People who use cannabis are more susceptible to false memories, according to a study published on February 10 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. So , the results of the study could have “implications for police, legal professionals and policymakers in the treatment of cannabis-impaired witnesses and suspects and the validity of their statements”. According to the authors.
Basically , the researchers used 3 different methods in the double-blind, placebo-controlled test. Including associative word lists and two disinformation tasks using virtual reality.
Generally, Cannabis has effects on memory. The creation of false memories mainly limited to the acute intoxication phase. Also, cannabis appeared to increase the propensity for false memories. With a decrease in the strength of association between an event and a test item.
Elizabeth Loftus, one of the co-authors of the study. Suggested that the results of the study could lead to cannabis intoxicated people being considered “vulnerable” controls. Loftus explained that law enforcement officers “need to be particularly careful” about vulnerable witnesses. Including children and people with mental disabilities.
Lilian Kloft, a lead author of the study said that people with cannabis intoxication “are at the highest risk of false memories for things or details that are poorly relating to the original event. And have a positive bias when they are unsure of their memory. Which make them a kind of random and unreliable responders.
Kloft said more research into other drugs and drug combinations is “urgently needed”.