U. Miami Students Speak Out on Marijuana Use

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Mar 2, 2001.

  1. By Patrice Grell & Brian Petit, Miami Hurricane
    Source: U-WIRE

    Just about everyone who goes to the University of Miami knows someone who uses, or has at least tried it. And more and more, it seems to be everywhere. The flower of the female cannabis sativa plant, dried and smoked: marijuana.
    Listen to the radio, and one can hear Snoop Dogg rapping about smoking "that sticky icky," or hear Erykah Badu giving a shout out to her "nickel-bag ladies." Turn on the TV and one sees another hydroponics-lab bust on Channel 7, or the cast of Fox's That '70s Show sitting in a circle and laughing as suspicious-looking smoke wafts around their heads.

    Celebrities from Woody Harrelson to Matthew McConaughey and Whitney Houston have admitted to taking a "toke" or two, keeping marijuana use present in the public forum. And even ex-President Bill Clinton was recently quoted in Rolling Stone magazine regarding marijuana's legal status.

    "I think that most small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized in some places, and should be," Clinton said.

    Having played a prominent role in American society in the '60s and '70s, the drug's exact status is still in question and a growing legalization lobby vies to gain acceptance and understanding for it.

    But how prominent is marijuana use today?

    Dr. Bryan Page, chairman of the Department of Anthropology and a UM professor of 23 years, has studied general marijuana use through years of research and provided an academic perspective on the subject.

    "What's happened is, a lot of the children of the 'Age of Aquarius' have had children, and those children are coming to school, and they have very different attitudes about marijuana," said Page. "So, even though the institutional atmosphere is far more repressive than it was in the 1970s, we still have equally high prevalence of use."

    For the purpose of this series, The Hurricane has focused on drug use among UM students. Through the course of several interviews, The Hurricane has found that there exists almost as many opinions on marijuana use as there are people walking this campus.

    What was asked of those interviewed?

    Using the protection of assumed names, to simply be honest about their views on marijuana and its use on and around this palm-treed campus.

    "It's made them slower, and it made them dumber."

    Some of the students interviewed said they had never smoked and probably never will. The first question to all the sources was: "Have you ever smoked marijuana?"

    "No. I've wondered what it was like, but I guess the consequences outweighed my desires. It didn't seem worth it. Now, I don't have the desire to anymore."

    "Bill," freshman, 18

    "I've never wanted to. It's just not for me." "Julie," senior, 22

    "Nope. I've seen what it's done to some of my friends back in high school. It made them slower and it made them dumber. Their reflexes were down." Eric, senior, age unknown

    "A nice, warm feeling."

    Those students that do smoke were asked about the moment that started it all.

    "I was 14. Fourteen! It was just me and my friend, we wanted to get high. We were just curious. We didn't look at it like a science experiment. We had gotten drunk before and we knew this had the capacity to get us wasted." "The Man," senior, 22

    "I was 18, senior year of high school. I just figured, 'Why not?' I guess. I figured it'd be fun." "Tony," junior, 21

    "I was 21 years old. At first I didn't get high. Then, it was a nice, warm feeling washing over me from head to toe." "Willie D. Dread," senior, 22

    "I was 16 or 17. Me and my two best friends were hanging out in the parking lot of some club. It was, like, spontaneous. One of my friends had a joint and she was like, 'Hey, wanna smoke?' And we did." "Kiki," junior, 22

    "When I was 15. When I went to visit my sister at college. I didn't know I was high at first. I didn't think I was high, and my sister and her friend were sitting and laughing at me and my friend, cause we were like, 'I don't know, I don't feel it, this is stupid.' But then we realized we were high. And I liked it." "Lucy," junior, 20

    "I think I was 16. We smoked behind the movie theater in the alley and we got really paranoid that there were cops everywhere. We ran into the movie theater and bought the first ticket for any movie that we could see, ran into the theatre and watched it. I don't even remember what we saw." "Raoul," junior, 21

    "A big part of the social life at UM."

    For many UM smokers, the entrance into college life was a pivotal moment in their marijuana smoking careers, they said. And those who don't smoke said they cannot deny the role that marijuana plays in the social scene at UM.

    "It's a big part of the social life at UM. I don't think there's pressure to do it, but it is available." "Julie," senior, 22, non-smoker

    "I have a couple friends who smoke. I usually don't hang out with them when they do it. I was shocked at the number of kids who do harder drugs than weed. In high school, you hear about kids smoking weed, but here it didn't surprise me. Here, you hear about kids doing crack." "Bill," freshman, 18, non-smoker

    "I appreciate it more. There's better weed in Miami than anywhere else. I definitely started to smoke more since I got here. I guess now I can call myself a 'pothead.'" "Tony," junior, 21

    "I don't have any friends that smoke now. Students who do smoke think it's recreational and that it's cool. It's a party thing to do, like drinking. I think it's dumb." "Eric," senior, age unknown

    "I think everyone smokes more when they come to UM. It's so prevalent here. You go to college and everyone smokes weed, and with the grades of weed you can get in Miami, you learn to take advantage of it, and you value it more. But I always liked it." "The Man," senior, 22

    "Weed was not big where I'm from. We all wanted to smoke more, but it just seemed really hard and really shady to get. Then I got here and it seemed like weed was just as common as alcohol, if not moreso. The best times I've had here were just walking around campus late at night, getting baked out of our minds." "Raoul," junior, 21

    "It's, like, really green and fluffy."

