Survey: 35% of Programmers Used Cannabis While Programming

More than a third – 35% – of programmers have used cannabis while programming or completing another software engineering-related task, with 73% of the cohort using cannabis while programming in the last year, according to an arXiv paper outlined by i Programmer.

In the paper, Hashing It Out: A Survey of Programmers’ Cannabis Usage, Perception, and Motivation, researchers found that 53% of respondents reported using cannabis while programming monthly, 27% used cannabis twice-weekly while programming, and 11% used cannabis on a near-daily basis.

Sixty-three percent of the 280 respondents said they had used cannabis only while working on personal programming projects; 47.8% while performing non-urgent programming tasks; 34.2% while programming for work projects; 27.3% while programming school-related tasks; and 9% while programming deadline-critical tasks, the report found. The researchers also found that the majority of programmers who used cannabis (52%) were somewhat or more likely to use cannabis while working from home, which 5% said they were less likely to use cannabis while performing job-related tasks from home.

“Overall, we found that programmers were more likely to report enjoyment or programming enhancement motivations than wellness motivations: the most common reasons were “to make programming-related tasks more enjoyable” (61%) and “to think of more creative programming solutions” (53%). In fact, all programming enhancement reasons were selected by at least 30% of respondents. On the other hand, general wellness related reasons (such as mitigating pain and anxiety) were all cited by less than 30% of respondents. Thus, while wellness does motivate some cannabis use while programming, it is not the most common motivation.” Hashing It Out: A Survey of Programmers’ Cannabis Usage, Perception, and Motivation, via i Programming

In all, 29% of respondents indicated that they had to take a drug test for a programming-related job.

The report found that the vast majority of programmers surveyed, 91%, believed that cannabis should be legalized and just 5% found smoking cannabis once or twice a week was a “great risk.” The report notes that dispensaries located around Silicon Valley estimate that 40% of their clientele are tech workers and that a qualitative study of coding boot camps found “lots and lots” of cannabis as one key element of support.

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