Marijuana on College Campuses

An overview of the problem of marijuana use and abuse on campuses across America and the debate surrounding the decriminalization of this drug.

The use of marijuana on college campuses is one of the most contentious issues facing the academic world today. Marijuana is widely used within American society, despite widespread anti-drug lobbies and prevention campaigns. This paper shows that the effects of marijuana have been said to include effects on memory, negative social effects and health effects like cancer, immune damage, and respiratory problems. Additionally, anti-marijuana groups often point to marijuana as a ?gateway? drug and note that marijuana use can potentially be dangerous while driving. The paper shows, however, in contrast, many scientists contend that marijuana is largely misunderstood and may have many positive medical uses. Given this debate, it becomes difficult to determine how marijuana use should be regulated or prevented, especially given the stunning inability of current approaches to stop the growth of marijuana use among young people. The paper shows that decriminalization of the drug is one likely candidate, coupled with stiff penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana or selling marijuana to children. The complexities of the political, social, and scientific aspects of this debate ensure that the problem of marijuana use on college campuses will not be easily solved.
“Many scientists and drug experts argue that marijuana is a deeply misunderstood drug. In fact, Rosenthal, Kubby, and Newhart argue that marijuana is “one of the most benign substances known to man.” They suggest that the current criminalization of marijuana came from needlessly worried parents and liquor and pharmaceutical companies that were worried about losing market share. They argue that most of the evidence against marijuana is either misinterpreted or false. Further, they argue that the government’s anti-drug policy is driven by political and social reasoning, rather than any strong scientific evidence of the dangers of marijuana use (Rosenthal, Kubby, and Newhart). Further, Earleywine and Marlatt provide some convincing evidence that marijuana use does not impair the grade of college students who use the drugs.”