Massachusetts to legalize cannabis, but colleges do not care

by Justin McKinney, Staff Writer

As we approach the election, we in Massachusetts are lucky enough to be voting on whether or not we would like to join Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska as the fourth state  to legalize the recreational use of marijuana (Washington, DC also allows recreational use).

It seems as if it is almost certainly going to happen, as many polls and analyses have showed that the majority of Massachusetts voters are in favor.

However, due to the fact that practically every college in America receives federal aid, colleges in Massachusetts have declared that even if the drug is made legal, it will still be a banned substance on campus – even for those who are 21 – which would be the legal age to consume the drug.

I find this entire thing to be absurd. Alcohol is allowed on many college campuses for those who are of age, but because the federal government has some idiotic vendetta against cannabis, now universities feel the need to stand with them.

Give me a break. Alcohol is the cause of hundreds of thousands of deaths per year, including trips to the hospital for students across the country every weekend.

Marijuana is responsible for zero deaths a year, as well as zero hospital trips outside of accidental consumption in very young children.

I’d bet that most people would rather deal with someone who smoked a little too much pot than the sickness someone gets after overdosing on alcohol.

Colleges around the state would rather stick to being puppets of the government than actually taking a stand and fighting for the rights of those who matter most to them, the students.

Even though marijuana would be legal in our state, colleges think it’s a fantastic idea to further ban a drug that does far less harm than alcohol; this all because of money.

That being said, I would wager that even if these schools did tell the federal government to pound sand and let their students use marijuana if they wish, I bet they wouldn’t pull funding.

The U.S. government could not afford to look that bad on the world stage and essentially deny what would be hundreds of thousands of students the right to an education due to fact that they pulled all their aid over legalized marijuana.

Also, if these colleges took a second to evaluate what marijuana legalization would mean for them, I would imagine they would be singing a different tune.

In Colorado and Washington, the majority of the taxes that marijuana sales generate (which is in the billions) goes towards funding public schools.

It is fair to assume that with better school systems, we will see students improving academically. If we have children succeeding more than ever due to the extra money being pumped into the school systems by marijuana sales, then it would be safe to assume that we would probably see a sharp rise in the amount of graduating seniors going off to college after high school ends.

What does a rise in the amount of students going to college mean for colleges and universities? It means more money for colleges and universities!

What does more college students who are of age purchasing marijuana mean? It means more money for public schools, which we have already learned from the previous question in turn should lead to more money for colleges and universities.

This is all so painfully simple that it shocks the hell out of me that colleges aren’t hiring a guide to walk their students to the dispensary to buy legal marijuana.

Studies done by the University of Michigan have shown that half of students in colleges across America have tried marijuana at their own college, and 39 percent of them use the drug habitually.

By those numbers it seems that schools are fighting a losing battle in trying to keep what is currently an illegal substance off their campuses. I doubt they will fare better than this once marijuana is made legal here in Massachusetts.

Be sure to vote “Yes” on Question Four, and also be sure to write to your university once we succeed in legalizing marijuana to let them know how big of a mistake they are making by keeping it on the banned substances list.

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