The Socio-Economic Impact on Smoking Marijuana

  • “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.”

Here is part of the UC Davis study per the LA Times:

There’s a new report out on longtime marijuana use. And it’s bad news for habitual stoners.

In summary: The more pot you smoke, the more apt you are to be a loser.

And it’s not so much that losers toke weed. It’s that toking a lot of weed over several years turns someone into a loser. It’s not really a chicken or egg thing.

The UC Davis-led research, published last week, is especially relevant now. Voter signatures are being collected to place a marijuana legalization measure on the November ballot.

Social use of marijuana — I hate the misleading adjective “recreational” — already is legal in four states: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. The verdict’s still out.

Medical use is allowed in 19 other states, including California. In this state, the well-intentioned system has been a sham for years — fake an ache and toke up — but Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature recently enacted some reforms.


…a UC Davis news release quoted study leader Magdalena Cerda, an associate professor of emergency medicine who helps head a violence prevention program.

“But,” she added, “it does show that cannabis was not safe for long-term users….

“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” puff persistently.

“Regular long-term users,” Cerda continued, “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.”

Why wouldn’t those red flags be an argument against legalizing the drug and making it easier and more tempting — because of advertising — to consume? “There may be other reasons to legalize,” she told me in an interview. “Think about criminal convictions and lack of regulation.”

OK, about the myth of criminal convictions: Marijuana was basically decriminalized in California 40 years ago when Brown was governor the first time.


Summed up: The finger points at pot.

The report is loaded with statistics. Here’s one set: 52% of middle-class frequent marijuana users “experienced downward mobility” compared to only 14% of non-users. Conversely: 33% of non-users moved up the socioeconomic ladder, but just 7% of habitual users did.

What’s frequent? At least four times a week….