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Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy
Marihuana, A Signal of Misunderstanding - Table of Contents

National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse

Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding

Chapter III

Social Impact of marihuana use

Dropping Down

Apart from the concern over youthful dropping out and idleness, there is also widespread concern about "dropping down" or underachieving.

Parents frequently express fear that marihuana will undermine or interfere with academic and vocational career development and achievement by focusing youthful interests on the drug and those associated with the drug subculture. Some parents make considerable sacrifices for their children to go to school, and the fears that marihuana might undermine the academic, emotional and vocational development of their young are quite understandable.

The Commission reviewed a number of studies related to marihuana use by high school and college youth. No conclusive evidence was found demonstrating that marihuana by itself is responsible for academic or vocational failure or "dropping down," although it could be one of many contributory reasons. Many studies reported that the majority of young people who have used marihuana received average or above-average grades in school.

In part, underachievement is related to a view of what one individual judges to be the achievement capacity of another. This judgment is often made without concern for what the individual himself feels about his potential, his interests and his goals. Perceptions about achievement also frequently fail to take into consideration the individual feelings about the goals of his peers and the values of the larger society, including the relative prestige and status attached to various academic programs, occupations and professions.

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