Wednesday, December 19, 2007

To Pot or Not to Pot?

I’ve mentioned before that, although I am strongly opposed to our self-destructive and counterproductive pot policies in this country, I have never imbibed, never even pretended to inhale. Pot, tobacco, you name it, except second-hand when I was in that bowling league. No offense, but I’ve always thought it silly and self-indulgent, if not as dangerous and lethal as legal drugs like alcohol and cigarettes. So, while I know why I never have, I can’t really speak to the reasons why people would smoke pot. This article, however, gets at the reasons why college students do and do not and thus should be required reading for me. Tell me if it’s worth it and maybe I will.

New information published in the Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research explores University students’ motivations for using or not using cannabis and found various factors that might encourage use.
Compared to non-users, users believed more strongly that cannabis would help them fit in with their friends, feel relaxed, forget their worries, and enjoy themselves. They also believed that their friends would approve of their use.

Additionally, users believed that certain factors including force of habit, wanting to relax, feeling stressed, and being around other people using cannabis would encourage them to use, while non-users rated work and study as strong reasons for not using cannabis.

“Findings from this study provide a better understanding of the different motivations of users and non-users of cannabis,” the authors note. “They also open up opportunities for targeting these differences when further developing initiatives in prevention and intervention in order to enhance the educational experience of young adults.”

And this post and this one coincidentally consider whether it’s good or bad to for college kids to take drugs that enhance you cognitively but don’t otherwise hurt you (which makes the comparison to steroids a little weak) and leaves you wondering if a story about those drugs will turn up like this pot one in a few years.

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