Many marijuana users continue to insist that there are no long term consequences associated with their heavy use of the substance. However, research continues to show a connection between heavy marijuana use and numerous problems later in life. While marijuana may not pose the same amount of immediate drug dangers such as those from crystal meth or heroin, it can cause other issues which, over time, can become serious.
Extensive Marijuana Use Leads To Financial Problems
Studies show that middle aged individuals who used pot extensively during their youth have a greater propensity of financial problems. They tend to work at jobs that are low skilled, low paying and have few opportunities for growth. These individuals were also found to have more social problems when compared to their peers who had not smoked pot extensively. Such problems included domestic violence, theft or other antisocial behaviors.
Marijuana has always been a challenging drug to analyze. The reason for this is because its immediate effects are relatively benign when compared to harder street drugs, some of which can lead to overdose and death when trying even once. Marijuana doesn’t destroy the body in the same manner as crack or methamphetamine, which leads many people to believe that the substance is completely harmless.
However, the evidence shows that while marijuana may not have the immediate adverse physical effects of other drugs, there are long term social problems associated with its use. Any substance that causes poor performance at work, school or which disrupts personal relationships is dangerous in its own way. Marijuana can also be just as dangerous as alcohol when those abusing it choose to drive under the influence.
Additional Research Findings
Financially speaking, heavy marijuana use has been found to be more serious than alcohol. Although many places within the U.S. and worldwide have or are planning to legalize it, the social problems associated with its use will continue. The findings resulting from this study were based on research in which 1,000 children born in New Zealand during the 1970s were monitored over a period of 40 years.
The conclusion resulting from this study is that the children who used pot extensively during their youth had far more financial problems by middle age than their peers who refrained from using it heavily. Critics have countered by saying that this study may merely show that people facing economic and financial issues early in life are may be more likely to use marijuana than those that don’t face such challenges.
Perhaps the best system is one which allows legal marijuana usage while placing restrictions on its use among younger people, similar to how alcohol is subject to age restrictions. This could be the most ideal way to mitigate the risks associated with its abuse, while offering an environment where consumers can develop the knowledge and skills needed to differentiate usage from abuse. Marijuana, even if legalized widely, should only be legally available to people that are mature enough to understand the consequences of its use, which is akin to alcohol.