Science Says Weed Leads to Crap Jobs and No Friends

This is bad news if you live in New Zealand.

Sometimes in this life, a spirited, considered, awakened individual just has to make some tradeoffs. Like among the lesser of two evils or the grayer of two half truths. No one knows that better than researchers at the University of California, Davis and also at Duke University.

Doctor Magdalena Cerda, an epidemiologist at the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program, is primary author of a study published online in the journal Clinical Psychological Science. Cerda's report contains a huge spoiler in the title: “Persistent Cannabis Dependence and Alcohol Dependence Represent Risks for Midlife Economic and Social Problems: A Longitudinal Cohort Study.”

The money quote from the Davis and Duke narrative is sure to baffle any lay people sneaking a read of this post while gainfully employed at work, especially those of you who have plans to meet up with friends this evening and a loved one who is not bruised.

From Cerda’s interpretation of the numbers and statistics:

“Our study found that regular cannabis users experienced downward social mobility and more financial problems such as troubles with debt and cash flow than those who did not report such persistent use. Regular long-term users also had more antisocial behaviors at work, such as stealing money or lying to get a job, and experienced more relationship problems, such as intimate partner violence and controlling abuse.”

The good doctor should have added three more words to that summary: In New Zealand.

Image via Brightredsparks/VSCO

From Science Daily:

The authors assessed the frequency and duration of cannabis use among participants in a four-decade project that has been following the development of a group of 1,037 children born in 1972-1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand, from birth to age 38.

According to a United Nations Women report from 2011, New Zealand women suffer from the worst domestic violence and maternal mortality rates in the developed world.

In 2013, the Legatum Prosperity Index, which ranks 142 nations on their “wealth and wellbeing,” and tracks aspects of downward social mobility, noted that New Zealand had dropped from eighth to 15th in the Safety and Security category “due to increases in demographic pressures, human immigration and group grievances.”

The academic scientists at UC Davis and also at Duke University are undoubtedly very bright and dedicated. Still, you don’t need a Ph.D. to see that they might have picked a less-skewed research pool.