Marijuana

Facts About Marijuana

  1. After alcohol, marijuana is the most popular drug used on college campuses
  2. The effects of marijuana include short term cognitive impairment
  3. People who use marijuana regularly have impaired memory, delayed information processing, difficulty concentrating, reduced motivation, and lower achievement levels overall
  4. Marijuana affects your ability to drive because it impairs judgment and motor coordination
  5. Marijuana negatively impacts athletic performance. Learn more about this.
  6. Driving under the influence can result in an OUI arrest
  7. Contrary to popular belief, marijuana IS addictive. Estimates suggest that about 9 % of users become addicted. This number increases among those who start young to about 17%. Those who smoke  daily have a 20-25% chance of becoming addicted
  8. Marijuana use and abuse is associated with anxiety and depression. Learn more about this
  9. Although legislation has recently changed, smoking marijuana or possessing marijuana is still ILLEGAL in Massachusetts

How do you know if your smoking is a problem?

  • More frequent use
  • Needing to smoke more and more to get the same effect
  • Spending lots of time thinking about marijuana
  • Spending more money than you should on marijuana
  • Missing classes, not completing assignments, or doing poorly in school because of marijuana
  • Seeking friendships with others who smoke and neglecting old friends who don’t
  • Finding it hard to have fun or be happy without it

Don't let your education go up in smoke

A few things to consider before smoking:

Students who smoke marijuana regularly may function at a limited intellectual level at all times—that is, even when not under the influence of the drug. This contributes to lower grades and increased chances of dropping out of college.

A conviction for possession of marijuana could lead to the loss of your college loans. For most college students this would mean the end of their college career. 

Research shows that college students who smoke marijuana regularly have higher rates of depression, and anxiety. 

A felony conviction for marijuana will follow you for the rest of your life since most employers do background checks. This will significantly limit your chances of getting hired anywhere. 

Is Smoking Pot Affecting my School Work?

A major side effect of smoking marijuana is a condition called “amotivational syndrome.”  In college students, this condition causes you to lose your drive to achieve. It also causes you to become more withdrawn and participate less in the activities and opportunities presented to you.  You may become apathetic, lethargic, introverted, and no longer care about your personal and academic goals. Chronic smokers are more likely to experience the symptoms of amotivational syndrome.

Which direction are you headed?

There are a lot of mixed messages about marijuana in popular culture. With laws becoming more lenient and medical marijuana becoming legal in several states, it is no wonder that you might be confused about this drug. There are arguments on both sides of the issue. No matter where you stand you cannot deny these facts:

Marijuana affects concentration, learning, memory, achievement, and motivation. 

These are all basic components of your college education.  Arden’t you here to learn and graduate?  Why would you pay thousands of dollars to obtain a college degree while simultaneously making that goal harder to achieve?

Consider the risks and possible consequences of smoking marijuana. Do the short-term benefits outweigh the long term risks? 

Safer smoking: Reducing your risk of negative outcomes

  • Marijuana is illegal in the state of MA . It is also against Wentworth policy to smoke, or be in possession of marijuana or any paraphernalia.  Being caught with marijuana can get you in trouble with the law, and with the college. Be aware of the dangers associated with acquiring an illegal drug.
  • Define what benefits you are seeking when you get high. Do not use marijuana just because other people do or because it is available. 
  • Set limits on usage. For example, you may want to only smoke it with certain friends, maybe only on weekends, or only when you have no work to do. Such rules are necessary if you want to prevent your use from turning into a habit or addiction.
  • Remember that it is both dangerous and illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana.  The drug causes delayed reaction time, impaired depth perception, and can impair reasoning and judgment. 
  • If you find the effects that you like from marijuana becoming less intense or disappearing altogether, STOP USING IT. Building a tolerance is a sign that you might be smoking too much.  Taking a break, even if it is just for a couple weeks, is a good way to ensure that you do not become dependent.   Smoking larger amounts, or getting stronger pot will increase the problem.
  • Do not combine marijuana with other psychoactive drugs. 
  • Do not smoke marijuana on the job, before class, or prior to any activity that requires your full attention.  Set limits for yourself, and stick to them.  The more situations you allow yourself to be high at, the more likely you will eventually develop a problem.
  • Be aware that smoking marijuana has a negative impact on your lungs and respiratory tract.  If you develop a cold, cough, wheeze, or hack stop using it at least until your health improves. 
  • Stay focused on your goals, your future, and your academic success.  Continually ask yourself if marijuana is negatively influencing them.  If the answer is yes, consider making some changes.
  • If you find you are using marijuana more than you want to, or that you are planning your day around when you can get high, consider the possibility that it is controlling you more than you are controlling it.  Try to stop, or take a break.  If you cannot, you may need to seek additional help.

Resources

National Institute of Drug Abuse

DEA Fact Sheet on Marijuana