By Paul Hadish
More college students in the United States are smoking marijuana than anytime in the past 36 years. 1980 was the last time statistics of marijuana usage in college has been this high. According to a study done by the University of Michigan, 1 in 17 college students regularly use marijuana 20 or more times every month and 34% of students report marijuana usage in the last 12 months.
With states legalizing marijuana, the growing number of users, and influence from the media, college aged students are becoming more accepting of the drug. NORML Iowa State, a marijuana activist organization, feels as though the drug has been given a bad rep and it should be more widely accepted.
Anastasia Smith, a member of NORML, discusses the club’s view on marijuana and what they are hoping for the future of the drug.
“Hopefully we see it completely legalized throughout all 50 states,” said Smith. “It’s a big jump to have because there’s a huge war on drugs going on right now, but hopefully we can get more word out there about medical uses and the good things that marijuana can bring to the United States.”
According to the same study done by the University of Michigan, 53% of Americans say they support marijuana legalization however, MDMA and cocaine usage among college students has also gone up which means marijuana could be a gateway to other drugs.
Trenton Mein, a freshman in criminal justice, says how he thinks safe usage of marijuana can be beneficial.
“College is a very stressful time for students and I think they can use marijuana to just calm down and relax,” said Mein. “I think eventually it will be legalized everywhere, I think it will take a while, but I think before anything it will be used medically in the next couple years.”