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Marijuana use and ambition (or lack thereof) ...

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

What is your take on the correlation between marijuana use and dwindling ambition?  I'm having a very hard time finding unbiased information on this.  Everything is either very anti-drug (and therefore gives me the standard "pot smokers are lazy lazyheads who will never do anything,") or is so pro-marijuana that it's almost ridiculous in the claims that there are no side effects whatsoever.


I know that correlation does not equal causation.  But my partner has gone from having semi-concrete goals for after graduation to refusing to discuss possible moves for our family in ANY way, shape, or form.  It's been a very gradual slide that I can only link to heavier use since some of his buddies got medical cards. 

post #2 of 12
Marijuana can be addictive, just like any other substance. I would argue that a physical addiction is less likely than most other "drugs", but mentally addictive has a very similar effect. Are you noticing the effects across the board, in the day to day stuff as well? Like, no I don't want to go to the store with you, I'm just going to laze on the couch. Or just long-term, planning for the future? If it's only in one aspect of life, it might just be a coincidence, or he might be using marijuana to cover up some unease/fear about the transition. If it's generalized, it might be that MJ use has become problematic for him.

I'm pretty middle of the road on this--I think it should be legalized, while I do recognize that I know a few people who have struggled with addiction to MJ...just to give some background
post #3 of 12

It is possible that there is a correlation, and it's possible that there is something else affecting both, or something that affects just his motivation. If his friends just got medical cards that allow them to smoke medical marijuana, he could be feeling stressed or depressed about what it means for him if his friends can be in that position. That is the first step to figuring out if there is causation, ruling out all other possible factors.

post #4 of 12

Well, from personal experience I have known guys who were in advanced classes at school (doing the work a year a head of them) who started smoking alot of pot and started doing absolutely nothing. An ex-boyfriend stopped smoking from his own voalition because he felt too unmotivated and stupid when he smoked too much.


My personal opinion is that the occassional use on the weekends isn't going to make much difference but if it becomes daily or every other day then it definitely has an impact on ambition and motivation.

post #5 of 12

I think, from years of personal experience and observations, that yes, the use of marijuana can cause some individuals to lose motivation. In the cases I have personally observed, there have always been other underling issues, namely, depression of some sort.


My ex went something like this. We met when he was going through a bad divorce. He smoked occasionally, but still got up every day and went to work, did what he was supposed to do. He was a midnight toker - you know, get all the things done you have to get done then have a toke or two to unwind from the day and relax. Divorce was finalized, and alimony and child support together were 60% of his paycheck before taxes. So, that left him with very, very little money on each paycheck. We were living together at that point, and I had to pick up a 3rd job just to make ends meet. That made him more depressed. So, he started smoking more and more. He lost his job. He told me after he lost his job that he would smoke a bowl on the way to work - so he was staying high all day by that point. He didn't look for another one. I tried to be encouraging, I tried to help him find a job making better money (which was very probable, considering his background and resume) where he would actually have some take home pay after the alimony and child support came out. I gave up after a few months and left him; I moved several hours away. A month later he wanted to join me, but I told him only if he stopped smoking. He said he would. He came up, got a great job where he was actually bringing home some money, and things were fine. Until life got hectic again (ie - our son was born). Then, he started smoking again. Went to work late, or didn't go at all. Eventually lost that job. I left.


Now, over 3 years later he once again has a great job, lives a few hours away from me, and is actually paying me child support for the first time in years. But, he confided in me a few days ago that he has started smoking again. I know that now its just a matter of time before he looses this job, too.


I have also know people who can smoke pot first thing in the morning, maintain a good buzz throughout all of their waking hours, and still do everything they are supposed to do and then some. My father is like this. Greatest guy in the world, brilliant, highly regarded in his field, chronically responsible, bulldog ambitious. He can partake as often or as rarely as he wants, and nothing about him changes. He's a little more laid back and approachable when smoking, but he still is the same authoritative, ambitious man he has always been. And he has no idea that I know that he smokes.


So, I guess my opinion is that yes, smoking mj can cause some people to lose all ambition - but, I think there are usually bigger underlying reasons there. I think it all depends on the person. Most people who smoke know how it affects them, and the grounded and responsible ones adjust their usage accordingly.


I am a smoker, but I'm a midnight toker. After I have done all of my housework, attended to my son's needs, fed him, read to him, put him to bed, etc., then I might occasionally smoke a bowl to unwind. I know that smoking causes me to be paranoid around anyone but my closest people, so I would never smoke and then try and enter a social situation of any kind, esp work.


I sincerely hope that you are able to have a productive conversation with your partner about this so that you two can reach a compromise of sorts, and plan for your future together.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

It's not a generalized lack of ambition ... it's mostly about the future and what we're going to do after he graduates, and other completely random things.  I'll admit, I was hoping it was related to the MJ, so that it might be some kind of simple fix.  He's very proactive about certain things, but completely freezes up about others.  Thank you for the input though. 

post #7 of 12

I live with a man who refuses to make plans, to talk about the future. He doesn't smoke at all, never has. He'll throw me a little bone now and then, and discuss where we might "one day" or "eventually" buy a house, or how we will "eventually" get married. Its very frustrating. If you ever find a simple fix for it, please let me in on it too. I wish you the best of luck and communication, mama. :)







post #8 of 12

When I was smoking daily, it absolutely negatively affected my ambition and motivation, and I became addicted and depressed.  It probably affects different people in different ways, however.

