Marijuana: Personal and social consequences

Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 5:05 pm

Heavy users with an average daily intake of three to five joints are likely to have problems in all aspects of their lives, both at home and at work, ranging from strained familial relationships to job loss. They are also more likely to exhibit neurotic or even psychotic behavior. Research shows that marijuana users, especially heavy users, end up in the hospital more frequently than nonusers, often from injuries.
One of the worst aspects of heavy marijuana use may be what researchers call the “amotivational syndrome” that robs people of their ambition, drive, and energy. A 2000 study showed that teenagers who use marijuana drop out of high school at more than twice the rate of nonusers; those who also abuse other drugs have even higher dropout rates.
Teenagers who face Legal consequences because of their marijuana use may jeopardize their chance of getting financial aid for college. Applications for students requesting federal college loans ask whether or not they have ever been convicted on state or federal drug charges. An affirmative answer — or none at all — will hold up the application and may well cause the application to be rejected.
Marijuana users will find that many employers weed out substance abusers, because they are much more likely to be absent or have on-the-job accidents. In 1996, about a third of all potential hires were screened for drug use. At major corporations, the figure was 81%, and in the top-ranked Fortune 200 companies, it rose to 98%. Standards at many federal agencies are even more stringent: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will disqualify applicants who had used marijuana within the past three years or a total of 15 times altogether.

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