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Reefer Madness

With marijuana legalized in so many states, nobody pays attention to its use anymore. Are college students better or worse off now?

When we accept a question for the column, we try to answer it. You appreciate there is no ready answer for you, just a lot of research. It is considered an early stage in the American experiment with decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, concede marijuana lawyers. There are definitely people being hurt by the government’s change of strategy in the war on drugs. Let us see who they are.

A University of Michigan study reported students now smoke more marijuana than cigarettes. Access to the drug is restricted to those 21-and-older. Clearly that does not work for pot, cigarettes or alcohol, says cannabusiness entrepreneurs. In certain areas, usage has increased more on college campuses, than in the older segments of the population, who are legal age to buy pot.

College students have developed an increasingly liberal attitude towards casual drug use. Studies also show that drug use also rose in junior-high kids. Research, and common sense, says this directly followed its legalization.

Concomitant with legalization is an increase in potency. The average THC content in marijuana, the chemical that makes you high, has risen from 1%, in your parent’s generation, to 13% today. We already discussed, access, attitude and potency. Too many variables make conclusions difficult and there is more.

We should focus on who is abusing pot. These college students are the real casualties of legalization. We assume vulnerable students make a choice: binging on alcohol or smoking pot. The research unfortunately shows that students choose both. There is not a substitution, but a magnification effect. Binge drinkers were reported to be nearly 75% more likely to be regular pot smokers. This reflects on these students’ behavior and attitude. If you use one substance, you will gravitate to another. Their peers who abstain from alcohol are not swayed by the legalization of pot.

Since the film Animal House, it may be no surprise that the group described above is more likely: male, a fraternity member and in a smaller college. Pot either takes its toll or reflects on the user. Smokers typically maintain a B average or below. The longer usage continues, the lower their grade averages become.

Plenty of successful people had average grades. Show me the damage. The problem is not only what you do to yourself, but how it impacts others, discloses Pennsylvania accident attorney. Medical research concluded long ago that short-term memory is diminished in regular pot smokers. Your reasoning, or attention span, are also impaired.

If legalization of marijuana is a grand experiment, are we the guinea pigs?

Jacob Maslow is the founder and editor of Legal Scoops.