce flecks, hot-rock holes and WD-40 stains, in weeks. "It looks like a shit shamrock," I said. I split up with him soon after and it took him eight weeks to work it out as Super Mario All-Stars had just come out. I'm certain he lost part of his IQ along the way and missed out on student debts and pressure. And he also lost me as a girlfriend. Actually, some will say things worked out for him quite nicely.

The pink menace to our daughters

A tsunami of sarcasm lies underneath the Amazon product page for Bic Crystal for Her, a set of pretty pens in pastel colours for delicate fillies like me, who can't use a macho normal black pen to write columns, lest my manicure ruptures and my ovaries hiss. The product reviews, left by spiky, hilariously strident feminists, are worth a 10-minute sitdown with a coffee. I wish I felt as sure that all this pink isn't what women actually, deep down want.

Lord knows, I tried with my books for young adults to make the covers ballsy, in neutral colours, without glitter and girly faff. I banged the desk in marketing meetings like a less affable Andrea Dworkin and demanded that young girls weren't demeaned. Then I'd speak at events and see girls float across with moonpie eyes to the books I'd permitted to be pink with a picture of a tiara, saying "Muuuuumy, this one!" Ever the put-upon-Pankhurst, I've cajoled my niece from a baby to see herself as equal, assertive and able to do anything a man does. A trip to a toy shop at the weekend saw her comb every inch of the shopfloor and choose a Pink Mini Hetty Hoover. "Why do you want a pink hoover?" I moaned. "It's pink and I can pretend to tidy up." You can't leave Amazon comments under children, but my thoughts were as black as tar.

twitter.com/@gracedent

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

History Teacher

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Seconda...

** Female PE Teacher Urgently Required In Liverpool **

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

** Cover Supervisors Urgently Required In Knowsley **

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Seconda...

Java developer - (Intershop Enfinity)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Java Developer...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Photo issued by Flinders University of an artist's impression of a Microbrachius dicki mating scene  

One look at us Scots is enough to show how it was our fishy ancestors who invented sex

Donald MacInnes
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp  

Oscar Pistorius sentence: Judge Masipa might have shown mercy, but she has delivered perfect justice

Chris Maume
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album