There are now more college students in the United States who regularly smoke cannabis than there have been in over 30 years, according to a new survey entitled “Monitoring the Future” which serves as an annual snapshot of the U.S. college student. Researchers with the University of Michigan published the results of their findings earlier this week, which suggests that cannabis has become more mainstream among young Americans than even cigarettes.
In 2014, around 6 percent of college students said they smoked weed on an almost daily basis – an slight increase from about seven years ago when only about 4 percent made this claim. To put the data in perspective, 5.2 percent professed to smoking cigarettes on an almost daily frequency.
Although it is impossible to pinpoint exactly what attributed to the increase of college pot use, there is speculation that the change was brought on by the recent shift in the way marijuana is viewed across the nation. As it stands, four states and the District of Columbia have legalized the leaf for recreational use, while 23 others allow it to be consumed for medical reasons.
Cannabis is no longer perceived by college students as being the dangerous drug that it was once touted to be — putting students more at ease with the idea of making it their feel-good substance of choice. In fact, in 2006, 55 percent of the people between the ages of 19 and 22 reported that they felt cannabis was a dangerous substance.
“Most of what people hear today is what the benefits are,” said Lloyd Johnston, the lead researcher in the study. “Young adults are seeing marijuana as less dangerous.”
In addition, more college-aged students appear to be trying marijuana. The report indicates there has been a 4 percent increase since 2006 in the number of students who admitted to trying the herb at least once. Again, a more positive public opinion in regards to cannabis may be responsible for the increase.
Some other findings include: amphetamine use has increased from previous years, while the use of spice and alcohol is reportedly on the decline.
Are you a college-aged adult that smokes cannabis? Tell us about it in the comments.