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Marijuana users more likely to be social

Marijuana users more likely to be social: DENVER – A new study says that Colorado’s marijuana users aren’t quite the tie-dye wearing, jobless slackers they are sometimes stereotyped as, but rather happy folks who are more likely than non-users to have a full-time job.

The study was put together by BSD Analytics, and compared three groups of people in Colorado and California to one another:

  • Consumers: People who consume marijuana;
  • Acceptors: People who don’t currently use marijuana but might consider doing so, and;
  • Rejecters: People who don’t use marijuana and don’t plan to.

Two-thousand people were interviewed in both states, and 600 people who had used marijuana in the last six months were included.

The study found that 64 percent of Coloradans who used marijuana held full-time jobs, compared to 51 percent of “acceptors” and 54 percent of “rejecters.”

It also found that nearly half of the Coloradans surveyed said they were “more satisfied with life” now than they were a year ago. About 40 percent of acceptors and rejecters said they felt the same.

The study also found that Colorado’s marijuana users were more likely to enjoy the outdoors; 50 percent of users said they liked outdoor recreation, compared to just 36 percent for “rejecters.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study also found that pot users in Colorado were more likely to be fans of fine art and to describe themselves as creative people than non-users.

People who used marijuana were also more likely to say they were “very social” people (36 percent) when compared to acceptors (21 percent) and rejecters (28 percent).

Average annual household incomes for California consumers were between $16,000 and $21,000 higher than acceptors and rejecters, respectively.

BSD Analytics says it believes the study is the first of its kind.

“The ongoing study is the most comprehensive and detailed look at cannabis consumers ever conducted,” the company said.

Cannabis alternative to opioid

Canadian medical experts say legalizing cannabis may offer new hope to one day reduce the use of opioids — powerful drugs frequently prescribed for the treatment of pain.

Dr. Mark Ware, a globally recognized researcher and the vice-chair of the federal government’s task force on legalizing marijuana, says a legal framework for cannabis will help to facilitate further research.

He said published scientific research already suggests cannabinoid molecules interact with the brain in a way that has an important “synergy” with how opioids interact with receptors in the body.

“This appears to be a very profound affect,” he said. “Research suggests there are important interactions between the two systems.”

U.S. states that have legalized cannabis for medical purposes have also reported lower rates of deaths by opioid overdose, he added, noting what is lacking now is clinical studies to definitively say a patient on a high-dose opioid could use a cannabinoid to reduce their dose.

“That’s the challenge we have — to take this interesting possibility and explore it,” Ware said.