A new study has found that a considerable number of software programmers use cannabis while on the job, with most revealing that it boosted their creativity and got them into the zone. The study was conducted by University of Michigan researchers. They based their research on anecdotal evidence, which suggested that programmers were more likely to use marijuana while working.
The researchers carried out a survey to find out whether this was true, obtaining feedback from more than 800 developers, who explained how cannabis helped or impacted their work.
The researchers were primarily motivated by the fact that policies for drug testing were still common in the programming sector, which they proposed could contribute to hiring shortages for some jobs. In their survey summary, they explained that the prohibition of the use of marijuana in software engineering had contributed to a hiring shortage for some programming jobs in the U.S. government.
The researchers discovered that 35% of the participants had used marijuana when programming or finishing up on other tasks related to software engineering. More than 70% of those who had tried cannabis while working also revealed that they had consumed cannabis in the last year.
Of the total number surveyed, 53% admitted to using marijuana while programming more than 10 times while 27% stated that they used the drug at least two times a week. Another 4% admitted that they used marijuana while on the job on a daily basis.
The researchers also asked the programmers why they chose to use cannabis, finding that most used the substance because it made tasks related to programming more enjoyable. Others admitted to using the herb to come up with more creative solutions.
The researchers also discovered that the most common tasks people performed when using cannabis were testing, coding, prototyping and brainstorming. In addition, the scientists found that about 30% of respondents used marijuana for reasons related to their general wellness, noting that while wellness did inspire the use of marijuana while programming, it wasn’t the biggest motivation.
Furthermore, the researchers discovered that even programmers who didn’t use the herb supported marijuana reform, with more than 90% of the participants maintaining that the use of cannabis should be legalized for medicinal and recreational use.
The group noted in its conclusion that the results had implications for drug policies for programming jobs and highlighted the need for more research into the use of marijuana while programming, as well as digging for a deeper science-based understanding of the marijuana products sold in state-legal dispensaries and produced by companies that operate legally, such as American Cannabis Partners. The survey’s findings were published in arXiv, Cornell University’s repository.
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