By Sara Smucker Barnwell, Mitch Earleywine, and Rand Wilcox
From their study published in Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention Policy 2006 by BioMed Central (excerpts)
Few studies report low motivation in chronic users; another reveals that they have higher subjective wellbeing.
To assess differences in motivation and subjective wellbeing, we used a large sample and strict definitions of cannabis use (7 days/week) and abstinence (never).
Medical users of cannabis reporting health problems tended to account for a significant portion of subjective wellbeing differences, suggesting that illness decreased wellbeing.
Thus, daily use of cannabis does not impair motivation. Its impact on subjective wellbeing is small and may actually reflect lower wellbeing due to medical symptoms rather than actual consumption of the plant.
Despite the dearth of research supporting a link between cannabis use and low motivation, the notion persists in popular culture and academia.
In the public eye, the minority of heavy cannabis users who show low motivation represents the majority.
This misrepresentation introduces possible impediments to the effective treatment of cannabis abuse and dependence.
Honest information about the negative consequences of cannabis has the potential to improve the prevention of drug problems. Dropping references to amotivational syndrome may have considerable benefit.