The use of marijuana among college aged people is surprising

On a recent stroll to class, I had my thoughts about the meaning of life interrupted by a scraggly looking gentleman asking if I would please sign a petition to legalize marijuana. The expression on his face when I responded in the negative was, to say the least, a look of surprise.

I am assuming that this fellow and others like him come to our campus because they believe it harbors a considerable population of people who enjoy their cannabis. And they are absolutely correct.

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I used to believe, perhaps rather naively, that the people who used drugs were a fringe minority. Surely not the people that I knew in my life were spending their free time getting high. Sadly, I must say I have discovered quite the opposite about a decent amount of people.

In fact, the use of marijuana has become so prevalent, particularly among college students, that you would be hard pressed to not discover it is being done somewhere in your vicinity throughout the day.

Turning to a bit of personal experience will prove my point. I recently walked into a bathroom on campus and a guy had taken so many hits that the putrid smell and his eyes gave him away even before he had a chance to say he had to hit one before class.

Even more evidence that points to a big number of campus cannabis consumers was a recent house party that I attended. A very diverse crowd of people were there, including athletes, guys from a frat, and even a self-professed super catholic. And guess what? Yeah that’s right; they all took turns “smoking a bowl” as they called it.

I guess a significant number of college students just want to have a Mile High, High.
Taking into account the decent amount of people that just little old me has seen smoking, it is easy to see why the old scraggly man was hunting down signatories on a college campus for his beloved petition to legalize possession of marijuana.

Honestly though, is this not just a tad bit sad? People looking to us — who are supposed to be the builders of the future — but our only contribution is a pledge to legalize pot.

It really seems that this issue has been given way to much attention for how really insignificant it is. Fort Collins voted to close dispensaries last year, yet the fight in the local community will not go away.

While it is true there is something to be said for fighting for a cause you believe in, but do you really want to be remembered as the person that made it legal for people to possess drugs?  I think there are nobler causes to be championed and conquered.

There was a generation of Americans known as “The Great Generation” who fought off Nazi’s and Japanese, who created the American superpower, and fired up the strongest economy in the world. But we may legalize marijuana possession with Amendment 64, so I would say we are a great generation too, yes?

I am a strong believer in the freedom of choice and of free will — so if you want to smoke weed and adopt that type of lifestyle that is just fine. But do not make the mistake of thinking that legalization of marijuana is a triumph of the community. It certainly isn’t going to win anyone a Nobel Prize.

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Whether Amendment 64 passes or fails, it isn’t all that important in the long run. The same people will use marijuana regardless. Hopefully we can stop focusing on this issue and move on if just for the fact that scraggly looking men won’t interrupt you for an insignificant cause.

Women’s rights, funding for NASA, these are things that I would proudly put my John Hancock on. These causes are noble, and fundamentally important. Whether you can get high as a kite is not, because let’s face it, drugs really don’t promote anything great.

Res Stecker is a junior international studies major. His columns appear Thursdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.