Marijuana Impairments a Qualitative Study The term that knowledge is power only stands correct if your information is reliable and correct. Therefore, only some information is power, for not all information is reliable. The information we receive substantiates our belief system, and the decisions we make and how we understand the world around us. If that information is tainted by receiving misinformation/inaccuracies, such as information handed down through myths, folklore, and others’ misconceived ideals, then this information is dis-empowering to us and could be harmful to our creditability (Harris, 2010).
This qualitative study is on the effects of Marijuana, and how it impairs function and inhibits motor skills. The purpose of a qualitative study is to gain knowledge from a particular social situation, event, role, group, or interaction (Creswell, 2009 p. 194). Therefore, it is an investigative process where the researcher gradually derives a conclusion from a social phenomenon by contrasting, comparing, recreating, cataloging and classifying the object of a study (Creswell, 2009, p. 194).
According to Creswell (2009), in order to accomplish a qualitative study one must immerse themselves into the everyday activities of the topic/setting of the informants’ environment through continual interaction, and pursue the informants’ views and interpretations (p. 194). Qualitative research is the attempt to reconstruct the subjects’ real-world experiences. The study by Ramaekers, Kauert, Ruitenbeek, Theunssen, Schneider, and Moeller (2006) indicates that high-potency marijuana was shown to consistently impair executive function as assessed in the Tower of London (TOL) task (p. 298). In the original version of TOL, it consists of three colored balls, which must be arranged on three sticks to match the target configuration on a picture while only one ball can be moved at a time (p. 2298). The current version is computer generated images comprised of the start and finish arrangements of balls. Every time a ball is moved counts as one step. The subject decides as quickly as possible, whether the end arrangement can be accomplished in 2, 3, 4, or 5 steps from the beginning arrangement by pushing the corresponding number coded button (Ramaekers, et al. 2006, p. 2298). The use of nine separate versions of this test were assessed and objectively reviewed. The TOL test found the executive function and planning abilities of the subjects under the influence of a high dosage of THC had their cognitive functions impaired and measured the degree of this impairment (Ramaekers, et al. , 2006). In conclusion, participants that smoked marijuana with a high THC content illustrated a consistent impairment of executive function when undergoing the TOL.
The motor functions were also impaired through a decrease in the ability to track the objects when it came to “critical tracking task” (Ramaekers, et al. , 2006), along with a significant decline in motor response, with impairments continuing for a period up to six hours after smoking a high level THC 500 mg/kg marijuana joint (Ramaekers, et al. , 2006, p. 2302). The study did not include subjects that were heavy daily users of marijuana in order to prevent tainting the results of this test through residual impairment by the THC already in the systems of those individuals (Ramaekers, et al. 2006). References Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and mixed method approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Harris. R. (2010). Evaluating internet research sources. Virtual Salt. Retrieved January 1, 2012, 2011, from http://www. virtualsalt. com/evalu8it. htm. http://pewresearch. org. Ramaekers, J. G. , Kauert2, G. , van Ruitenbeek, P. , Theunissen, E. L. , Schneider, E. , & Moeller, M. R. (2006). High-potency Marijuana impairs executive function and inhibitory motor control. Neuropsychopharmacology, 31, 2296–2303