CO: CSU Professors To Study Recreational Marijuana Impact On College Campuses

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A group of Colorado State University professors recently received a $186,500 grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to study the impact of legalized, recreational marijuana on young adults.

Brad Conner, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, is the principal investigator and one of the people responsible for executing the study on the impact of legalizing recreational marijuana on young adults and adolescents.

It is designed to look at existing data to determine the impact of legalizing recreational marijuana on marijuana use among adolescents and young adults, Conner said.

The study is funded by the taxation of medical marijuana from April 1, 2017 until March 30, 2019. Conner, as well as CSU professors from Human Development and Family Studies, School of Social Work and Psychology backgrounds, are a part of the Cannabis Research Group spearheading the study.

We have a strong research team, Conner said. (The team is) made up of myself, Nathaniel Riggs, Audrey Shillington, Melissa George and Mark Prince.

Within the last year, about 5,000 undergraduate students at CSU and about 8,000 undergraduates from 11 universities around the country were surveyed about their use of recreational marijuana.

The main purpose of this study is that were not using new data, Conner said. We have data that really described the impact (of recreational marijuana) on college students and their participation in the use of recreational marijuana.

Colorado was one of the first states to legalize and implement marijuana in 2012 and 2014. Conner believes that this new study will provide information to other states that have or wish to legalize recreational or medical marijuana in the future.

It will provide a road map to other states, Conner said. Five states just voted to either legalize or loosen the laws on marijuana. We can help tell them what will happen (if) they change their legislation on marijuana.

Conner hopes to enlighten college freshmen about what recreational marijuana use will be like on a college campus, and to break the stereotype that people will be smoking marijuana more often than they actually do.

The thing is that (most) incoming freshmen have no real idea about is how much alcohol is being consumed on a college campus, Conner said. People have those ideas about marijuana use as well, and they come to campus thinking there will be a lot of marijuana use, when most of the time those ideas are much more inflated.

Students differ in what they thought marijuana use was going to be like on a college campus. Sophomore business administration major, Jean Worth, believed that less people would smoke in college when compared to her hometown.

I thought thered be more ways to get to it, Worth said. Like thered be more resources (or dealers), and I thought less people would smoke in college compared to my hometown.

In Colorado, marijuana is only legal for those 21 years of age and older. It is a constitutional right to possess and consume marijuana in Colorado as long as the person is 21 years old or above.

Its still illegal for those under the ages of 21 and (you are) not able to smoke in public places, Conner said. We hope to show with this study, ultimately, what recreational marijuana use is like on college campuses.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: CSU Professors To Study Recreational Marijuana Impact On College Campuses
Author: Savannah Hoag
Contact: The Rocky Mountain Collegian
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Website: The Rocky Mountain Collegian