Over the past several years, we have begun to have a larger discussion on whether or not to permit the use of marijuana in our societies. We’ve seen a multitude of states, so far, legalize the recreational use of cannabis, such as Washington and Colorado. However, this conversation still needs to continue, and we need to be more educated on the effects that marijuana can have on communities. Aside the from health aspects, another important factor to consider is what it means for people, financially. Recently, a study was conducted in New Zealand to determine just that. Here’s some information on what these findings show about the subject...
Marijuana users more likely to be lower class than their parents
The New Zealand study was conducted by a research group at UC Davis, with funding from NIDA (the National Institute on Drug-Abuse). What the study found was disconcerting. Marijuana users are shown to have a much lower rate of social mobility than non-marijuana users. The study, which was conducted with data from New Zealand citizens who were born in 1972, shows the marijuana users are more likely to be in a lower economic class than their parents, while their contemporaries who don’t use marijuana are shown to be more likely to be in a higher class. This is a notable difference between marijuana and alcohol, as similarly frequent alcohol users are not any more likely to lose social mobility.
Law may play a part
It’s important to note that this study doesn’t exist in a vacuum. In New Zealand, the possession of any amount of marijuana has been illegal since 1975, while alcohol has remained legal and regulated. There is a high possibility that the legal standing of marijuana has an effect on its users, since many of them are less likely to be able to obtain a higher-paying job with higher-paying skills, as they may require drug tests. Any run-ins with the law earlier in their life may also set them on a self-fulfilling cycle that makes it harder to achieve social mobility. The truth is, more studies like this will need to be conducted in places like Colorado, so that we can see the effect that legal marijuana is having on communities.
These differences exist despite other factors
Another important observation to be aware of is that these differences between marijuana users and non-marijuana users exist across other differences, such as lower IQs, alcohol use, and issues with social behavior.