Software programmers are turning to marijuana to boost their creativity, a new study has revealed. The researchers also found that most programmers were in favor of marijuana legalization, even when they were not using it themselves. At the same time, stringent drug testing policies are common place in most work settings, including the programming sector. This contributes to hiring shortages and possible talent loss, especially in the creative sector.
Over the years, several studies have shown that marijuana use is perceived to stimulate creativity. The “high” is associated with “out-of-the-box” thinking that helps creatives to come up with original designs and projects.
A team of researchers from the University of Michigan recently carried out a survey to investigate marijuana use among software programmers. The study was titled: Hashing it Out: A Survey of Programmers’ Cannabis Usage, Perception, and Motivation.
The survey revealed that at least thirty five percent of the respondents admitted to having used marijuana to get them into the “programming zone” when working on intense projects. 803 software programmers took part in this study.
James Comey, former Director of the FBI, commented in 2014 that a few prospective FBI agents would want to smoke marijuana prior to an interview. Thus, he expressed willingness to make employment policies around marijuana more accommodative.
According to the study authors, cannabis prohibition and stringent testing rules contribute to hiring shortage especially in government programming jobs. Thirty-five percent of the respondents admitted to having tried marijuana while working on software engineering projects. In this group, seventy three percent had used marijuana in the past year.
Most respondents turned to programming for brainstorming, coding, testing, as well as prototyping. They reported enjoying programming tasks more and increased creativity after consuming marijuana. General wellness was also reported and this included a reduction in pain and anxiety levels. However, wellness was not the main motivating factor for cannabis use. Ninety one percent of the respondents were in support of the full legalization of cannabis. This figure is higher than the national average of those who want marijuana legalized at the federal level.