I think marijuana use is one of the biggest drug problems facing college students today. It is easy to obtain and does not have the stigma of other drugs such as cocaine, crack or methamphetamines. Students smoke marijuana for different reasons, and it is some of these reasons that need to be identified and analyzed. Some may think it is cool to smoke marijuana and some may do it because of peer pressure and their desire to fit in with the crowd. This drug has become socially acceptable in society, which has led to the increase of its use. Marijuana is glamorized by celebrities, portrayed in music videos and on the big screen. For some young people, seeing their favorite celebrity smoking marijuana on television resonates with them and automatically makes it okay to do. With so many college students smoking marijuana, it could be declared an epidemic. According to Wadley, marijuana use among college students is at its highest in more than three decades, (Wadley, 2014). This statistic is daunting, yet it gives us a picture of our world today. It shows how common the drug is and how it is no longer taboo among college students.
The University of Maryland conducted a study that wanted to show if there was a correlation between marijuana usage and academic success among college students. The study focused on college freshman, who were followed for ten years. The study found out that drugs "especially marijuana use, contributed to college students skipping more classes, spending less time studying, earning lower grades, dropping out of college, and being unemployed after college” (Schick, 2013). These students let their marijuana use overtake their lives and fell into a reality of memory loss, lack of concentration and ultimately got off track. Even with these negative facts, it does not seem that the usage of marijuana is declining. College students should think smarter and think about the consequences of their actions. They need to ask themselves, if it is really worth it to smoke marijuana. Are they content with being a statistic, dropping out of school, getting lower grades, and is this what has become of higher education today. There is so much for the student to lose, and if they are caught they could face penalties from the educational institution. Some students simply focus on the feeling they get from marijuana. They like being high or feeling stoned. They are not able to focus on the aftermath of the drug; they are only living for that moment.
Marijuana is such a major problem in colleges because all of the research shows that there are short and long term effects from smoking marijuana. Schick states that marijuana use could cause cognitive problems (Schick, 2013), but marijuana users do not want to hear these facts, they are only going by what makes them feel good or how high they can get using marijuana. If nothing is done about the daily use of this drug by college students, then we have to wonder what these students will become once they complete college. Will they still smoke marijuana in the workplace, or will they even be employable? These are relevant questions and questions that many people do not want to address. The truth is that marijuana is a drug. It is controversial however due to some states approving its use for medicinal purposes, but overall it is a drug. People have been charged with criminal offenses and have gone to prison for marijuana possession and use; yet it is a known fact that college students use this drug just as casually as cigarettes.
This practice must be changed, the issues must be addressed. Education and outreach programs are needed. The colleges as well as parents of these students should develop campaigns targeted at preventing marijuana use. Students must be made aware of the negative aspects of the drug and the long term effects that marijuana can cause. Currently, they only see the positive side of the drug; they need more education to see the truth from every side.
Schick, D. (2013). Study: Marijuana use increases risk of academic problems. USA Today.
Retrieved November 9, 2014, from
Wadley, J. (2014, September 8). College students' use of marijuana on the rise, some drugs
declining | University of Michigan News. Retrieved November 9, 2014, from