A new study shows that smoking reefer after hours won’t affect your work, so toke away, friends

by Amanda Push

If someone has the nerve to tell you that your marijuana use is screwing with your job, you now have the proof you need to tell them they are w-r-o-n-g.

In May, professors at Auburn and San Diego State universities published a study in which data was gathered from 281 employees and their direct supervisors. The study uncovered that cannabis used after work hours “was not related (positively or negatively) to any form of performance as rated by the user’s direct supervisor.” Aka, the employees’ bosses could find no change in the employees’ work performance either way.

“Results indicate using cannabis before or during work harmed four of five different dimensions of performance rated by the user’s direct supervisor, yet contrary to commonly held assumptions, not all forms of cannabis use harmed performance,” the study stated. “In fact, after-work cannabis use did not relate to any of the workplace performance dimensions. This finding casts doubt on some stereotypes of cannabis users and suggests a need for further methodological and theoretical development in the field of substance use.”

So, based on the study, one could even infer that cannabis is helpful and may even affect work performance in a positive way.

“After-work cannabis use could allow for relaxation and resource recovery to take place, which would help with performance-related aspects of one’s work, but it may be indirect such that after-work cannabis users get better sleep, wake up feeling more energized, and this positive state is what sets the stage for improved performance,” according to the study.

The study took place in order to consider how cannabis legalization would impact the workplace as a change in laws regarding its legality becomes more widespread. The study examined the relationship between three temporal-based cannabis measures and five forms of workplace performance.

Hopefully, studies like this will continue to help diminish the stigma of marijuana use, even in Colorado. Despite recreational marijuana being legalized in 2012, Colorado employers can still legally fire employees for smoking weed outside of work hours. The arbitrary and subjective right to terminate employment is due to archaic legislation and a lack of methodology to test marijuana use with more precision, as cannabis can sit in your system for weeks.

Perhaps it will be studies such as this that will inspire state legislators to pass more laws protecting Coloradoans who choose to roll a joint during their personal time.

Amanda Push


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