"It's All Good": Perceived Benefits but not Perceived Risks or Worries among Adult Marijuana Users

Renee Magnan, Benjamin Ladd
2019 Cannabis  
Public perception of marijuana is changing dramatically and anecdotal claims regarding the potential risks and benefits of marijuana use proliferate. These perceptions have implications for choosing to engage in marijuana use. The goal of this study was to describe perceptions of risks, benefits, and worry related to personal marijuana use and to identify the extent to which these beliefs were associated with marijuana use and problem severity. Further, we explored the extent to which
more » ... perceived risk and worry items best predicted problem severity. Regular adult marijuana users (N = 96) completed assessments of their marijuana use, marijuana beliefs, and monitored their behavior over two weeks. Perceptions of risk and worry were low while perceptions of benefits were moderately high. Perceived risk and worry were positively associated with marijuana problem severity, but not marijuana use crosssectionally or prospectively. Exploratory relative weight analyses indicated perceived risk and worry about negative mental health outcomes were most strongly associated with problem severity. Although users may experience problems, these do not seem to vary perceptions of benefits. As scientific support for marijuana's risks and benefits increases, this information should be relayed to the public in order to correct misperceptions and prevent problems.
doi:10.26828/cannabis.2019.02.001 fatcat:lz23w32uhzbfrctlpbmexmvkr4