The Lumberjack

Speaker from Melbourne talks cannabis

Illustration by Jen Kelly.

Jenny Williams, a professor at the University of Melbourne, spoke with Humboldt State economics students on Feb. 19 about her findings in a 15-year study of the effects of cannabis users and their choice of job professions.

“In today’s age, cannabis use is something that is socially acceptable,” Williams said. “Today, more of the population who start using cannabis are young, between the ages of 14-18.”

In Williams’s study, 49 percent of 1,000 male high school seniors used cannabis. Within that 49 percent, most of them either stayed in low-wage jobs after graduation or continued their academic career.

Williams’s study also shows theories that cannabis users have a present mindset.

“Users of cannabis are more willing to go into lower wage jobs,” Williams said. “This potentially leads to users being less likely to complete their education.”

Brea Smith, a student at Humboldt State, said marijuana use is likely going to increase due to the recent legalization in California.

“I won’t be surprised if the number of younger users increases in a couple of years.” Smith said.

Eureka resident Jacob Rice has been a cannabis user for years.

“I wanted a job for the sake of getting money,” Rice said. “I guess the study is accurate in some way, but I would take it with a grain of salt.”

Williams plans on conducting a similar study to look into female high school seniors.

“Socially, cannabis has become more acceptable than it was years ago,” Williams said. “I think it’s important to look at a students’ financial wellbeing in the long term when it comes to long-term cannabis use.”