weed, pot, marijuana

People who smoke pot regularly over many years, end up in a lower social class than their parents, with lower-paying, less-skilled jobs. That’s according to research published Wednesday based on a study of children in New Zealand, who were tracked from birth to age 38. The study participants who regularly use cannabis also reported more problems with debt and cash flow than those in the study who were dependent on alcohol. Forum discusses the findings with the UC Davis professor who authored the study.

Study Finds Long-Term Pot Smokers Have More Social, Financial Problems 23 March,2016forum

Guests:
Magdalena Cerda, UC Davis associate professor in emergency medicine
David Downs, reporter who writes the "Smell the Truth" blog for sfgate.com and "Legalization Nation" for the East Bay Express

  • EIDALM

    Growing up in Berkeley in the mid sixties ,in the free speech and the hippie era ,smoking pot was very common specially among Cal students crowed , but I never cared about since coming from another country with ancient history,with well known facts about the long term effect of smoking pot that included permanent mental retardation , slower reflection and speech ,,,In 2014 study showed that marijuana caused brain abnormality , the same study showed that smoking pot often leads to addiction that often grows to other drugs including cocaine and heroine ,it also showed that heavy marijuana smokers have much higher chance to go emergency rooms because of extreme anxiety ,extreme panic attacks ,violent stomach cramps ,and continuous vomiting ,the same study showed that smoking marijuana caused an extreme loss of memory,….add to all of that the financial loss by turning your hard earned money into harmful worthless smoke…..

    • trevor

      An unnamed study full debunked myths

      • Reverend Lurlean Tucker

        Maybe he’s just being ironic.

    • geraldfnord

      Many traditionally-using societies have both a lot of mild, relatively harmless, use and scare-stories (to keep use mild). Deși cultures seem to often include solid workingmen topping-off the day with a cup of bhang, ganja and charas used for medicine, sadhus using it to experience the Divine (that is, derange themselves in a socially acceptable way), and people exactly equivalent to our winos.

  • EIDALM

    The word assassin comes from hasshassin which is the Arabic world for hasshish smokers during the Ottoman empire assassins were to smoke so much pot that they become cold blooded murderers used against the empire enemies.

    • trevor

      While the word assassin may be a derivation of Hashischins, this is a product of the orientalist of the time who had little to no understanding of cannabis or the Hashischins who most likely consumed opium and not hashish.

      • geraldfnord

        Robert Anton Wilson speculated that an alkaloid hallucinogen such as henbane were used, pointing-out that the effects described weren’t typical of opium or hashish, whose effects would likely be familiar to many of the candidates anyway…if the story is not, as seems likely to me, a bubbe-meise (‘as we say in French’) from word zero.

        • Another Mike

          My own grandmother sincerely believed that playing with frogs produced warts.

        • trevor

          Points for the R. A. Wilson reference, Hakim Bey in Orgies of the Hemp Eaters proposed opium as a more likely substance for producing the trance like effects of the re-birth initiation into the order.

          • geraldfnord

            Wilson, to some extent just having fun, speculated that i-Sabbah developed a layered time-release pill akin to our 1950s tranquilizer/barbituate/amphetamine relax-sleep-wake nostrum, but in this notional case creating sleep, Hell, Paradise/lust, then sleep again.

            A fun guy, when he wasn’t locked into his own reality-tunnels….

  • Reverend Lurlean Tucker

    If the children in this study were tracked “from birth,” how was it determined that some of them would become regular pot smokers? How many other factors were considered? Poor people generally have more problems with debt and cash flow than wealthier people with stronger social connections, and they might use marijuana as a palliative in place of pricier drugs, including prescription drugs. Would these New Zealanders have had the same access to painkillers and antidepressants as their wealthier counterparts, for instance? Were any of the children reared in relatively affluent families and then incurred debt specifically after becoming a regular marijuana user?

  • optikool

    So this is a study of people living in New Zealand and not the US? That explains why as a smoker myself, my situation goes against this guests studies. I make over 6 figures and have wife and 2 children. I just had an electric charger installed in our house for my Chevy Volt and my wife’s Ford Focus Electric car. My job in the tech industry takes a lot of skill, probably more then his skills in research. I had trouble with cash flow when I was a young adult, like most young adults, but now I’m 42 and those troubles have gone away with time. Maybe the speaker should do a study in the US if they want to assume that people that smoke pot regularly have a lower social class life and lower skilled jobs. Until then his findings are baseless and could apply to anyone and just smells like he’s looking for a reason to make Marijuana Illegal again. Also I find it odd, but not surprising, that Forum only made this a 30 minute show…

    • Reda Sobky

      I agree, actually my anecdotal experience supports this comment as a physician practicing with an exposed population over time. New Zealanders are very law abiding lot and respond well to the prohibition so the users are selected based on outlaw behavior in a conforming culture which would be a confounding factor of epic proportion.

