A new study* published in the March 2016 issue of the journal Clinical Psychological Science found statistically significant links between heavy marijuana use and reduced socioeconomic status. The study, carried out at the University of California-Davis, with partial funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), tracked subjects born in New Zealand in 1971 and 1972 who became chronic marijuana users. The study’s main conclusion: heavy marijuana use carries a heightened risk of economic and social problems during midlife.
UC Davis Chronic Marijuana Use Study: Controls and Conclusions
Specifically, the study tracked subjects who indulged in heavy long-term marijuana use, defined as using the drug at least four times per week over many years. It found:
- Heavy marijuana users are likely to earn less money than their parents at the same age
- Chronic pot smokers tend to end up in lower social classes than the ones into which they were born
- Long-term, heavy marijuana users have frequent difficulties meeting basic living expenses, such as rent and food
- These trends exist even among cannabis users with no criminal record
This UC Davis study is not the first to find links between marijuana use and economic disadvantage. A 2005 research project, carried out by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), also found that people who consume marijuana during their teen years are likely to earn less money than their peers once they enter the working world.
Marijuana often proves to be anything but the benign, harmless substance many users claim it is. At Red Oak Recovery, we recognize the dangers of marijuana use and we work diligently, using a proven therapeutic model, to steer patients back to productive paths in life. To learn more about our programs, or to make a confidential connection with an enrollment counselor, please contact us.
*Cerda, Magdalena et. al. “Persistent Cannabis Dependence and Alcohol Dependence Represent Risks for Midlife Economic and Social Problems.” Clinical Psychological Science 2167702616630958, first published on March 22, 2016 as DOI: 10.1177/2167702616630958.