Do MCTC’s students support marijuana legalization? Overwhelmingly, yes

Photo by Benjamin Pecka

A survey conducted on April 10 by CCN found that the student body shows wide support for the legalization of marijuana. 95 percent favor it and 30 percent admit to using marijuana on campus or going to class high, which might suggest a casual relationship with the substance.

Sixty percent of students reported using marijuana regularly or occasionally. Among those users, 44 percent say that they use once or more per day. The most recent survey performed by MCTC states that twenty-three percent of students reported using marijuana or other illicit drugs within in the last twelve months.

The latter statistic is consistent with the average rate that the National Survey on Drug Use found among college-aged students 18 to 25 in its most recent survey in 2013. For people over the age of 26, they found that the rate of illicit drug use falls to around 7 percent.

Most students report that their primary reasons for using marijuana included anxiety or stress relief, recreation or social reasons, pain, tension relief or other medical conditions. Respondents also reported using marijuana to relieve nausea, enhance creativity, focus or as an aid to fall sleep.

Although no one said that they currently have a prescription for medical marijuana, several respondents indicated that they were eligible to receive one and plan to schedule an appointment to discuss the option with a doctor willing to prescribe it.

The MCTC student code of conduct prohibits possessing or being under the influences of marijuana on campus. However, because it is still illegal under federal law, The Campus Security Act still prohibits students with prescriptions from possessing it on campus.

Students found to be in violation of the code of conduct or drug laws are subject to disciplinary sanctions that may include warnings, confiscation, restitution or fines, dismissal from campus, suspension, expulsion or a referral to the Minneapolis Police Department for prosecution.

Photo by Benjamin Pecka

According to MCTC’s 2016 Biennial Drug and Alcohol Report, which reviews the years of 2014 and 2015, eight students were found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia. Most students were given a warning, or probation, but one case did a lead to short-term suspension and chemical dependency evaluation.

While there were numerous cases of students found to be intoxicated with alcohol on campus, no one was found to be high on an illicit drug.

MCTC provides a number of resources to students struggling with drug and alcohol addictions that include releasing yearly statistics, personal counseling, summaries of the legal penalties and various policy reports, connections to resources within the community, courses on addiction and degrees in counseling.

There are also multiple Student Life initiatives such as the Addiction Counseling Club, health fairs, conferences held by the Minnesota Association of Resources for Recovery and Chemical Health and a newsletter geared toward health and wellness.

These resources, reports and information provided by MCTC are available at minneapolis.edu under Student Services and Public Safety. A copy of the Drug and Alcohol-Free Campus Policy is also available in the Counseling Office and the Human Resources Office.

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