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Artist thinks kids should use ‘educational’ marijuana to help with creativity

  1. Rob Cypher
    It's probably one of the more potty ideas in recent times - giving schoolkids pot to stimulate their imaginations.

    But Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art thinks it’s “brave and creative”.

    Rather than condemning the idea from teaching artist Leon Ewing, MONA creative director Leigh Carmichael defended it saying Tasmania needed to think “big” and be open to “provocative ideas” in a bid to improve Tasmania’s education outcomes.

    “We don’t necessarily agree with this idea, but we love that it’s brave and creative, and in order for seismic change, we’ll need to think big and be open to provocative ideas,” Mr Carmichael said on Tuesday.

    For three days in June, MONA will - as part of its annual winter event Dark Mofo - host a festival of ideas on how to improve education levels in Tasmania, which are among Australia’s poorest.

    Mr Ewing will take part in the event but has already put forward his idea. “We already prescribe amphetamine-like medications to our children for focus and docility. What if we medicated for creativity? Educational marijuana, if you will,” he said.

    Mr Ewing cited a history of use of mind-altering substances by artists to “broaden their consciousness”.

    “What genius could be nurtured, if not unleashed, in such circumstances? What a transformational experience,” he said of his proposal.

    The plan would include recruiting a “voluntary control group, screened for robust mental health” and use customised vaporisers to deliver the drug, Mr Ewing said.

    The children would work in residence at MONA, in partnership with some of the world’s leading artists, to unleash their creativity, Mr Ewing said of his idea.

    Mr Carmichael said it is important for Tasmania to embrace a bold new approach to education and all contributions should be encouraged. “We have to be open to the broad spectrum of creative ideas that may emerge, whether we agree with them or not,” he said. “We hope this is just the first of ideas that emerge to challenge us and get people talking.”

    But selling this idea to parents, as well as those in the medical profession, might be a bit harder.

    A recent study in The Journal of Neuroscience found even casual marijuana smokers showed significant abnormalities in two vital brain regions important in motivation and emotion.

    The study analysed 20 pot smokers and 20 non-pot smokers between 18 and 25, the Washington Post reported.

    The scientists asked participants to estimate how much marijuana they smoked and how often they lit up over a three-month test period.

    The study found that even those who smoked once a week showed brain abnormalities, while larger changes were seen in those who smoked more.

    (pictured: artist Leon Ewing)

    May 20, 2015



  1. Twenty-One
    People really need to stop imagining that drugs, especially pot, make them more creative. I know a lot of pothead "artists". It doesn't make them more creative or deep or anything like that, it just makes them think they are. Creativity is cultivated by keeping a strong, sober mind that moves in a definite forward direction, not cyclical the way the inhibited mind tends to work.
  2. TheBigBadWolf
    I'm shocked by your view on this.
    Inhibited minds?
    Cyclical ways?

    How is sobriety defined as preconditon for being creative?

    Your post is dripping from nonsense you've been planted in your brain seemingly without even noticing it.
    You know a lot of pothead artists? How can you judge they are inhibited by taking drugs of sorts?
    Others talk about expansion of their minds, being in places a sober person CAN touch , with very much empathetic emotional intuiton, but that are much easier to achieve by i.e. smoking(vaping) pot.

    Are you a toker , at all?

    This board is working for substance information.
    Accepting drug use and helping members to do this as little unsafe as possible.

    Preaching sobriety is one thing.
    Why a person has to be 'sober' to be creative sadly is nowhere to find in your posting.

    Instead of any proof or evidence you throw stereotypes at us that were proven wrong some decades ago .

    That's really poor.

    Sorry, I do accept that YOU have this view.
    And I accept that you write about your view here.
    But, as it is an open forum, your view needs to be contested, which I did - and I didn't find anything of worth, it's all just hot air.

    On topic:

    I find it a good idea for pupils from 16 upwards, of course it needs to be voluntary and a well educated instructor present at any time to help out when the (hopefully) low doses prove to have been too high nonetheless.

    Some of my friends, backintheday, talking about the 80s, have tried Pot and have immediately realised that it is not for them. But to find out that this is the fact requires having tried pot. hm.

    I know that Cannabis products have made me be more concentrated on what I am playing on my guitar, I have more empathy towards the guitar, I feel what it does when I treat it this or that way. When sober I sometimes forget that I own guitars..
    I even had a weekend course in painting (which I never did before) and in the end the instriuctor bought one of my paintings for her office. If it had'nt been good I'm sure I wouldn't have got these 50 €uros.

    You can say that's because I am addicted to pot,but I'm fucking not, I can very well distinguish between being addicted and using it for the reason of having better concentration on what I am doing.
    I have been addicted to pot before, during the time I went upwards with the strength of my drugs and then heroin "cured" my pot addiction. (so to say.)

