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.
Cannabis Report of the Swiss Federal Commission For Drug Issues
126.96.36.199The Amotivational syndrome
Acute, reversible psychotic states have been documented in exceptional cases following
cannabis use, but the existence of “the amotivational syndrome”, first described in the
literature in 1968, has never been confirmed. The term was used to describe the changes in
attitude and personality, the neglect of appearance and general disinterest displayed by
chronic users of cannabis, although nowadays it is considered to be obsolete and not typical
of cannabis consumption (Huw 1993; WHO 1997).
It is exceptionally difficult – if not impossible – to establish a direct and exclusive causality
between speculative consequences of chronic cannabis use and the drug itself. For
example, studies attempting to link dropping out of school at an early age with cannabis use
have tended to show that it was in fact the family background, the child’s relationship with its
parents during its school years, social values, etc. which led the child to stop going to school