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What are the Economic Effects of Marijuana Use?

clinicalpsyexcelMany researchers throughout the world have continued to investigate the effects of long-term marijuana use. One of the aspects that academics and clinicians are looking into is the economic standing of people who have used marijuana for a sustained periods of time. The results of a recent study indicated that there was a correlation between smoking pot and having inhibited economic conditions.

The details of the study were published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science and compared non-users, short-term users and long-term users of marijuana. Those who engaged in cannabis use more than four times a week for several years were more likely to end up economically worse than their parents. It was more common for these people to have lower paying jobs that require less skill and pay lower wages than people who are not regular users. Additionally, people who abused marijuana frequently were more likely to display behaviors at work like that included stealing or lying to get the job.

When analyzing the data, researchers accounted for varying IQ levels, antisocial behavior and depression in adolescence, higher levels of impulsivity, lower motivation to achieve, criminal conviction of cannabis users, and abuse of alcohol and hard drugs. Despite all these changes, it was still determined that long-term marijuana users were more likely to have a lowered economic status due to their use of the drug.

The study was conducted by an international team of researchers led by Magdalena Cerdá at the University of California, Davis, Health System, and Avshalom Caspi and Terrie Moffitt at Duke University.

“Our research does not support arguments for or against cannabis legalization,” commented Cerdá, “But it does show that cannabis was not safe for the long-term users tracked in our study.”

She brings up a relevant point in what has become a heated topic in some states. For drug prevention and treatment advocates, the mere fact that long-term use of marijuana has been found to be harmful in many ways is reason enough to promote abstinence from the drug, whether it becomes legal or not.