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Major Studies of Drugs and Drug Policy
Canadian Senate Special Committee on Illegal Drugs
Volume I - General Orientation

Chapter 7 - Cannabis: Effects and Consequences

Behavioural and social consequences

The main behavioural and social consequences examined in scientific literature deal with social and family adjustment, aggression, and the ability to perform complex tasks.


Social and family adjustment

According to some studies, chronic cannabis use could have consequences for social and family adjustment. Thus chronic users would have more difficulty keeping a job, would be unemployed more often and would have more interpersonal adjustment problems.[1][69]

However, most of these studies suffer from methodological problems and interpretation difficulties. Most studies involve samples of people who, by and large, come from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds. Above all, beyond the statistical association, it is difficult to determine to what extent other factors play a preponderant role, of which cannabis is itself a symptom and not a cause.



Unlike other psychoactive substances, alcohol and cocaine in particular, cannabis does not lead to aggression. When examining withdrawal symptoms once dependence is established, some authors note greater irritability; but this is even less significant proportionally than that caused by tobacco.


Performing complex tasks

No study on chronic cannabis use has been able to establish that cannabis causes long-term effects on the ability to perform complex tasks. This data is in keeping with cannabis’ lack of neurotoxicity.



[1][69]  INSERM, (2001) op. cit., pages 206-207.

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