Increased Drug Use Across College Campuses, Tyler Webb

8:24 AM College Lawyer Blog 0 Comments


Wednesday, 3/23/16 

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Todd Levitt, Levitt Law Firm,


According to a recent article by CM-Life, the campus newspaper for Central Michigan University, marijuana use on CMU's campus has increased since 2012. CM-Life reports that 96 percent of drug incidents reported from 2012-2016 involved marijuana, or marijuana use. In 2012 there were 45 incidents regarding marijuana in the resident halls. This number increased to 82 last year in 2015. This data did not include alcohol. 

Lt. Cameron Wassman of the Central Michigan Police Department was quoted in the article saying there has been an increase in "marijuana wax" and prescription drug incidents during the last few years as well. Most of incidents occur when a complaint is made inside of one of the resident halls. Typically the smell of marijuana is reported to the police and they arrive to confront the suspects. Lt. Wassman said that majority of cases are forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct which deals with disciplinary issues for CMU students. 
“That’s mostly how we find the drugs,” Wassman said. “We have the discretion as to whether we want to charge criminally, or put them through the OSC.” (via CM-Life). 
The article also discussed an increase in medical marijuana cards. Despite having the right to legally own, and possess marijuana it is still illegal and banned on CMU's campus. As noted in the article it is the job of CMUPD to keep everyone safe and comfortable and in doing so they must enforce current drug laws. 
It's not just CMU that is battling the increase in marijuana use. In an article written by Lauren Boyer of USNEWS, the University of Michigan did a study and found that one in every 17 college students are smoking marijuana on a daily basis. The study, called "Monitoring the Future" also concluded that overall drug use across college campuses has increased stating that the percentage of students using illegal drugs increased from 34 percent to 41 percent between 2006 and 2014. 
There is a huge movement across the United States to legalize marijuana altogether. Four states (Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska) allow recreational use of marijuana- marijuana is essentially 100% legal in these states. There are 23 other states that  have laws allowing medical marijuana use, or decriminalization of marijuana. In 2016 it is very possible there could be a few states get added to that list. According to leafley.com, and the International Business Times, Nevada, California, Vermont and Arizona all have a good chance of legalizing marijuana in 2016. Michigan is also mentioned as a state in which there is a "strong cannabis movement". 
The Monitoring the Future study attributes the increased marijuana use to the progressively relaxed marijuana policies across the country. College students understand that there are states and county's that have very relaxed marijuana laws and others that are still very strict. This lack of parity results in mixed signals from the state legislatures, and creates a perception that marijuana is harmless. Until marijuana laws are more solidified and more consistent law enforcement can expect the use of marijuana to continue to reach an all time high- pun intended. 

-Tyler Webb
Editor-In-Chief, CLB
Senior Law Clerk, Levitt Law Firm. 

Sources:
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/09/01/daily-pot-smoking-on-college-campuses-reaches-a-35-year-high
http://www.cm-life.com/article/2016/03/cmu-police-see-increase-in-marijuana-use-on-campus
http://www.ibtimes.com/marijuana-legalization-2016-which-states-will-consider-cannabis-year-2245024
https://www.leafly.com/news/headlines/what-states-are-most-likely-to-legalize-in-2016



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