Smoking pot has always been an underground culture in college, but a recent study from the University of Michigan shows that the number of students who admit to smoking pot in the United States is on a 35-year high.
In the university’s “Monitoring the Future” study conducted last year, around six percent of students said that they use weed on an almost daily basis—almost a 50 percent increase since 2007’s 3.5 percent. Cigarette smoking, on the other hand, dropped to just five percent, showing that students now prefer weed over cigarettes. Drinking has also showed a downward trend among students.
“It’s clear that for the past seven or eight years there has been an increase in marijuana use among the nation’s college students,” said Lloyd Johnston, co-authors of the study. “And this largely parallels an increase we have been seeing among high school seniors.”
The study further said that more relaxed laws on the use of marijuana have contributed to the rise of teen and young adult weed smokers. Many also don’t see the drug as harmful, since only 35 percent of high school graduates surveyed said that there is danger in regular marijuana use.
The rise in marijuana use also led to a decrease in the use of other illicit drugs in college. Those who use heroin and LSD have remained low in recent years, while the use of amphetamine had also begun to decline in recent years. Cocaine is defying statistics however, with 4.4 percent reporting to have used the drug within the past 12 months compared to just 2.7 percent in 2013.
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