The Day – Legalized Marijuana Drives Change in Higher Education

Legalizing marijuana in many states presents many challenges for college and university administrators. Excessive cannabis use can lead to the same problems as those caused by excessive alcohol consumption, such as erratic driving, fighting, vandalism, theft, etc. This is due to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive component in marijuana that causes impairment, i.e. decreased judgment and motor functions.

Most alcohol-free campuses are, or most likely will be, cannabis-free campuses as well. Public health officials investigating driving and other problems on campus may use some of the same tests that are used to detect excessive alcohol consumption, such as blood and urine. States differ in the legal limits of THC in an individual’s system for determining impaired by smoking, vaping, or cannabis use (i.e. in brownies and other foods) .

Most colleges and universities have substance abuse prevention programs. These programs educate students about the impact alcohol, marijuana and other drugs can have on their bodies, judgment and behavior. This education understands the harmful effects and legal consequences of these psychotropic drugs. The focus was on alcohol abuse. The challenge now is for schools to scale up education efforts related to marijuana abuse to the level of alcohol abuse.

C. Kevin Synnott

Department of Business Administration, Management and Marketing

Eastern Connecticut State University

Willimantic


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