Studies have shown that middle aged individuals with heavy cannabis use tend to have jobs with a lower pay and less prestige, and that require fewer skills on average. Does this mean that a history of pot use leads to midlife problems though? One advocate for marijuana use believes that individuals turn to marijuana because they already have problems and that the use of this drug is not what causes the problems in midlife. Researchers have also concluded that people who use cannabis heavily tend to have more financial problems and they experience more difficulty in relationships in their work and personal lives. The pot advocate points out that the study does not prove cause and effect, only that heavy marijuana use is associated with these issues and not that the drug use causes them.
Lead researcher and University of California, Davis department of emergency medicine associate professor Magdalena Cerda weighed in on the study concerning heavy cannabis use and midlife problems. Cerda said “The economic and social problems experienced by regular, persistent cannabis users are not due to other, pre-existing characteristics of cannabis users. We need to be aware that persistent heavy cannabis use may have consequences for how well people do in life, how they perform and function at work and in relationships with others. We also found that both cannabis and alcohol dependence similarly predicted declines in social class, antisocial behavior in the workplace and relationship conflict. Participants who were dependent on cannabis experienced more difficulties than those who were dependent on alcohol. So, the idea that cannabis is somehow safer than alcohol was not supported in our study.”