    I guess those who haven't been there better don't argue, if they don't have any factual arguments.

  3. Joe-(5-HTP)
    I see why he'd say it, but the evidence that cannabis cannabis damages developing brains is quite substantial.. So this is bad, and gives the legalisation movement bad press honestly.

    Not that the press need an excuse to talk trash anyway.. but yeah..
  4. scartissue_68
    The number of creative giants who use (or have used) drugs to enhance their creativity is staggering. One profound example: Carl Sagan was a major proponent of the use of cannabis as a link to better creative thought. Let's see: PhD in Cosmology, Professor of Cosmology at Cornell University, Team leader for NASA's Planetary Science Team, worked with Viking (landed on Mars in 1976) and Voyager 1 (now traveling in interstellar space), written over 30 books, wrote and produced the most popular PBS special, "COSMOS", generally considered the Greatest Science Educator of all time.

    Steve Jobs used LSD and cannabis. Died one of the wealthiest man on the planet through seeing the future of personal electronic assistants.

    Almost every musician in the late 60's/early 70's smoked weed or dropped acid and electronic music has yet to significantly evolve since then.

    Need I go on?
  5. TheBigBadWolf
    scartissue, I think that you don't.

    While I see the possibility that developing brains get influenced by the drug in the end ANYthing perceived by the developing brain is an influence on the brain.

    The influence of cannabis on the developing brain cannot be judged as good or bad.
    Damage? Joe-5? who says different is wrong?

    It is simply an influence and it is different to what a sober person is perceiving.
    But even the next sober person perceives the situation differently than the other sober person and of course than the one who is 'high'.
    So what?

    We have no idea what a life of a toker would have been if they wouldn't have decided to take Marijuana.
    A clear influence is visible in what the author writes- the influence of the idea that 'high' is bad and 'sober' is good.

    Sobriety is semantics.
    ANY substance has an influence on our body and thus to the brain. Vanilla pudding influences the brain. Hair shampoo has an influence. carrots and chewing gum have an influence.

    No, It is pure Anti-weed propaganda, nothing else.
    Of my class in school (at 17) about 50% had tried out Cannabis (120 pupils in my age-class) , of them about a quarter stayed active smokers until today, the rest quit at some point, again most of them (tokers included) studied for a well-endowed jobs.
    The only one who took to stronger drugs and later (very much later) got addicted to Hard drugs (heroin) was me.
    Several alcoholics in the crew I might surmise. :crazy

    I'm not seeing any connection between youthful cannabis use and being a failure later in life.
    Not that I would be blind on that eye..

  6. psyche
    There are recent studies of cannabis' effect on developing brains that are to be taken seriously. Here is one for instance: https://drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1181602

    If you don't agree with them, take it there. As you said, any substance has influence on your body and brain, so it's not saying that other drugs would be safer. Also in that sense it should not be problem for legalization, i.e. alcohol probably would be more detrimental for developing brains, and we are not intending for cannabis to be sold to minors anyway.
  7. Alien Sex Fiend
    I was a pothead artist. Making the art ended where the pot smoking began
    I agree
    I know more stoners that flip burgers and wash toilets than there is staggering giants

    Medical cannabis here can only be prescribe to 25 and up. I agree with that. I think I tried cannabis too young and it ruined my perfect utopia of how the future will develop, instead of opening my mind, it closed it
  8. senorlou
    An interesting article, but I believe giving school kids marijuana is a profoundly bad idea. I'm not sure about Tasmania, but as for my nation( USA) we're just nowhere near ready for it, though plenty of high schoolers are stoned in class every day. I remember how that was and generally, weed wasn't known to be very good as a GPA booster. He does bring up a good point, how we love to give kids speed. That's just amazing and baffling to an old fart like me who would never have dreamed of such a phenomenon 30 years ago, but it is pretty much acceptable because for a little while speed seems to work. But the speed/school kid connection is more of an incredible feat of marketing engineering done by pharmaceutical companies. I don't think they could pull it off with weed because people can grow it in their back yards, but who knows maybe they will.

    Personally, I don't believe drug use should be encouraged AT ALL by schools, just like I don't believe religion or political beliefs should be encouraged. Education on the subject is fine so long as it's true and backed by scientific research, not emotion or personal beliefs. As it is now, weed is still far too controversial. Young people will come across weed sooner or later since it is pretty much ubiquitous worldwide, but nobody should encourage kids to use weed for any reason. Too personal, and not really relevant to education.
  9. TheCampingStoner
    Not a very good idea.. This is not good for minors to smoke weed to become "more creative." It is not very good for their brain and also introducing a drug to them isn't very good.
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