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Coders Love Cannabis – Over 35% of Programmers Use Weed While Coding


coders using cannabis

It seems cannabis could be a booster for software programmers, as 35% of the volunteers in a survey revealed they have used cannabis to ignite their creative tendencies while coding.

The United States of America is on the verge of full-blown cannabis decriminalization. Meaning that drug policies relating to cannabis use in the workplace may soon be reviewed. The software programming sector is mainly made up of individuals who work remotely while completing their engineering-related tasks. Still, this does not mean that they do not have drug policies to stick to.

Madeline Endres, Kevin Boehnke, and West Le Weiner recently co-authored a publication that studies the cannabis usage pattern, perception, and motivation of software programmers in the country. The trio set out to determine whether or not software developers rely on cannabis to get into the right zone to debug or create unique codes.In this survey of programmers’ cannabis inclinations, the authors based their findings on 803 developers.


Hashing It Out: A Survey of Programmers’ Cannabis Usage, Perception, and Motivation

Published in the first week of December 2021 in Cornell University’s arXiv, this study surveyed a total of 803 developers, made up of full-time and part-time developers. The researchers are based at the University of Michigan, and this survey was carried out to accurately ascertain the prevalence of cannabis usage among programmers, as well as their motivations for using it and perceptions after using it.

According to many studies, cannabis is a productivity enhancer. Therefore, if used rightly, it could help programmers when brainstorming, coding, debugging, or even prototyping. Cannabis is used in many fields to improve productivity. However, not all workers across all fields can use cannabis. In this study, volunteers alluded to using the drug mainly for its perceived enhancement qualities and recreational purposes.

The results of the survey showed that about one-third of the population had used a cannabis product at some point when coding or executing other related tasks. 18% said they use cannabis at least once a month when working. More than 70% admitted using some form of cannabis product while working in 2021. In the motivation for use options, less than 40% said that they used the drug for reasons that had to do with enhancing their programming skills. On the other hand, a small percentage (about 15%) cited general health issues like chronic pain or mental disorders as their motivation for use.

The study also found that programmers were more likely to use cannabis for recreational and skill-enhancement reasons than its health benefits. 60% said cannabis makes their jobs more enjoyable and enjoyable. This is not hard to comprehend, as programming can become quite intense and dull in a short time. 53% of the surveyed population noted that cannabis helps unlock their programming zone and helps them think of easy, creative, and efficient solutions to work around challenges that may pop up while working.

Another notable finding in the report is that over 90% of the participants fully support cannabis reforms, regardless of whether they have used the drug. Many of them stated that medical and recreational cannabis should be decriminalized and legal across the country. This is in line with the opinion of the majority of the general U.S. population.


Drug Testing Policies In The U.S. Tech Sector

The software engineering niche in the U.S. has a standing cannabis prohibition policy that disallows workers from using the drug. This has caused a shortage of workers to fill specific job positions within the industry. This hiring shortage is one of the primary motivations the three authors had to conduct this survey. Drug testing policies within the software engineering industry have also limited the number of workers willing to work in some programming positions within the US government.

Almost every field is affected by these drug testing policies. This hiring shortage will only deepen with the new range of remote jobs flying around. Madeline, Kevin, and Westley noted that this same hiring shortage could be observed at the federal level. The report included a statement made by the previous Director of the FBI, James Comey, about his intention to relax some of the bureau’s drug use policies. This occurred over six years ago, in 2014. Comey, who made this statement in an interview with The Washington Post, said that many of the country’s best software programs and hackers have an affinity for cannabis.

To have a team filled with the top gurus and specialists in the programming and hacking sectors, he was willing to hire cannabis users. What matters most is catching cybercriminals and ensuring the safety of confidential government files.

In June, Amazon announced a review of its drug testing policies for on-field positions within the U.S. The company disclosed that it would no longer be entertaining the need for drug testing for most job positions because it was no longer in line with the widespread acceptance of cannabis in the country.

Subsequently, the tech company announced in September that its decision to end drug testing could only be perfected by reinstating the employment eligibility status of workers who were fired or punished due to positive drug test results. This is the company’s way of deleting the records of its former employees and applicants following complaints that the new policies were retroactive.


Bottom Line

The study’s findings could have implications for the current policies within the U.S. tech industry. It could also motivate in-depth research into cannabis use while programming or working on related activities. Now that marijuana is becoming accepted by the general U.S. population, a heated debate looms over the horizon on the future of drug testing policies in all job positions within the U.S. workforce.

Will other legal states take the oath of New York’s Department of Labor, which states that employers do not have the right to drug test workers for cannabis? Or would all penalties be scrapped for testing positive for cannabis use? It is important to note that some jobs will forever require marijuana drug tests due to their sensitive nature.









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