CSU ensures you’ll be out of a ‘high’ school forever


Collegian | Lucy Morantz

A joint sits filled with ground cannabis flower, waiting to be rolled and sealed March 29.

Bella Eckburg, Opinion Director

You might be thinking you’re officially making the transition from a high school to a “high” school, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Colorado’s history with cannabis dates back decades. In 1876, when Colorado officially became a state, cannabis and hemp were legal and commonly used both in medicinal contexts and recreationally. By 1929, following years of dramatic and racist rhetoric about cannabis and those who partook in using it, our state made the possession, distribution and sale of any cannabis a felony. 


The word “marijuana” became commonly used in place of cannabis because it sounded Spanish, and lawmakers working to demonize Latine and Hispanic populations hoped the change would make white people avoid cannabis use.

When the hippie movement rolled around in the 1960s, the public perception of cannabis shifted once again, with more individuals softening to the idea of cannabis use now that the laws would majorly affect not just people of color. 

By the mid-1990s, the impact of medical cannabis sales and cultivation was in question, with states like California proposing bills to legalize those transactions.

In 1996, California became the first state to amend its constitution to include medical cannabis. Thus, the floodgates had opened, and other states’ lawmakers soon began their own discussions about medical cannabis. 

In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize cannabis for recreational use as long as the purchasers and users were over 21 years old. 

Larimer County quickly got with the program, and in April 2014, Choice Organics opened its doors as the first recreational cannabis business in the county, outside the Fort Collins city limits. The owners had been working as a medical cannabis distributor for three years but expanded their business to include recreational cannabis following the new legalization. 

“Using cannabis underage is also illegal and not just on campus. Although college is a time to experiment, if you are 21 and using cannabis for the first time, please check out these helpful tips.”

The now well-known FoCo dispensary Flower Power Botanicals quickly followed suit and opened its doors later in July 2014.

Now, in 2022, there are many cannabis shops around Fort Collins. In fact, Verts Neighborhood Dispensary is located at 1240 W. Elizabeth St., down the road across from Moby Arena on campus.

For those of you coming from out of state, moving to a cannabis-loving environment can seem like a time to light up and hang out, but it’s important to remember Colorado State University’s rules about cannabis differ from those in Fort Collins. 

Possessing or using cannabis is prohibited on campus, and those who disregard this policy will face university discipline.

Cannabis is still federally illegal, and the Colorado constitutional amendment — amendment 64 — that legalizes the use and possession of cannabis also allows universities like CSU to make its own rules about prohibiting the drug. 

Using cannabis underage is also illegal and not just on campus. Although college is a time to experiment, if you are 21 and using cannabis for the first time, please check out these helpful tips.

Be safe — enjoy the beautiful campus and the amazing cannabis, but please, not at the same time. 

Reach Bella Eckburg at cannabis@collegian.com or on Twitter @yaycolor.