People who smoke a lot of marijuana are worse off socially and economically, according to a new study.
Magdalena Cerdá from the University of California, Davis Health System, who led the study team, explained: “Our study found that regular cannabis users experienced downward social mobility and more financial problems such as troubles with debt and cash flow than those who did not report such persistent use.
“Regular long-term users also had more antisocial behaviors at work, such as stealing money or lying to get a job, and experienced more relationship problems, such as intimate partner violence and controlling abuse.”
The lifelong study involves people from New Zealand dating back to their births in 1972 and 1973. Eighteen percent, or 173 people, were identified as marijuana dependent and 15 percent as regular cannabis users, reports NBC News.
According to the study, by the age of 38, those who were diagnosed as dependent on marijuana ended up lower on the socioeconomic scale than their parents. Those who weren’t dependent on the drug ended up a little better than their parents.
The researchers wrote: “On average, persistent cannabis users from middle-class origins attained lower adult socioeconomic status than did their parents, even after we controlled for sex, ethnicity, family substance-dependence history, childhood self-control, childhood IQ, history of psychopathology, achievement orientation and adult family structure.”
Those dependent on marijuana also had more problems at work, conflict in their relationships and financial difficulties.
Avshalom Caspi of Duke University, who worked on the study, commented: “Even among cannabis users who were never convicted for a cannabis offense, we found that persistent and regular cannabis use was linked to economic and social problems.”
The study was published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science.