A study recently published in the medical journal, Addiction confirms what many have observed for years. Teens and young adults who smoke marijuana regularly, grossly underachieve in life. This breakthrough research studied the progress of approximately 1900 teens for 10 years and found that regular marijuana users were three times more likely to be unemployed or drop out of school than non users. The evidence of marijuana’s negative effect on young people is so overwhelming that the scientist who conducted the research pronounced that marijuana is the drug of choice, “the drug for life’s future losers.”
Here’s why. Teens who have the intelligence and motivation to go to college or technical school who begin smoking marijuana regularly, almost always abandon these aspirations for something less rigorous and demanding. The research is clear regarding marijuana’s affect on the brain and behavior. Cannabis impairs memory, motivation, and something called executive functioning, which involves the ability to organize tasks, control impulses and set priorities. In other words, marijuana users adjust their life’s goals and priorities downward to accommodate their impaired condition. It’s hard to smoke weed 3-4 times per week and remain disciplined enough to get up early and work hard and attain the grades necessary to succeed in something difficult. So marijuana users are frequently unemployed or under employed in vocations that are less mentally challenging. Unfortunately it isn’t until they quit that they realize that marijuana has robbed them of the life they really wanted.
If you smoke weed and can’t seem to get ahead in life, talk with someone who can be honest and objective with you. Quitting cannabis is very hard for the first 2-4 weeks. One young man said it was like watching black and white TV—no color, no joy, no excitement. But slowly the color comes back as the brain learns to feel happy again without marijuana. Its difficult and you probably can’t do it alone, so get some help. Your future depends on it.
Patton, G.C., et al. (2007) Trajectories of adolescent alcohol and cannabis use into young adulthood.Addiction, 102(4):607-615.
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