A group of researchers found that heavy use of marijuana is tied to troubles on financial and social life levels in adulthood if people have used the substance for years.
The study has revealed that persistent marijuana users often had jobs that were less paid and demanded fewer skills than their parents’ jobs. By contrast, people that did not consume marijuana regularly or persistently were more likely to do better in life than their parents.
Moreover, cannabis users that used the substance at least four times per week had more social and financial troubles including debt and food insecurity than non-users.
University of California ’s Magdalena Cerda, senior researcher involved in the study, said that marijuana users displayed more antisocial behaviors than non-users. They often told lies to land a job, stole money, and were more prone to physically and mentally abuse their partners.
The recent research confirms past studies that had also tied heavy use of cannabis to a plethora of problems later in life. But unlike other studies, the latest research adjusted the findings for other factors that may influence study results such as gender, IQ, childhood depression, family history of substance abuse, race, and so on.
Cerda, on the other hand, acknowledged that there may be other factors that researchers overlooked.
Dr. Colin Roberts Oregon’s Cannabis Research Task Force, a group designed to analyze the impact of marijuana use, described the recent research as worthy of consideration.
“It’s a good study. They established an association that’s pretty compelling,”
Dr. Roberts noted.
The study, which was published this week in the Clinical Psychological Science, involved nearly 950 New Zealanders that were monitored for four decades. Participants had various backgrounds and levels of educations from highly trained professionals to unskilled workers. Researchers had access to periodical social and psychological evaluations of these people from age 3 to age 38.
Dr. Roberts noted that the study is all the more conclusive since it has involved such a large number of people with so many different backgrounds. The researcher noted that it is impossible to conduct such analysis in the U.S. because there isn’t any way to collect data on so many people for so long.
Researchers tracked participants from childhood to detect any other underlying conditions that may contribute to social and financial downfall later in life. Next they tracked people for cannabis use between age 18 and 38 and they assessed their problems at age 38. The study revealed that the longer participants used the drug, the worse their financial and social outcomes in midlife were.
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