The evidence for long-term cognitive impairments associated with chronic use of cannabis has been inconclusive. We report the results of a brain event-related potential (ERP) study of selective attention in long-term cannabis users in the unintoxicated state. Two ERP measures known to reflect distinct components of attention were found to be affected differentially by duration and frequency of cannabis use. The ability to focus attention and filter out irrelevant information, measured by frontal processing negativity to irrelevant stimuli, was impaired progressively with the number of years of use but was unrelated to frequency of use. The speed of information processing, measured by the latency of parietal P300, was delayed significantly with increasing frequency of use but was unaffected by duration of use. The results suggest that a chronic buildup of cannabinoids produces both short- and long-term cognitive impairments. © 1995 Society of Biological Psychiatry.