In recent decades there have been a lot of “Reefer Madness” era myths about marijuana use that have been outright debunked. The latest to add to the cannabis culture myth-busting archives is a study that finds cannabis use is not linked to lowered motivation in teens. A team of Researchers from Florida International University found that that neither occasional or heavy use of marijuana by adolescents is associated with decreased motivation, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Substance Use and Misuse.
“Decreased motivation is often noted as a consequence of cannabis use,” the researchers wrote. “Previous work has yielded mixed findings, relied mostly on adult samples, and varied to the extent that it accounted for potential confounds.”
The Florida International researchers studied the relationship between cannabis use and motivation in 79 adolescent subjects aged 14-18-years-old. Those subjects included both long-term regular consumers and occasional cannabis consumers, which was roughly divided in half. Investigators assessed the participants motivational tendencies through two validated tools called: the Apathy Evaluation Scale, and the Motivation and Engagement Scale).
“Our findings do not support a link between reduced motivation and cannabis use among adolescents after controlling for relevant confounds,” the team wrote.
The lazy stoner, watching movies and ripping a bong on the couch in their parents’ basement, has been a stereotype since at least as far back as the 1960s and 1070s. When it was no longer possible to demonize marijuana users as unpredictable raging monsters, gears were shifted to make the herbs relaxing and slightly mind-altering effects appear more dangerous than they really were.
Authors reported: “After controlling for confounds, no significant differences were observed between regular and light users on any motivation index. Similarly, no associations between motivation and lifetime or past 30-day cannabis use amount were observed.”
In 1972, scientists came up with the term amotivational syndrome to describe the loss of drive to work, socialize, and attain success in life commonly seen in marijuana users. Cannabis consumers were described as apathetic, lethargic, and disengaged – but these latest studies find that to be anything but the case.
Now, decades later, many people have proven to be the exact opposites as successful musicians, actors, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and creatives of all kinds have proven that cannabis consumers can be motivated, and can accomplish great things – all while enjoying the relaxing benefits of cannabis.