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Cannabis Use Increases Empathy and Moral Decision Making According to Study

The subtle rule of being “Irie” has been a part of stoner lore since the first easy-going kids who wanted out of the system rolled their first joint. This friendly way of existing comes down the line of the sacred Rastafari practices, which must be given their rightful dues here. But plenty of resistance from uppity parents who were influenced by the Hollywood films about biker gangs and a litany of government propaganda has seriously hobbled legalization efforts for almost a century. Only in recent years has the research for understanding the true nature of marijuana’s effect on social ideals received the necessary funding to prove the opposite.


Clinical Study Turns Up We Already Knew

A case in point is a new study conducted by the Unversity of New Mexico, which has proven what we already know to be true: Marijuana has exceptionally positive effects on empathy and actively promotes peace. The study, entitled Cannabis “Consumption and Prosociality,” took in a group of healthy college students as its fortunate test subjects to investigate the psychological effects of marijuana on a series of behavior characteristics.

One of the findings may have enormous implications for treating aggression during turbulent times. The youngsters demonstrated increased empathy and pro-social behaviors based on underlying principles of fairness and minimizing the harm done to others. All of which sounds pretty good to us.

Other Findings

All of this was proven per the benchmarks of standard psychometric testing. But then came the long-awaited retort to all the phony bad press suffered by marijuana over the last century.

Not only was empathy shown to be a crowning feature of marijuana usage, but the negative prerequisites of violence like angry facial expressions, negative interpretations of neutral facial expressions, and distrust for others were shown to undergo no appreciable increase.

There were also no measured changes to overall personality stability, flying in the face of previous notions that marijuana can cause individuals to change personality on a whim. The standards for measuring these traits are openness, extraversion, conscientiousness, and mood stability.

The last parameter tested in the study focused on attitudes towards authority. There was no meaningful change to this personality dimension either, with test subjects showing a consistent attitude towards the ideas of purity and feelings toward authority before and after marijuana usage. So much for our great aunts’ anecdotes about marijuana’s featured role in street fighting and Hell’s Angel broken-bottle-over-the-head shenanigans against the police.

What Took Researchers So Long?

Looking down the line at the history of research conducted on marijuana’s effects thus far, it doesn’t make sense to place the blame at researchers’ feet. Instead, we should blame the less-than-honest direction funding has been targeted in the past. According to Jacob Miguel, who works in the department of psychology at UNM, most investigations have been too busy trying to find adverse effects like addiction to marijuana and possible health problems to make do anywhere else.

He also says that virtually zero research funding has gone into finding the actual effects of marijuana on the psychological characteristics of human beings, despite its long history of consumption. In our books, that’s a disservice to science money in the highest – or really lowest – form.

As we already know, marijuana is not an addictive substance. Although retailers aren’t allowed to push the positive health benefits of the herb, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest it can help ailing people. This means countless millions of tax-payer funds have gone to waste in proving non-existent and possibly fraudulent drawbacks of consuming marijuana.

But let’s just be Irie. These latest findings definitely are.



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