  • geraldfnord

    Of course: causation or correlation? (…or consolation prize?—addiction is rampant in conquered peoples)

    I support alcohol-parity legalisation, but neither am I surprised. I’m a rational materialist, there is no in-dwelling Cannabis Spirit that lurrrves us, there is a plant containing powerful drugs, and power can be power to hurt as well as to help. The only extent to which it’s more beneficial is the extent to which we’ve bred it to be so, and Prohibition has helped nudge us to throw-out millenia (for eating) or centuries (for smoking) of selective breeding in favour of massive T.H.C. levels; one good piece of news is work in Colorado to reverse some of this.

    This is orthogonal to the question of legalisation: we allow plenty of dangerous and detrimental things to be legal, from rock-climbing to [insert your favourite religion]. At least with legalisation and labelling, we will be able to see what we’re getting and what it gives us for good and ill.

    (Note: there are very, very, few ‘great questions’ or ‘… points’; please ask guests to stop stroking/temporising by calling them so.)

    • trevor

      Selective breeding of cannabis has primarily focused on fiber, seed, and “drug” content. The selective pressures of modern breeding under prohibition have produced both positive and negative outcomes but saying that we’ve thrown out millennia of selective breeding for edible and smokable cannabis by selecting for high amounts of THC is inaccurate. Certain geographically isolated varietals have different cannabinoid profiles. African accessions have little to no CBD, afghan varietals on the other hand have considerable levels of CBD. The edible vs smokable distinction is not a genetic distinction liked to phenotypic traits or cultural traditions of consumption. Flower vs Hashsish on the other hand is linked to both cultural traditions and phenotypic traits and is associated with the differences between South Indian or African varietals and Afghan varietals.

      • Another Mike

        I think the THC produces the heart racing and the anxiety, while the CBD produces mellowness and promotes appetite.
        True or not?

        • trevor

          It’s not that simple because individual responses to cannabinoid differ, but yes that is the way they typically get characterized.

  • optikool

    Wait, did she just say they interviewed kids at 3 and 5? Were they really smoking at that age? How does she know, they didn’t put the idea into the kids heads to smoke pot and where were the parents?

    • Another Mike

      This was a linear study where they tabulated a lot of characteristics, to trace back from adulthood into childhood.

      • optikool

        Sounds like something they could do with any situation.

      • geraldfnord

        Thank-you.

  • Noelle

    It seems that since marijuana is illegal in NZ that has an effect on smokers’ outcomes.

    • geraldfnord

      A good point when considered as a possibility, but not a certainty.

  • Another Mike

    To me, pot smokers are the sort of rebels who do not fit well into the workaday world. At least as long as marijuana is illegal. It’s the rebel mindset, the tendency to break rules and color outside the lines, that leads to spotty careers. Not pot smoking per se.

    • geraldfnord

      The willingness to admit to use may correlate with greater honesty (or incompetence at social dynamics, depending on how one wishes to spin it), which in turn might not do well for one’s career. (I speak as someone who can’t take the idea of ‘authority’ not rooted in greater knowledge or competence seriously, with the sort of career non-path you’d expect therefrom.)

      • Another Mike

        This is my concern with conclusions derived from NORC’s General Social Survey, which requires one to admit all sorts of intimate details about one’s life to a perfect stranger, face-to-face. The temptation to shade the truth in one’s favor seems huge.

  • marte48

    Ever hear of “self-fulfilling prophecy?”

  • marte48

    If cannabis had been “socially acceptable” as alcohol has been for a century, regardless of the negative effects, I think your findings would be quite different.

    • Another Mike

      At least in legend, marijuana smoking is permitted in Muslim countries where alcohol is taboo. I wonder if that is true, and thus could be studied.

  • marte48

    The demographics of your study are too limited to form any conclusions.

  • bitchshield

    Research into causes of addiction points to unhappiness and instability in life leading to increased use of alcohol and drugs, not the other way around. (See for example the rat park study.) it makes sense that folks who have fewer opportunities and see their lives as more limited would then use marijuana more. Don’t put the cart before the horse; there’s no proof of causality here.

    • Another Mike

      I love your nym. Are you the b in question?

