Holy smoke! A recent study has some shocking news about the effects of marijuana use. Who'd have thought smoking weed would actually hurt work performance?
Indubitably, according to a Norwegian study 25 years in the making, repeat marijuana users reported feeling less dedicated to work than those who abstained from pot use, Reuters reports. The study admits, however, that it can't link the decline in motivation to the drug's effects. Nor can it account for the social environment test subjects were exposed to. It's also possible that dissatisfied workers tend to be more likely to turn to drugs.
"It's the higher-level use that's probably causing the most problems," said Kimberly Henry, an marijuana researcher who wasn't directly involved in the study.
The individual effects of marijuana are notoriously hard to predict, but the study also contends that a group of "experimenters," who tried marijuana but have since stopped, were about as likely as abstainers to be motivated in the workplace.
But so-called experimenters, usually adolescents, appear to be on the rise across the country. In fact, according to a recent study, marijuana use among teens hasn't been this high in 30 years.
Given the numerous recent efforts to legalize marijuana, the trend may only continue. Currently, California alone counts three seperate marijuana legalization ballot initiatives: Repeal Cannabis Prohibition, Regulate Marijuana Like Wine and the California Cannabis and Hemp Initiative of 2012. Regulate Marijuana Like Wine currently has only 30,000 signatures of the 504,760 required to make it on the ballot, but the $80,000 it's raised to finance the effort has some activists feeling confident.
The drug's legality aside, marijuana has become a bit of a cash cow for struggling cities dealing with huge deficits. The prime example is Oakland, California, whose taxation of medical marijuana dispensaries raised $1.4 million, or 3 percent of the city's total business tax revenue last year, The New York Times reports. The city's largest dispensary, the Harborside Health Center, has even inspired the reality series "Weed Wars" on the Discovery Channel, giving an inside look at the day-to-day travails of the dispensary's medical marijuana business.
But Oakland isn't the only city to pull in big revenue on medical weed sales. The state of Colorado collected $5 million in marijuana-related taxes last year, while Maine and Oregon have also benefited from similar tax laws, according to the NYT.