Marijuana Intoxication Does Not Adversely Impact Decision Making, Study Says

New York, NY: Experienced marijuana users perform tasks as accurately after having smoked cannabis as they do sober, according to clinical trial data published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.

Investigators at New York State’s Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University assessed the impact of acute cannabis intoxication on the decision-making abilities of 36 subjects, as assessed by the Iowa Gambling Task performance test. Volunteers completed the Gambling Task once sober and three times after smoking cannabis or placebo.

Though cannabis intoxication increased the time required for subjects to complete their tasks, volunteers’ accuracy was not adversely impacted by pot.

“[A]dvantageous card selection and money earned on the task were not disrupted by marijuana,” authors concluded. “These data are consistent with previous findings that indicated that speed of performance on tests of executive function, but not accuracy, is disrupted in experienced marijuana users during marijuana intoxication.”

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at: Full text of the study, “Acute effects of smoked marijuana on decision making, as assessed by a modified gambling task, in experienced marijuana users,” appears in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.

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