Letter | Published:

Drug Use and Grades in College


ONE of the most compelling arguments against illegal drug use, especially by the young, is that it instills in the user an “amotivational syndrome” of apathy, lethargy and loss of motivation in the conventional sense1. The argument assumes that drug use tends to become routine and that the drugs specifically prohibited by law are associated with reduced achievement-oriented behaviour. Given the fact that drug use is currently at an all-time high among the young—and possibly more so among society's talented young than in any other group—these issues deserve empirical exploration. The latest Gallup poll, conducted in December 1970, indicated that in a roughly random sample of American college students, 42% had tried marijuana at least once. Moreover, this was an increase of almost 1% per month from previous surveys.

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  1. 1

    McGlothlin, W. H., and West, L. J., Amer. J. Psychiat., 125, 372 (1968).

  2. 2

    Lemberger, L., et al., Science, 170, 1320 (1970).

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