“ Once something becomes a passion, the motivation lies there” – Michael Schumacher
According to published research findings on the association between adolescent loss of motivation and cannabis use , this association is a myth . A team of investigators conducted the research in collaboration with Florida International University. Additionally, the study was recently published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society . In essence, they are results that provide an important medical-scientific and psychological update on the subject at an international level.
Marijuana also appears to contribute to the development of higher than normal neuroplasticity!
The study authors point out that research prior to this often cites cannabis as a cause of a consequent reduction in motivation . However, these researches have often been conducted or focused on adults. The collected results are often mixed and patchy.
The updated research
To conduct the research, the investigators summoned a group of 401 subjects. These are boys aged 14 to 17 who showed characteristics suitable for the development of research. Each subject completed a total of five biannual assessments throughout the study period.
Assessment of the motivation of study participants was conducted using two self-assessment questionnaires. Also included in these questionnaires is an Apathy Rating Scale and a Motivation and Engagement Scale . These consist of sub-levels or minor evaluation scales that quantify the lack of involvement, persistence, planning, autonomous efficiency and the value of the study topics proposed at school.
The researchers also asked about the use of alcohol, marijuana and tobacco during each evaluation . Of course there was also a data analysis for modeling cannabis use patterns and their impact on motivation over time.
The results of two years of studies
It appears that after two years of collecting and analyzing and modeling the self-assessment forms, cannabis use has significantly increased . At the same time, the expected gaps in motivation and lack of involvement also manifested themselves. The immediate association was that higher cannabis use is associated with less involvement and poor planning, resulting in poorer ratings at school.
But as the researchers moved on to control variables in the data , including alcohol and tobacco use and the effect of other factors such as age, gender and depression , things changed. Researchers found that they actually had very little evidence on their hands that cannabis has an impact on motivation .
In the study’s conclusion, the researchers state that “What we found does not support a relationship between cannabis use and reductions in motivation over time in a sample of adolescents at risk of escalating cannabis use.” They also add that “This study contributes to the existing literature by longitudinally examining these associations in a large sample of adolescent cannabis users while controlling for important and often overlooked factors, including sex and depression .”
The researchers also found that the study failed to show that there is a loss of motivation over time due to cannabis use . And this is also true for individuals whose cannabis use has increased considerably.
“Despite significant increases in cannabis use levels in our sample, changes in cannabis use did not predict changes in motivation … which suggests that cannabis use may not lead to reductions in motivation over time.”
But the data indicated that cannabis use was associated with a lower perceived value of school . This worried the researchers because of the potential impact on participants’ academic achievement as adults. “Studies in the future should continue to examine these associations longitudinally to determine whether higher levels of cannabis use lead to reductions in motivation and whether these reductions may be responsible for poorer education.”
The opinion of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
NORML is a US organization founded for the purpose of reforming cannabis laws. Paul Armentano, the acting deputy director of NORML said the research serves to erode outdated stereotypes about cannabis . It seems that this principle, which appeared in a communiqué from the advocacy group on cannabis reform, is something that should make a lot of people think.
“Modern science is setting the record straight and also exposing so much of the ‘reefer madness’ of past decades.” Armentano also adds, “Unfortunately, many of these myths still remain prevalent in our society … and are often raised up by politicians in their attempts to justify the failed policies of prohibiting and stigmatizing marijuana .”
It may seem that the time has come to put aside the myths and base human life management policies on facts and not on fears .