SCIENCE: America’s College Students Are Getting Stoned Out Of Their Gourds
Over a third of America’s college students admit to getting stoned out of their gourds at least once in 2015, according to a recently released national study.
The continuous Monitoring the Future study, which has been keeping track of drug use among college students since 1980, shows that 38 percent of U.S. college students say they consumed marijuana at some point during 2015.
The 38-percent figure is up from 30 percent in 2006.
About 4.5 percent of America’s college students say they got high pretty much every day — at least 20 times in a given month — in 2015.
Also, approximately two-thirds of U.S. college students say they see no problem with using marijuana occasionally.
“Something has changed dramatically,” Lloyd D. Johnston, one of five researchers behind the study, told NBC News.
“It’s become a national phenomenon, not specific to any one state,” Johnston, a distinguished academic at the University of Michigan, added.
One major thing that has changed in recent years, of course, is that several states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.
Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, for example, now allow the sale and use of recreational weed.
Students with whom NBC News spoke were generally supportive of responsible marijuana use.
“I think pot being legalized makes people think it is safer because the government allows its use,” an 18-year-old student named Mckenna told NBC. “But that doesn’t mean you should smoke every day and become a lazy stoner.”
Another student, Aidan, said he hoped legal weed would encourage these college kids today to “start drinking less as they smoke more” because “a group of stoned kids is a lot less dangerous than a group of drunk ones.”
College administrators say they have noted a correlation between students getting bad grades and students baked all the time. (RELATED: Colorado School Officials: Marijuana Is ‘The No. 1 Problem In Schools Right Now’)
“When partying overtakes other areas of life, we often see an academic impact,” Sarah Belstock, director of health promotion at the University of Denver in Colorado, told NBC.
On the bright side, Belstock observed, large numbers of stoned college kids are far less likely to create the kind of havoc created by large numbers of drunk ones.
“You don’t see the property damage and violence and general disruptions,” she told NBC.
In more good news, the use of prescription narcotics and amphetamines is declining among college students.
“College students, at least, are hearing and heeding the warnings about the very considerable dangers of using narcotic drugs,” Johnston, the University of Michigan study author, told NBC.