Does smoking lots of pot make you dumb or do dumb people smoke lots of pot? Mostly, the latter. Ross et al. (2019) write : Although many researchers have concluded that cannabis causes impairment in cognition, there are alternative explanations. First, poor cognitive functioning is a risk factor for substance use. Specifically, EF measured in childhood predicts later substance use and substance use disorders (SUDs; Ridenour et al., 2009 ).