Are More College Students Using Marijuana?

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A recent article published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) suggests that college students are at a higher risk for marijuana use than non-college students. According to the article, analysis of data from a national survey reveals that young adults who attend college are at a significantly higher risk of marijuana use compared to young adults who are not enrolled in college.

What Does the Study Show?

The research was funded by the NIDA and conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan. Scientists analyzed survey data from an annual report from Monitoring the Future. Monitoring the Future is an ongoing study that examines the values, attitudes, and behaviors of college students and young adults.

According to their findings, researchers concluded that young adults in college are 51 percent more likely to have used marijuana in the past year compared to young adults not enrolled in college during 2015. Based on previous studies, this number has been increasing each year since 2012.

Between 1977 and 2012, college students who had never used marijuana before entering college were 17 to 22 percent more likely to begin using marijuana in college compared to their non-college peers. Beginning in 2013, that number begins to rise. In 2013, the percentage increased to 31 percent, and in 2014, the percentage increased to 41 percent. Because of the continued increase in the number of students expected to begin using marijuana when they enter college, researchers and officials highlight the need for increased marijuana education and prevention programs on college campuses.

Marijuana in Pennsylvania

Even though Pennsylvania is one of the states that have passed laws allowing medical marijuana, recreational marijuana is still illegal in Pennsylvania. College students who choose to use recreational marijuana could face severe criminal punishments for a marijuana conviction. Common punishments associated with marijuana crimes in Pennsylvania include:

  • Possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana carries up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. For possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana, jail time increases to up to one year and the fine increases up to $5,000.
  • Distribution of marijuana without a monetary exchange is a crime too. You can face up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500 for 30 grams or less.
  • The punishment for a conviction of the sale, distribution, or delivery of marijuana depends on the amount of marijuana involved and whether you were near a school or playground. Punishments can range from one to ten years in prison and fines of $5,000 to $100,000.
  • The sale or possession of marijuana paraphernalia is a crime that can be punished with jail time and a fine.

Marijuana Crimes for College Students in Pennsylvania

College students charged with a marijuana crime should take the matter very seriously. A conviction for illegal marijuana use can have long-term negative consequences on your college education and career. There is nothing “simple” about the possession of marijuana.

However, being charged with a crime and being convicted of a crime are two different matters. Before accepting a plea deal with the prosecutor, you should always consult with an experienced Edinboro marijuana defense attorney. You may have one or more valid defenses that can keep a marijuana conviction off your criminal record.

Call an Edinboro Marijuana Defense Attorney for a Free Appointment

Contact The Travis Law Firm toll-free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Edinboro criminal defense attorneys. We take college marijuana charges very seriously.

We want to help you obtain the most favorable outcome possible given the facts and circumstances of your case. Call our office to discuss the specifics of your marijuana charges and what options you have for defending yourself against these charges.