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Kids with 'smart' parents smoke more weed: study

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 22 Nov 2010, 15:58

Published: 22 Nov 2010 15:58 GMT+01:00

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The survey of 600 students at six high schools in Skåne in southern Sweden shows that one in four students with university-educated parents has tried cannabis, while only one in five with parents who completed only compulsory schooling, have done so.

”It is a little strange. Smoking in general and drinking tends to be more widespread among children of parents with lower levels of education. The results were a little surprising,” Lisen Sylwan at the institute told The Local on Monday.

The survey also shows that there is a difference between the levels of knowledge about the drug between the two groups. The children of those with university degrees fared less well in a test, with only a third aware, for example, that you can lose your driving licence if you are found with cannabis.

”We have launched a programme to educate the students, divided into eight areas, such as consequences, legal implications, health and ideological aspects,” Sylwan said.

The survey showed that knowledge of the health implications of using hash and marijuana is generally deficient, with almost half unaware that regular use can impact memory, speech and the comprehension of instructions, the institute explained in a statement.

The study was conducted on 600 students at four high-schools in Kristianstad and two in Malmö who were asked to answer questions on their own habits and the habits of their friends.

Story continues below…

The survey is part of the ”Test your limits” (Testa dina gränser) project which aims to increase knowledge around recreational drugs and involving ten municipalities in the county during the autumn in cooperation with the Public Health Institute, Skåne County and The Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAN).

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:12 November 22, 2010 by texaslass
I do not find this news surprising at all. I believe that it comes down to money. Cigarettes and alcohol are relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain. If one's parents earn more, then the recreational drugs of choice will be the more expensive ones that are more difficult to obtain, like cannabis or cocaine.
17:22 November 22, 2010 by politicallyincorrect
Because they know that 'Alchohol harms more than heroine and other such drugs'... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11660210
18:06 November 22, 2010 by Swedesmith
Well, I must be a dumb parent because if I catch my daughters smoking weed, I'm gonna put my boot up their backside. Just like my parents did to me when I was a kid.
18:10 November 22, 2010 by Ranjit T Edward
Alcohol and tobacoo are on top of the list for killer habits. Weed, did not make it to the list, even in a country like The Netherlands. It maybe that kids with Uni educated parents, are more aware that nearly all the warnings on weed in Sweden are just myths.
18:52 November 22, 2010 by Carbarrister
I suspect the university-educated parents are losers and with their children they are carrying on the tradition. Being university educated does not equate to smart.
19:01 November 22, 2010 by Lukestar1991
It is true because it is the pathetic smart ass toffs and snobs who think its 'cool' to smoke that crap, mostly because Mummy and Daddy provide an endless supply of cash and applaud them and give them an endless supply of self esteem, unlike the ordinary working class children who have no confidence whatsoever.
19:24 November 22, 2010 by Njal
Humans have been consuming alchohol for millenia, and proabably using cannabis for longer than that, certainly longer than human notions of being 'cool' existed. I'm not trying to justify use of pot, but compared with other alternatives, (booze, smokes, cocaine, etc...), pot is far less harmful.

However true this dynamic may be in Sweden, I don't think it would be true for Canada (i.e. both rich/poor/smart/dumb smoke pot). And I'm sure if you were to compare it to other 'acceptable drugs', you'd find it the least destructive, though still harmful for your health overall.

As long as a person minds their own business, does not harm others, and understands the risks involved, then you gotta let them make their own decisions.
21:21 November 22, 2010 by idylie
I should smoke more weed
21:21 November 22, 2010 by booka

What a dumb thing to do :-P
21:32 November 22, 2010 by Andy from NYC
I wish my kids would share with me...
21:32 November 22, 2010 by BillyB
really is the most insane of all laws...

alcohol freely available and the extreme (but very common) result is alcoholism, fighting, all manner of illnesses, general abusivenes, huge drain on health care services so on..

smoking weed illegal, the extreme result being lots of giggling and increased consumption of hob knobs and kit kats.
22:42 November 22, 2010 by Dr. Dillner
˙ʇɐɥʇ oʇ ʞuıɹp ll,ı
23:14 November 22, 2010 by ilockitdown
everything is bad in large quantitites, marijuana is not to bad, doesn't have as bad side effects as alcohol either if used once in a while.
23:39 November 22, 2010 by Authentica
I feel a bit dumber after reading this article..
05:03 November 23, 2010 by engagebrain
"We have launched a programme to educate the students, divided into eight areas, such as consequences, legal implications, health and ideological aspects," Sylwan said.

The section on health would of course be an almost complete fiction. Given the total non epidemic of cannabis related health problems. Indeed any risk is associated with the consequences smoking.
08:36 November 23, 2010 by mikewhite
Can we correct the headline ?