  • Mark Sidmore

    Well, Im sorry for those whose lives have been retarded by pot smoking. As a 50 year old man who has smoked weed everyday since ’93, I can testify that I am very successful, more so financially than my parents, and I am as social as most of my peers. I remember when the U.S. was putting out ‘studies’ like this trying to sway popular consensus toward the Nancy Regan camp of ‘just say NO’. Thank God we, as a population, are smarter than that now. FEAR……it works for a while, but eventually it’s revealed as an agenda. Good Luck with all that, I bet your attitude would be different if you won the lottery for one of those multi-million dollar pot clubs!

  • trevor

    Comparing illicit cannabis consumption to licit alcohol consumption is also a pretty clear flaw in the methodology of the study.

  • trevor

    the study makes a pretty big assertion despite some pretty serious shortcomings:
    Although such studies have established a temporal relation between cannabis use and economic and social problems, five key limitations remain. First, cannabis use and economic and social problems could share common antecedents related to socioeconomic adversity, childhood psychopathology, low achievement orientation, and family structure (Macleod et al., 2004). A second limitation is the potential for misclassification of cannabis use: In most studies, researchers relied solely on measures of use frequency,
    which provide no information about the intensity or duration of cannabis use and which could be key deter- minants of later outcomes. A third limitation relates to the illegal nature of cannabis use: It is unclear whether adverse social and economic outcomes associated with cannabis use are a result of cannabis use itself or of being convicted for a cannabis-related offense. Fourth, persis- tence of cannabis use is highly confounded by the timing of onset of use—those individuals who are chronic users are also more likely to have started early. Fifth, in prior studies, researchers have not established whether observed associations between cannabis use and later social and economic problems are unique to cannabis or are due to comorbid hard-drug and alcohol use among cannabis users.
    We studied a birth cohort of 947 individuals to test whether persistent cannabis dependence, as well as reg- ular cannabis use, prospectively assessed from ages 18 to 38, is associated with downward social-class mobility, financial difficulties, antisocial behavior in the workplace, relationship conflict, and traffic convictions. We also compared the relative impact of cannabis dependence versus alcohol dependence on the same economic and social problems. With the increasing legalization of mari- juana, comparisons of its economic and social impact with that of alcohol—the most commonly used, and legal, substance—is of critical policy importance.

  • Ryan

    Smoking is so 1978! I consume pot semi regularly, and have for the last 20 years, though almost always through eating and occasionally vaping. Never smoking (for like last ten years – smoke is bad for lungs! Period). I’m 40, and I just calculated that my wife and I make 12.75 times more money annually than my average income parents, and our social and family lives couldn’t be better. Onward!

    • trevor

      The Dr. Tashkin study has unequivocally debunked the myth that smoking cannabis is bad for your lungs. This is because while smoke inhalation is unquestionably harmful however the properties of cannabis counteract the harmful effects of the smoke. Smoked cannabis has clear medicinal benefits and the harms are well with in the acceptable range for madicinal applications.

  • Dave Satre

    Marijuana should never have been made
    illegal. It was made so by millionaire businessmen and government
    agencies in the mid-1930s that were threatened by the end of alcohol
    prohibition. Marijuana is not addictive. It can be habit forming but
    not addictive. I used edible marijuana for several years to overcome
    a case of arthritis that was so disabling I couldn’t function. I
    struggled to get out of a chair. Couldn’t walk twelve steps to the
    bathroom without immense pain. When I was cured there were no
    withdrawal symptoms. I have two friends who are highly intelligent
    and use it frequently. The father came from the poorest of families,
    a share cropper who moved so often his son didn’t get an education.
    He couldn’t even read after high school. He went on to obtain a
    doctorate at Cambridge University. He formed his own company, became
    a billionaire and shared his fortune with his son. In the
    mid-nineties they were ranked 126th on the Fortune 400!

  • Robert Thomas

    This was a hoot.

  • lilmookie

    (1) This is NZ. (2) Correlation vs Causation. (3) Survey etc honesty regarding drug use is questionable (i.e. successful (career-wise) people might be less willing to admit to drug use on a survey). While these studies are important, I expect better reporting/editorial title judgement from KQED.

  • Jeff C

    The study has already been misinterpreted from the start by mass media outlets, and the guest even states herself at the 4:05 mark that they are looking at addicts of cannabis use. Another example of correlation, not causation – right at the top of the linked article, it says “Empirical Article,” which pretty much points towards anecdotal evidence to formulate theories (not extremely reliable, so it can be pretty biased). What people need to made aware of is that addiction in general leads to social and financial problems. I think the study could have more merit if they had not exclusively looked at cannabis, but rather consider other drugs, especially prescription opioids

  • igrandunifier

    Non-weed-smokers discriminate againest smokers. Marijuana users are generally less aggressive, or belligerent, financially. That’s how the European alcoholic consumers wiped out the predominately weed users of Native Americans.

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