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Dr. Phil Says Occasional Marijuana Use Will Drop IQ, Experts Call Him Out

By Desiree Bowie 11/13/19

“When you smoke marijuana, it’s like opening your computer up and pouring water inside,” McGraw said.

Dr. Phil
ID 6275301 © Paul Hakimata |

Dr. Phil is no stranger to controversy or making big making claims. But on a recent episode of Dr. Phil, the 69-year-old host made some unfounded claims about marijuana that have left some people irate, High Times reports.

On an episode which aired last week, Dr. Phil was on a mission to help JJ, an 11-year-old, alleged pot smoker who, in a video clip, was described as violent, out of control and threatening. His mother says she is fearful that he may "hurt himself or someone else." 

It’s Like Opening Your Computer Up And Pouring Water Inside

JJ then talks about his bouts of anger and says he'd like to learn to control it. After the clip, Dr. Phil offers come big claims on marijuana that left some experts scratching their heads.

“When you smoke marijuana, it’s like opening your computer up and pouring water inside,” McGraw states. “A lot of things short out and it connects where it’s not supposed to and really creates problems. And this isn’t my opinion, this is hard, solid scientific research.”

Experts Dispute The Claims

The problem with this bold statement is that it is not "hard, solid scientific research."

“Pouring water into a computer would destroy the computer and kill all the connections,” Michael Verbora, a doctor with the Aleafia Total Health Network, told Vice CA. “I’ve treated 5,000 patients and 5,000 out of my 5,000 say cannabis makes them feel relaxed and calm.”

“it’s ludicrous to equate smoking cannabis with pouring water on a computer,” David Juurlink, the head of clinical pharmacology and toxicology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, told Vice.

“Maybe Dr. Phil should redirect hyperbole to alcohol, tobacco, opioids, and benzos, all of which are considerably more harmful, as is exploiting your troubled preteen on national television,” Juurlink added.

But Dr. Phil was not done driving his point home.

“Even occasional marijuana smokers will look at a multi-point drop in IQ, even with just occasional use, like once a week or two or three times a month, you’ll see IQ drop and motivational drop across time. It changes your brain,” McGraw told 11-year-old JJ.

The study in which Dr. Phil is referring was actually focused on "clinically-dependent" teen marijuana users.

The Child Mind Institute reported in response to the study, "There’s no way to know if the loss in IQ is related to the cannabis itself, or what the persistent pot user is doing — or not doing — with his time (like zoning out instead of studying) or who he’s hanging out with (like-minded pals)."

Three other studies on heavy teen marijuana use and cognitive disfunction found that marijuana use had "little impact on cognitive function or IQ decline in adolescents."

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Desiree Bowie is a writer and movie lover from Los Angeles, California. Follow her on Twitter @dangerbowie

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