Should be 'more likely to smoke ...' rather than 'smoke more ...'
08:54 November 23, 2010 by idylie
I understand those kids, they have discovered through their parents what a weight it is to have too much brain in that world so they try to kill it
09:43 November 23, 2010 by xavidx

˙ʇɐɥʇ oʇ ʞuıɹp ll,ı

10:32 November 23, 2010 by murar1
It is strange that the one very important social question is bandied about with a complete lack of knowledge from fact and study.

also that it is hidden under the carpet like it was so much dirt. why is it not up for open debate why do we have a blockade of information on this fenominen .

the state spends a huge amount on the "american" war on drugs without even an inquiry into why, or is it the right path. here we have the dumbing down of a subject that is very important to society as a whole,

At the moment current laws make the street value of drugs in general very lucrative, it also criminalise an otherwise law abiding innocent, and has in the past ruined the career of many. Music concerts with gatherings of 10's of thousands (since the sixties with no violence in comparison to a few thousand football fans holding the Capital under siege on alcohol, and still we get ignorant of the cuff comments like"Well, I must be a dumb parent because if I catch my daughters smoking weed, I'm gonna put my boot up their backside. Just like my parents did to me when I was a kid"
10:56 November 23, 2010 by samwise
the study doesn't sound very convincing to me, only 600 people, all come from the same area, the difference is 20% vs. 25%. I think it's an interesting study though.
11:19 November 23, 2010 by donutwallah
This is likely because these kids are smart enough to realise that this absurd prohibition has had its day.
11:41 November 23, 2010 by rufus.t.firefly
Not sure what this means except more intelligent people ask questions. Those that question the state sponsored hysteria regarding pot use might be more likely to use it. Of course, the penalties are harsh enough to keep most people away.
12:18 November 23, 2010 by lux.veritas
It is both ironic and interesting to note that many commentators are more self-educated about Marijuana, DMT, Hallucinogenic mushrooms than all the crap our governments try and ram into our unprotected minds.

We know that Alcohol and tobacco misuse are the overwhelmingly massive top two killers, after natural causes and the state. The state loves the taxes and up they go, but don't smoke or drink too much!!

Well we should all really know by now that government doesn't serve peoples interests.

A scientific group that carried out the harmful substance study list was reprimanded, ridiculed. Interesting at the very bottom of the scale with almost zero harmful or health effects when properly used were DMT and hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Interesting info: DMT demothotryptamine is a highly hallucinogenic chemical; and here's the cruncher. It is produced in the pineal gland in the centre of your brain. The pineal gland is the biggest gland of the body requiring the most amount of oxygenated blood and has one sole purpose; to produce DMT whilst you sleep. It is illegal to buy, produce or take DMT, but your body does it all the time.

Kids; if you must consume Marijuana try to wait until you're over the brain has fully developed. Do not mix with tobacco or alcohol (cakes, cookies, infusion) and don't abuse. Being stoned daily takes away quality in other areas of life and anything in large doses over many years is likely to cause long term health issues.
16:00 November 23, 2010 by soultraveler3
This isn't very surprising to me. Often university educated people are more open-minded when it comes to things like this. From what I've seen personally the more blue-collar a person is the more likely they are to smoke cigarettes and drink a lot; the more white-collar people seem to drink a little less and have less problems with smoking weed.

To be fair though, I lived in the city that supposdly has the highest percentage of professional, adult pot smokers in the entire country, Boulder,CO. Most people there are college educated, many have advanced degrees and the average income is well above the national average. Most Boulderites are also granola yuppies that will give you way more of a hard time for not recycling than taking a few hits off a joint after work lol. I agree 100%

As a college educated professional, if I ever had children I'd much rather them smoke a little weed then sit around and order pizza, talk and play video games than have them drink, drive and fight. Of course, it'd be better if they waited until they were adults and if it was legal but the reality is that most kids experiment.
16:24 November 23, 2010 by fridayz
are smart people the ones who make it to university ?
19:10 November 23, 2010 by Swedesmith
Drink, drive and fight...isn't that the state song of Kentucky?
20:56 November 23, 2010 by Toonie
I thought latest research showed pretty strongly that while there's a safe limit for alcohol, plus clearance time from the body, there's no known safe limit for cannabis, as toxins seem to accumulate without dissipating. Which is why there may be risks of brain damage, effects on mood and potential psychosis in twenties and thirties.

Of course alcohol is dangerous if binged. It took us long enough to find out what tobacco did to us. How long before we admit that sucking smoke from a different source is any better? Are we dim, or do we just look that way through the smoke haze?
01:48 November 24, 2010 by volvoman9
Overall the comments posted indicate to me a very large acceptance of the drug Marijuana. It is true that alcohol is a more serious behavioral problem it is also much more widely used due to it's legality. Hence the statistics can't be accurately compared.

I'm married to a recovering alcoholic, a truly wonderful highly educated, highly functional woman. I know first hand the devastation this drug can wreak. Never seen this with pot. I certainly would not endorse the use of any drug by a developing mind but we need to cast off this ridiculous notion that the two drugs have similar effects.

I'm also a product of the counter-culture generation and don't use them and haven't for decades; still pot was always my drug of choice. I'm also educated and successful. My sons are both athletes and to my knowledge my youngest (19) has never used drugs and has no interest in them. My oldest ( 25) has used drugs and drinks as well but is successful in his career and his life.

I too would question the validity of this study but it would follow that educated and successful people ( though not always wealthy as there is no correlation here) beget children who may be exposed to a wider array of experiences and ideas than those of less education. This is not a surprise. Oh and DR. Dillner W.T.F.?
16:49 November 26, 2010 by tadchem
This story highlights the basic difference between "smart" and "intelligent."
09:26 November 28, 2010 by Hughston
Didn't Sweden do a study that showed a connection between pot and mental illness? I know there were studies from other Europen countries that showed this. If the parents are well educated, they should know that. These parents are doing their kids no favors by increasing their risk for schizophrenia. There was also a link in some studies between pot and violent crime.
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