By Ian Seabolt
There are a number of different reasons why people don’t like the idea of making cannabis more accessible to the public, one of them being that its regular use can make a person “lazy.”
A strong stigma has been placed on the regular cannabis user actually; think of the stereotypes you see in movies. How often does the “stoner” do something stupid? How often does the “stoner” appear to shrug off responsibility and/or forget entirely about preexisting goals?
If you were to scour the Internet at this very moment, you might find yourself face-to-face with numerous scientific studies, each claiming that cannabis use reduces overall motivation. At first glance it seems like science confirms the stoner stereotype; regular consumption makes an individual less motivated to accomplish tasks.
Like any generalization however, I feel as though we need to reassess and evaluate this.
It is quite interesting that the World Anti-Doping Agency, the primary organization responsible for maintaining sports standards across the globe (the Olympics), specifically prohibits the use of marijuana during competition.
Individuals competing are allowed to use the plant for medical reasons, but not during the time of the competition itself.
The only possible reason for this is that there is concern cannabis could enhance performance. If cannabis promoted only “laziness,” and “lack of motivation,” then why has it been prohibited in sports competitions on account of possible enhancing qualities?
A person may think, what about the studies? Let us not forget that the scientific studies we have are limited in nature. Furthermore, I’d venture to guess that there have been few studies completed, that have sought to explore properties in cannabis that may enhance motivation, and even sharpen performance.
Shedding the Old Image
The majority of scientific data seems further skewed after a brief glance at popular opinion. A new voice does indeed suggest that cannabis may actually provide motivation. If you scour the Internet, not for “scientific” evidence, but for personal accounts of people using cannabis during exercise routines, you will find a large amount of positive anecdotes. There exists a ton of forums on cannabis use and exercise, and many individuals are stating that regular use enables them to have a better workout. Some of these individuals claim to be fitness professionals as well.
The following list is made up of a few online websites maintained by those integrating cannabis and fitness successfully:
- Holistic Cannabis Network
- Break The Stigma Fitness
I tend to think that the individual who maintains a consistent exercise routine, in order to achieve the greatest level of fitness that they can, is anything but lazy. The stoner stereotype is flawed; there are fit, and healthy individuals, who are using cannabis regularly. Imagine that.
Despite there being a handful of studies claiming that cannabis may reduce motivation, it is far more likely the case that there are lazy people who use cannabis, and there are motivated people who use cannabis. It’s a big world out there, and we have a lot to learn.
Whatever the case may be, it seems an appropriate time for us to reevaluate our perception of the “lazy stoner” at the least. The image is no longer relevant. We need more research, more studies, and we need to rid ourselves of the stereotype.