As the marijuana industry evolves in the United States, one thing has remained constant— the popularity of smoking pot among college kids. While the profile of a typical cannabis user has expanded to include the elderly and athletes, the image of a college kid smoking a joint has remained. In fact, a new study shows that marijuana use among college students increased last year, something some say could be attributed to widespread acceptance of the drug.
The study, released on Tuesday, showed that the proportion of students surveyed who used some type of illicit drug in 2014 rose to 40 percent, up from 34 percent in 2006. Six percent of those questioned said they use marijuana daily, a marked increase from the 3.5 percent that admitted to daily use in 2007.
With legal marijuana becoming more and more available, most believe that use on college campuses will continue to increase. Some say that could be due in large part to diminishing concerns about health consequences. Unlike smoking cigarettes, marijuana use isn’t associated with a barrage of health problems, but some scientists say that could be false security.
As marijuana use has only recently been studied for its long-term effects, research is inconclusive as to whether or not the drug is dangerous when used for a long period of time.
The data regarding marijuana use among college students is also concerning in that many believe it suggests a wider trend that could extend to even younger generations. As pot becomes more acceptable, many worry that children will be enticed to use the drug as well. With vaporizer pens, brownies and even breath mints laced with marijuana on the market, the dangerous stigma that smoking carries is no longer a deterrent.