Marijuana and workplace performance


Dr. Wayne Lehman of Texas Christian University looked at how marijuana affects job performance. A series of surveys he conducted among 4,600 municipal employees in four cities in the Southwest indicated that 8 percent of employees had smoked marijuana in the past year, and a large percentage of these users had smoked marijuana in the past month, Dr. Lehman said.
‘Employees who report marijuana use are different from nonusers,” said Dr. Lehman. They are much more likely than nonusers to have arrest histories, low self-esteem, high rates of depression, and friends who are deviant. Many marijuana smokers also have alcohol-related problems. One-third of marijuana users in the suneys reported they drank frequently. one-half said they got drunk, and 60 percent reported a problem with alcohol use, according to Dr. Lehman.
This behavioral pattern in the personal backgrounds of marijuana-smoking employees was associated with negative attitudes toward work and job performance, Dr. Lehman said. The surveys found that marijuana users were less likely than nonusers to commit to the organization. had less faith in management, and experienced low job satisfaction. These workers reported more absenteeism, tardiness, accidents, workers’ compensation claims, and job turnover than workers who had not used marijuana. They were also more likely to report to work with a hangover, miss work because of a hangover, and be drunk or use drugs at work.
These data indicate that marijuana use is strongly associated with problematic alcohol use and a pattern of general deviance that leads to impaired behaviors and poor workplace performance, Dr. Lehman concluded.

Source: Dr.Wayne Lehman Reported in NIDA JAN/FEB 1996


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