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|Exposing Marijuana Myths|
Marijuana Myths, Claim No. 11
MARIJUANA PRODUCES AN AMOTIVATIONAL SYNDROME
Marijuana is said to have a deleterious effect on society by making users passive, apathetic, unproductive, and unable or unwilling to fulfill their responsibilities.
The concept of an amotivational syndrome first appeared in the late 1960s, 68 as marijuana use was increasing among American youth. In the years since, despite the absence of an agreed-upon definition of the concept, numerous researchers have attempted to verify its occurrence.
Large-scale studies of high school students have generally found no difference in grade-point averages between marijuana users and non-users. 69 One study found lower grades among students reported to be daily users of marijuana, but the authors failed to identify a causal relationship and concluded that both phenomena were part of a complex of inter-related social and emotional problems. 70Field studies conducted in Jamaica, Costa Rica and Greece also found no evidence of an amotivational syndrome marijuana-using populations.
In these samples of working-class males, the educational and employment records of marijuana users were, for the most part, similar to those of non-users. In fact, in Jamaica, marijuana was often smoked during working hours as an aid to productivity.The results of laboratory studies have been nearly as consistent.
In one study lasting 94 days, marijuana had no significant impact on learning, performance or motivation. 74Undoubtedly, when marijuana is used in a way that produces near-constant intoxication, other activities are 1ikely to be neglected.
However, the weight of scientific evidence suggests that there is nothing in the pharmacological properties of cannabis that alter people's attitudes, values, or abilities regarding work.
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