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Colorado and Washington Legalize Pot, Putting Colleges in a Bind

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,351 Senior Member
edited November 2012 in Parents Forum
"Officials of Colorado and Washington's flagship universities say new laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for adults in those states are unlikely to change campus policies."

Will this inspire pot use among college students in these states?

Colorado and Washington Legalize Pot, Putting Colleges in a Bind - Students - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Post edited by Dave_Berry on

Replies to: Colorado and Washington Legalize Pot, Putting Colleges in a Bind

  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    Eighteen states and Washington DC already have legal medical marijuana. Washington state legalized it 4 years ago. It's unclear how the federal govt is going to respond to the latest election.
    Schools aren't going to be able to grow marijuana on their organic farms, but unless use really steps up to be more blatant than it was say- in the 1970's ;), I can't say I see campus life changing.
  • HarvestMoon1HarvestMoon1 Registered User Posts: 6,038 Senior Member
    I don't see the issue to be much different than the one presented with alcohol on campus. It will be the same scenario - colleges will limp along trying to enforce the under-age laws, and it will continue to be an uphill battle. Some colleges will handle it better than others, and some students will handle it better than others. Really, at the end of the day, it comes down to the choice of the individual student, and how they decide to define their college experience. Both substances are pretty much available on most college campuses today, so the formality of legalizing marijuana will, in my opinion, not change the landscape all that much.

    What the legalization of marijuana says about the direction our nation is headed, is an entirely different subject.
  • mythmommythmom Registered User Posts: 8,305 Senior Member
    I don't see the issue. Alcohol is legal, but colleges can still regulate use on campus. Is there not a 21 year-old age limit for marijuana use?

    S went to college in MA which had already decriminalized marijuana use, but they did police dealing on campus.
  • ttparentttparent Registered User Posts: 1,913 Senior Member
    To be exact for MA in 2009, they decriminalized possession of one ounce or less to civil offense fined by up to $100 with no incarceration instead of before when it was a misdemeanor and possible jail term. Dealing is still very much a crime in MA and same for possession of amount greater than 1 ounce, there is basically no change on that lately. And a few days ago, the ballot question is passed to allow medical use of marijuana. This is all entirely different than the change that was just approved in CO and WA.

    I don't see how colleges can change their policy with federal law being what it is and most colleges receiving federal aids in the form of federal financial aid assistant to all the students.
  • lmkh70lmkh70 Registered User Posts: 976 Member
    My children will NOT be going to college in those states as a result. U of C at Boulder and Colorado College was on their lists. Both are off. And, we were headed to Colorado Springs for Christmas, we have cancelled the trip. I have no interest in breathing in someone else's pot nor do I want my children exposed. I have no interest in driving around people who are legally high while driving. I had a friend lose her 2 children to a driver on pot. They were 6 and 10 yrs old at the time (of course, they never got older) and her only children.

    Those states are fools. I want nothing to do with them. I already think cigarette smoking should be illegal because it goes in to the air and forces others to breathe it in. Now, pot? If I am in that state, and trying to be in the backyard with my children, will I have to worry about them getting high off the neighbors smoke? Just disgusting!

    And I understand that people will do pot in any state, but at least right now, I am not going to walk in to a store with my baby and have to have my baby breathe in the pot and get high just to get in to the store due to the people smoking out front. And if my neighbor wants to get high, he will hide to do it, not openly do it in the backyard where my children cannot go outside and to get high. And what about the children of the potheads? They will be newborn babies, laying in their bassinettes, breathing in pot and getting high...and it will be legal!!! I just think this is horrifying. I know it will still happen regardless, but less people do it now and people know to hide it and not do it in public. With it being legal, parents won't be arrested when their baby gets sick from being high or has health problems or learning disabilities and so on.

    I have permanent lung damage from my parents smoking. I think people should be prosecuted for child abuse and for assault on a child when they smoke around children...tobacco or pot. There should be recourse to protect people.

    If they were to eat their marajauna or their tobacco, I would not mind as much. But they are not eating it, they are smoking it, which forces the rest of us to breath in their crap.
  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 31,775 Super Moderator
    When I was in high school, a kid a year older than I died in a car accident because he was high on pot. Scary stuff. I wouldn't want my kids going to school in those states, either.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 63,552 Senior Member
    Given that the predominant use of marijuana is through smoking, and colleges and other places have gradually been getting stricter about smoking, it is likely that the effect of these changes will be much less than what people are assuming (it is likely that the smoking restrictions apply to smoking anything, not just tobacco).

