If some of the research on the subject of marijuana and violence holds any weight, a society of stoners could create an uprising of evil that only stands to destroy the planet.
Marijuana use is usually synonymous with peace, love, and a bunch of tree-hugging. It is known as a chill herb where the most common side effects include making people happy and prompting them to laugh a lot more on their way to a Taco Bell drive-thru. By all accounts, marijuana seems to be that one drug which, if legalized on a global scale, might finally give way to a situation where conflicted countries are not trying to kill each other with a wicked vengeance.
It just seems likely that the world would be a better place if it were stoned from time to time. But then again, if some of the research on the subject of marijuana and violence holds any weight, a society of stoners could create an uprising of evil that only stands to destroy the planet.
It might sound like complete lunacy to suggest that marijuana might contribute to a more aggressive population. Yet, a 50-year study examining the link between long term cannabis use and violence finds that it might not be that crazy after all.
Research published back in 2016 in the journal Psychological Medicine finds that regular cannabis use over the years seems to alter the brain in ways that make a person more likely to exhibit violent behavior.
“Together, the results of the present study provide support for a causal relationship between exposure to cannabis and subsequent violent outcomes across a major part of the lifespan,”” lead researcher and neuroscientist Tabea Schoeler at Kings College London, explained to Psychology Today.
This is a touchy subject, to say the least, considering that the interpretation of such studies is often made without acknowledging various other factors. In other words, it is tough to say, with any level of certainty, whether a long marijuana habit is actually making people more aggressive and mean over time. At least not without first considering things like socioeconomic status and personality traits.
Because while the average marijuana user is typically viewed as kind and carefree, there are undoubtedly some among us that are raging jerk wads. Chances are, however, that they’ve been that way since birth, and their propensity for being a royal douche has nothing to do with weed.
Still, the study, which examined 411 boys from London born in or around 1953, found no violent behavior in the ones who never used cannabis in their life. But that was a different story for those who began using marijuana before the age of 18 and continued getting high well into adulthood.
Twenty-two percent of this group showed a history of violent behavior. And the best that researchers can tell is that the continued use of cannabis was the culprit. The results show that “impairments in neurological circuits controlling behavior may underlie impulsive, violent behavior, as a result of cannabis altering the normal neural functioning in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex,” the article states.
But we don’t know if we buy it. In fact, we’d be willing to fight anyone who disagrees with us.