Campus Convos: Weed Legalization

Weed. Mary Jane. Ganja. Marijuana.

You've heard its name in many forms, and ever since the 1970's it's been popularized in the United States of America. However, Marijuana has been around for quite a long time. In fact, it was only outlawed by the federal government in 1937, which wasn't that long ago. In 1996, California voters approved the first legislation to legalize medical marijuana, and since then many states have passed similar laws. Colorado was the first state to legalize its recreational use in and began selling it to the public on January 1st, 2014. So...where do we go from here? Should other states get with the program and legalize it entirely? Should harsher sanctions be placed? Should it be taxed? We asked the students of Christopher Newport University to express their opinions on weed legalization, and how it affects college campus culture.

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22.2% of our survey respondents had a negative opinion on weed legalization, citing impaired driving, degenerate behavior, and smell as why they're against it.

"I don't think weed should be legalized. It's addictive and a waste of time. I realize that it being illegal doesn't and won't stop people from partaking in it's use, but I think it's important to discourage it and enforce consequences."

"Weed is degenerate and penalties should be increased. Those caught for possession or use should be immediately removed from the university."

"Please no. It smells terrible."

"It’s disgusting, turns people into mindless, gross and incompetent members of society. And it stinks."

"Don't legalize. It definitely makes you high and I don't want people driving impaired. Also, it may have health benefits to some but it gives me INCREDIBLE anxiety. I already suffer from paranoia. Please, no."

However, 58.3% of the student respondents said they were in full support of legalization for both medical and recreational use.

"I am 100% in support of weed legalization. I think people who want to smoke do it anyway so I don't think it would change campus that much."

"It should be legal. Having a harmless plant be illegal is absolutely ridiculous. As a recreational activity weed is fine. As far as affecting campus life, I agree it should be monitored like that of alcohol on our campus however, it should be legal for recreational use."

"Weed is not a bad substance. It can you be used for many different medical reasons. The legalization of weed may cause some problem, but not any problems that haven't already been seen before. Weed can also make a lot of revenue for the state."

"Weed is awesome. Weed helps with a plethora of many ailments as well as social anxieties. I believe that weed could benefit not only financially, but criminally. Many people are jailed for weed for upwards of 10 years while people who drink and drive and kill other drivers only go to jail for 15 months."

"I strongly believe that we should let individuals live their lives, particularly when it comes to weed. When it doesn't affect others, let people do what they want! Cops would waste less time writing tickets and going to court for people who are simply in possession of a natural substance, significantly fewer people would sell it on the streets which would eliminate the risk of receiving laced weed, fewer people's lives and futures would be ruined by useless charges and prison time, and we would receive a large influx in tax revenue."

11.2% of students said that it should only be legalized for medical use such as for cancer patients and mental disorders. And a small percent of 8.3% students couldn't even write a simple response to a survey without being an asshole or failing to make a complete sentence.

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For the most part, CNU students are ready to see a change in policy on weed at both the state level and the university level. But most are still unsure of how the regulations would work. We'll just have to see how Colorado handles their recreational use in the next few years, and potentially see some changes in our own government's view of marijuana.

What's your opinion on weed legalization and its impact on college campuses? Leave your opinions in the comments!