post #9 of 12

IME with a variety of pot smokers, it can affect motivation and ambition, but doesn't always. Just as with any drug, pot affects different people in different ways. I had an artist friend who used to smoke before he painted - not to enhance his creativity, but because he found some of his painting (certain background effects) more fun while high. My ex became a complete slug under the influence of pot...no motivation at all. I've had friends who smoke just as a way to relax in the evenings, and had fairly high-energy lifestyles. I was never a really highly motivated/ambition type, and I don't think pot really affected me in that area at all, but it did make me just insnely self-conscious and mildly paranoid. (I smoked it in an unconscious attempt to self-medicate for depression, and to keep a lid on my extremely bad temper. It worked quite well, and I quit pretty soon after I graduated from high school, as I wasn't so suicidal and hostile once I got out of there.)

post #10 of 12
Originally Posted by MariesMama View Post

It's not a generalized lack of ambition ... it's mostly about the future and what we're going to do after he graduates, and other completely random things.  I'll admit, I was hoping it was related to the MJ, so that it might be some kind of simple fix.  He's very proactive about certain things, but completely freezes up about others.  Thank you for the input though. 


Given the current state of the economy I'd be hesitant to think much about the future if I were still in school. Right now there are people out there with degrees who have been looking for work for 6+ months and unable to even get an interview because the only people who are hiring are the ones that don't want to hire someone with a degree. And for some people that prospect is just too much the think about. Almost like finish school and hit a 10 foot deep brick wall.

post #11 of 12

It affects people in different ways depending on how they are at the time. When I was really depressed and smoked pot, I klacked motivation, but I probably would have lacked motivation anyway due to the depression.


When I smoke pot and I am not depressed, I find I actually have more courage and get more done a)because it helps my pain levels and b) it just makes me feel better about myself, the same goes for DH (who also has pain problems).


I think a problem with pot is that you get a whole load of people who are a waste of space (not being harsh, really, they just lack ambition and are quite happy to sit on their butts a lot doing nothing) who smoke pot but who would be doing the same thing, even if they weren't smoking pot and I reckon that may screw the statistics. I have known a lot of successful people (including a successful lawyer lol) who have  maintained a decent life with job/education etc even though they smoke pot.


I think the important things to think about with pot is a) the amount smoked b) the type of pot smoked and c) the mental and physical health of the pot smoker.


a) if you smoke a lot of pot, chances are, you have some kinda addiction to it and smoking lots does your head in, you can become tolerant to it but you shouldn't smoke that much to begin with, pot is like alcohol, it should be an enjoyable thing like a glass of wine in the evening (unless of course you are using it for medical reasons but even then, you don't need much).


b) some pot has more mental than physical side effects and vice versa, if you are smoking pot that just mongs you out then you are just going to be mongy. I had a dealer who would bring round all sorts of types for me to choose, he would tell me the effects of every single one, I wouldn't smoke the ones that made me a nutcase or lazy. Again, like alcohol, I smoke what I like and which doesn't affect mein bad ways (gin makes me depressed so I don't drink gin, white wine gives me a funny tummy so I don't drink white wine etc).


c) If you have mental health problems it can either make you feel better, or make you feel worse but I think that mostly depends on the type of pot. There are times when I have been depressed when pot has just worsened it but then again there are times when it has in fact helped me to feel better. Physically, if it helps with pain issues etc then you are likely to be more able because you aren't suffering as much.


Can you talk to your partner, find out whats going on?


Anyway, these are just my thoughts........

post #12 of 12

I think like ANY medication, it isn't suited for everyone.  It's my personal opinion that the people who can't maintain at least a normal level of functionality while smoking are people who SHOULD NOT be using it.  The people who find there is a great improvement in their attitude, their motivation, their energy level, their pain level, their ability to concentrate...  These are the people who MJ is meant for.  Pretty simple...  If a drug improves your life, it is working.  If it doesn't, you have no business messing with it.  Sure, plenty of people might catch a buzz...  But getting a recreational high and using marijuana medicinally are two very different things.  I think the "dwindling ambitions" might be a very good sign that your partner is NOT suited to MJ use.  On the other hand to be devil's advocate, I respect MJ not only as a medicine, but as an entheogen.  That being a psychoactive used for spiritual purposes.  I think it has the real ability to help strip people of their less authentic selves.  Marijuana might be helping your partner realize that the things he thought were terribly important are less so.  Everyone's ideas of ambition are different.  And MJ has a serious way, even in the people who it helps the very most, of making you see the rat race for what it is.  Maybe MJ isn't the problem...  Maybe his being torn between the idea of what he thinks he should be doing based upon what others think and his idea of what would fulfill him is the real issue.  There is nothing wrong with wanting a simpler life, though that certainly seems like a lack of ambition to many people.


ETA:  I think it is also important to note that even if it is helping him, he's going to have to have some moments away from it to realize that.  If you are CONSTANTLY under the influence, then you really have no clue as to how MJ's revelations fit into your "real" world.  It is a medicine, and it CAN be abused.  It can also be used to the point of building a tolerance.  And I think that tolerance IS THE PLACE WHERE ADDICTION begins.  You become afraid that the world outside of being high is going to lack something, so you go to ever greater lengths to get it needing higher doses and depending on the green-tinted glasses to see the world through.  My recommendation?  Talk to your partner about saving it for the weekends, or only once every three days or something of that sort.  Or maybe take a break and go back to it in a month after he's had some time to cleanse and get to a point where he isn't afraid to not be high.  Marijuana can do great things for people with a myriad of problems...  It really boils down to using it in a way that works for you as an individual.  That takes some SERIOUS personal responsibility.

Edited by StrongBeliever - 11/23/10 at 3:11pm
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