With medical marijuana now legalized in Ohio and dispensaries beginning to open around the area, marijuana is a fervent topic discussed among college campuses across the country.
There seems to be a general consensus of UT students, with an overwhelming majority saying they feel that marijuana use, whether it be medical or recreational, is widely accepted and practiced across UT’s community.
For example, a third-year education major, who wished to not have her name included, said just about everyone she knows recreationally smokes weed. She cannot think of one person she knows who outwardly rejects it.
“I feel like a lot of people smoke due to stress and anxiety you can get from being a college student and working full-time jobs now a days,” she said.
She also added, “My mom hits my dab pen sometimes even though my dad’s a cop,” showing the wide scope of marijuana’s acceptance.
For users like her, “dab pens” and vapes are becoming an increasingly popular way to smoke marijuana.
Monitoring the Future, a study published in 2017 concerning drug use for different age groups, done at the University of Michigan, coincides with these students’ observations.
Results show that marijuana usage of college-aged people is at the highest rate it has been since the 1980s. Researchers found that in 2017, 38 percent of college students had smoked marijuana in the past year, with rates being higher for those of the same age who were not attending college.
Among individuals who smoke marijuana, there are also those who don’t smoke, but still support the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Fourth-year psychology student Lauren Chrismer said that although she doesn’t partake in marijuana use, she does feel like it is accepted by most students. She does believe, however, that the number of people who are accepting and open to it is much larger than the amount of people who actually smoke marijuana.
Chrismer mentioned that a concern for her with increased marijuana use is that there may be a larger number of people driving under the influence of the substance, which could create safety issues for the general public.
“If marijuana does continue to be more accepted or legalized, it is very important to create regulations to
deter this issue,” she said.
Even if prescribed medically, it is not allowed on university grounds because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, as UT’s Policy on Alcohol and Substance Abuse says.
If found in violation of UT’s policies pertaining to substance abuse, consequences include removal from the university or loss of financial aid or scholarships.