The legalization of marijuana in many states presents many challenges for college and university administrators. Excessive cannabis smoking can lead to the same problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption, such as erratic driving, fighting, vandalizing, stealing, and so forth. This is due to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) the psychoactive component of marijuana that causes impairment, that is, diminished judgment and motor functions.
Most alcohol-free campuses are or will most likely be cannabis free campuses as well. Public health officials investigating driving and other problems on campus can use some of the same tests used to detect excessive alcohol use, such as blood and urine. States differ regarding legal limits of THC in an individual’s system to determine impairment by smoking, vaping, or eating cannabis (i.e., in brownies and other foods).
Most colleges and universities have substance abuse prevention programs. These programs educate students on the impact alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs can have on their bodies, judgment, and behavior. This education includes the harmful effects and legal consequences of these mind-altering drugs. The emphasis has been on alcohol abuse. The challenge now is for schools to increase educational efforts related to marijuana abuse to the level of alcohol abuse.
C. Kevin Synnott
Dept. of Business Administration, Management and Marketing
Eastern Connecticut State University