Marijuana Makes Some People Smarter

Does pot make some people smarter? I have no studies proving that. I do have an anecdote

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The late astronomer and author, Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996) was a secret but avid marijuana smoker, crediting it with inspiring essays and scientific insight, according to Sagan's biographer.

Using the pseudonym "Mr. X'', Sagan wrote about his pot smoking in an essay published in the 1971 book "Marijuana Reconsidered.'' The book's editor, Lester Grinspoon, recently disclosed the secret to Sagan's biographer, Keay Davidson.

Davidson, a writer for the San Francisco Examiner, revealed the marijuana use in an article published in the newspaper's magazine Sunday. "Carl Sagan: A Life'' is due out in October.

"I find that today a single joint is enough to get me high ... in one movie theater recently I found I could get high just by inhaling the cannabis smoke which permeated the theater,'' wrote Sagan, who authored popular science books such as "Cosmos,'' "Contact,'' and "The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence.''

In the essay, Sagan said marijuana inspired some of his intellectual work.

"I can remember one occasion, taking a shower with my wife while high, in which I had an idea on the origins and invalidities of racism in terms of gaussian distribution curves,'' wrote the former Cornell University professor. "I wrote the curves in soap on the shower wall, and went to write the idea down.

Of course it could have been showering with his wife that did it.

Lester Grinspoon has another book of interest.

Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine

And this one not by Grinspoon got five stars from all twenty reviewers.

Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 01.18.11 at 02:08 AM


I'll see your anecdote and raise you another.

I can't do advanced math even the next day.

I went back to school when I was 30, for mechanical engineering and quit smoking because I needed to do well to get a job when I was done.

I was there to learn not just to pass so I pretty much got 100s on every math, engineering and physics class I took.
Except for Physics II my second semester.

I did all the homework so I didn't really study all that much, I already knew it.

So the night before the second of 4 tests, including the final, I smoked a joint a friend had given me a week or two before.

I got a 34 on that test.
I just couldn't figure out which equations to use.
I would spend like 10 minutes on a question, going through an equation tree to find the number I wanted and when I was done, I would realize that I had no idea what number I had just found but it surely wasn't the one I needed.

I got a B+ for the year on that class even though I got at least 100 on every other test (100+ if there was extra credit).
Hell, I got a 107 on the final and still got a B.

Veeshir   ·  January 18, 2011 11:08 AM


I have heard that if you study stoned you should take the test stoned. If you studied straight you should take the test straight.

And this was said by the test giver.

Every one is different.

and of course in the title Some People.

According to several psychology studies, your situation while learning information should be matched by your situation while retrieving it. That is to say, if you study drunk, you'd better write the exam drunk. So if you're writing a paper that's cool, because you are usually not tested on it after you write it. But don't study stoned unless you think you can write the test stoned.

M. Simon   ·  January 18, 2011 11:24 AM

I took the test sober, I got high the night before.

In my earlier iterations as a social sciences type I took the classes stoned and the tests stoned. I was lucky to get Bs. The only As I got were when I either kissed the teachers' asses or, in once case, got high with the prof as we both "dated" some cute students.

He was funny, he absolutely believed in Kesey's Combine.

Veeshir   ·  January 18, 2011 11:50 AM

Carl Sagan claimed that marijuana had its most beneficial influence on his ideas about social and political issues.

IOW, the stoned Sagan was responsible for "Nuclear Winter" and the unstoned Sagan was responsible for discussing real science.

Joseph Hertzlinger   ·  January 19, 2011 2:26 AM
Joseph Hertzlinger   ·  January 19, 2011 2:29 AM

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