    Indeed, it may be positive, in that a 21-year-old student need not worry as much about legal trouble if his/her roommate has a hidden stash of marijuana that is discovered by the police.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    Personally, I have the opposite view to #6.
    Some schools have a huge problem with alcohol consumption. For some the use is so widespread that it forms a cloud over the campus.

    While no one should be operating machinery while under the influence of any mind altering substance whether it be a couple PBRs, or a prescription pain reliever, and the laws on that won't be changing, the majority of the harm to students doesn't come from incidents involving marijuana, but from alcohol and other drugs.

    CDC - Fact Sheets-Alcohol Use And Health - Alcohol
    Alcohol fuels crime and violence, it can lead students to make reckless and dangerous decisions, if abused.

    Every day you can read about a student from K- graduate school who was found to have died either from alcohol poisoning or from an incident related to its abuse.

    From the research I've seen and from talking to emergency room staff at local hospitals. You can't OD on pot. You can be very disoriented and uncomfortable, but it isn't going to stop your body functions.

    You will find both marijuana and alcohol use, I dare say at any college in the country.

    But if the recent legislation helps you weed out ;), your child's choices, that's great!
  • mythmommythmom Registered User Posts: 8,305 Senior Member
    I don't understand the vehemence of these attitudes. I don't smoke pot, ever, nor am I apologist for pot smoking, but I don't drink either, and I go to states in which alcohol is legal, in fact any state.

    There are far more alcohol related deaths than pot related deaths, so I think a double standard strange. It serves no one but the alcohol lobby.

    I breath alcohol breath all the time. Yuck in my opinion. I don't abstain on moral grounds, just that alcohol doesn't especially agree with me and who needs another carb?

    I am in favor of this legalization. I find it hypocritical to have alcohol legal and pot not.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    I agree that smoking laws aren't going to reverse.
    Don't all campuses ban smoking in buildings and limit smokers to limited & specific outdoor areas if they allow smoking on campus at all?

    I hate the smell of most smoke, except maybe campfires -:) besides I've heard that is a very wasteful way to consume marijuana as it is now much more potent than the stuff you got in high school 40 years ago. I think many people use a vaporizer ( which doesn't burn, so it sent smoke) or use edibles.
  • 07DAD07DAD Registered User Posts: 5,169 Senior Member
    Those who really are concerned about highway safety/secondary smoke need to look at the chart and facts on use broken down by state.
    NORML's BIG BOOK - Monthly Adult Marijuana Use by State

    Does anyone think DUI is going to stop including pot in those states that legalize pot possession for personal use? I don't. Alcohol is legal and still comes within the DWI/DUI laws.

    When the penalty for possession upto 3.5 oz. is a minor misdemeanor, no record and a $150 fine (Ohio), there is not much deterence difference between decriminalization and "legalization."
  • Dave_NDave_N Registered User Posts: 717 Member
    Some schools have a huge problem with alcohol consumption. For some the use is so widespread that it forms a cloud over the campus.

    If the alcohol use causes a cloud, oh dear what will all of this marijuana use cause? A fog?

    But, I agree with you. Not much will change.
  • whenhenwhenhen Registered User Posts: 5,637 Senior Member
    I have no interest in breathing in someone else's pot nor do I want my children exposed

    Does anyone actually believe that marijuana prohibition is stopping COLLEGE students from getting exposed to weed? I go to school in rural Georgia, a state where weed is totally, 100% illegal, and I can confidently say that there are far more marijuana smokers here than at my high school in California, a state where weed is essentially legal for anyone over 18 who's willing to spend $40 for a "doctor's recommendation".

    Also driving while high is going to be illegal no matter how legal the intoxicant in question is.
  • blueiguanablueiguana Registered User Posts: 7,496 Senior Member
    Interesting map Dad. A complex issue, at least in my mind. I do wonder what the heck is going on up in Maine? ;) I was surprised to see it shaded so green, but then I'm really out of the loop in this area.
  • MassmommMassmomm Registered User Posts: 2,879 Senior Member
    College students hardly need a new law to "inspire" them to smoke pot. Those who smoke it will do so, whether it is legal or illegal. Those who want to keep their brain cells functioning will not.

    What I would worry about in these states is how well regulated the smoking will be. People who don't want to breathe in cannabis smoke should be protected from it.
This discussion has been closed.