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Marijuana Use in College May Increase Risk of Leaving School, Study Suggests


Using marijuana in college may increase the risk of leaving school, a new study suggests. Researchers found even students who only used marijuana occasionally were more likely to leave than their peers who did not use drugs.

The study included 1,133 college students, who were followed over four years. The researchers found students who used marijuana more than 17 days a month were twice as likely as those who used marijuana less than a day per month to have an enrollment gap while in college, HealthDay reports. Even students who used marijuana three to 12 days a month were more likely to have an enrollment gap, compared with those who did not use marijuana.

Drugs other than marijuana also were significantly associated with leaving college, the study found.

Continuous enrollment was defined as being enrolled in college for at least one credit during each fall and spring semester for the first four years, the article notes.

“We wanted to look at whether or not drug use interferes with goals students had set for themselves. Our results show that marijuana use is not a benign thing,” said lead researcher Dr. Amelia Arria, Director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. The findings appear in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

In a second study, published in the journal Psychiatric Services, Dr. Arria found students who experience depression symptoms and seek treatment in college may be at risk for an enrollment gap, particularly if they use marijuana or other illegal drugs.

If students’ depression was identified and treated before they went to college, they were not at risk for enrollment gaps, the study found.

3 Responses to this article

  1. Sharon / March 26, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Barry- the study examines the relationship between marijuana use and leaving school. It does not say marijuana use is associated with increased arrests or administrative suspensions. If you don’t believe frequent marijuana use negatively impacts academic success in college then you need to read more indeoendent research which clearly demonstrates a lower grade point average for heavy smokers.

  2. Avatar of Barry Sams
    Barry Sams / March 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Yes, Students might get a scaring record for the rest of their life, kicked out of school, job opportunities lost because they got caught with a cannabis joint. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. Over 800,000 people were arrested last year over marijuana. A BIG WASTE of tax dollars on a failed drug war. I support H.R. BILL 499 (2013) Take Marijuana off the schedule 1 drug list. You can make over 25,000+ products (including BIO FUEL) with the hemp plant including medicine extracts like CBC’s.

  3. Avatar of art
    art / March 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    It is about marijuana. :) art

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