    Smokers at UM often have a choice in the type of marijuana to be obtained. As a consequence, some people will smoke nothing less than the strongest, most expensive strains.

    Dr. Page commented on the evolution of marijuana strength: "One of the changes has been in the potency of marijuana available. Back in the '70s you could still encounter the old-fashioned one- or two-percent THC [marijuana's active ingredient] 'lid.' It was fairly mild stuff.

    "And now, much of the marijuana that is sold is in excess of eight-percent THC and some of it is as high as 23 percent. Very strong stuff. Much more expensive, too."

    "'Regs' is like, compressed weed. You know the bricks of weed you see being confiscated on like, boats and planes and stuff? That's regs. Its lower-grade weed, but its still good for, like, blunts and joints. In Miami they call the good stuff 'kryppie.' Like kryptonite, I guess. And that's the really pretty stuff you see when the DEA busts the hydro labs. It's, like, really green and fluffy." "Kiki," junior, 22

    "I never had the good stuff before I got to college. The first time I smoked here, I was basically hallucinating on a small scale." "Tony," junior, 21

    "I smoke all the time, but it's not like i'm retarded."

    Interviewees talked about the variations in current smoking habits among student smokers. Some smoke on a daily basis, some are deliberate in regulating their use and others only smoke when other people prove it, they said

    "At first, I didn't smoke as much at UM as I did in high school. In high school, I smoked only on the weekends. The summer before I came to college, we smoked every day, all day a couple times. Getting into second semester freshman year, I started to smoke more, I guess. Basically, coming to UM has taught me that I can smoke during the week when it's not summer. I smoke more, fine, I smoke more." "Lucy," junior, 20

    "I haven't bought a bag since last semester. I don't even smoke much anymore, I just smoke once a week now." "Raoul," junior, 21

    "I smoke all the time, but it's not like I'm retarded. I smoke daily, at any time of the day, really. However often I can get around to it." "Tony," junior, 21

    "I spend $50 every four to five days." "The Man," senior, 22

    "I used to make a point to smoke by myself. Recently it's become more of a social thing, a reason to gather. [In the past] I would sit and just smoke a spliff and relax. It was more meditation, for reflective purposes. I can only smoke so much. I reach a limit; I lose the desire to smoke more. I rarely smoke more than two days in a row.

    "Excessiveness cheapens it, it's more gluttony than a focused use of the plant." "Morris," graduate student, 24

    "I feel like I have to give them an explanation for why i'm being such an idiot."

    Even frequent smokers can admit to negative side effects of excessive marijuana use. Dr. Page offered this perspective on the effects of marijuana smoking: "Two things. It's probably not a good idea to smoke marijuana over the long haul because if you want to be a high-functioning individual in a very demanding world, it's going to take your edge away. On the other hand, if you attempt to present marijuana as something that makes you a gibbering loony and causes your brain to rot and your testicles to drop off, that is something that will get you laughed right out of the classroom because the kids know it's not true anyway."

    "I haven't rendered myself incompetent or anything. It doesn't prevent me from learning. It doesn't affect my work ethic. I still hold a job. I don't skip it 'cause I'm high or I want to get high. I exercise less, but I wouldn't say I'm out of shape." "Tony," junior, 21

    "I started to get really lazy and depressed ... paranoid. A lot of anxiety. So I stopped for a while and I felt a lot better. I can't talk to girls or anything when I'm stoned, I get real nervous. I don't like to be stoned around people I don't know very well. I feel like I have to give them an explanation of why I'm being such an idiot." "Raoul," junior, 21

    "Sometimes, when people smoke, they will not want to go out and be socially active. They get lazy." "Julie," senior, 22

    "Weed is like a state of mind."

    Consequences aside, people said they smoke marijuana for the euphoric feeling and altered consciousness that it can cause. Still, the effects vary with the individual.

    "I like the high. It's better than alcohol. Sometimes I drink too much, but I've never been able to say I've smoked too much weed. I do dislike the illegality of it. I feel it should be legalized." "Willie D. Dread," senior, 22

    "Weed is like a state of mind. It's just like the outside looking in. Plus, it's just college, you party in college, you know?" "The Man," senior, 22

    "I remember one time we went to the convenience store 'cause I was the only one who could do it, everyone else was too stoned. I walked in and I saw the candy aisle, and I just started laughing." "Raoul," junior, 21

    "It helps with abstract reasoning and abstract knowledge. You lose a certain sense of preconceived notions, the way things should be. I find that I lose a bit of that connection to my conditioning, to my past. My thoughts flow a little more freely. Now it manifests itself as a more open personality." "Morris," graduate student, 24

    "I think you make friends through smoking. It's like a people thing. Because when you smoke you think a lot and you connect with people. It makes you think of things differently than normal, it makes you see things from a different perspective. When I smoke, I have these revelations." "Lucy," junior, 21

    "If you weren't going to lose your job over it, or go to jail, you'd be surprised by who you would see smoking. I'm not just talking about college kids and high school kids. I'm talking about people I've worked for, people I'm related to." "Tony," junior, 21

    "...A much better rush..."

    The results of the interview session indicated that at UM there are both those for whom marijuana plays a key role in life, and those for whom marijuana is something just read about, but never experienced.

    But is marijuana abuse a significant problem at UM and should something be done?

    "Essentially, I don't see it as making a big difference, one way or another," said Dr. Page said.

    Administrators "do at least make counseling available, but because marijuana is less likely to be severely impairing, they really need to consider options that are less punitive.

    "I think, in terms of establishing health as a main focus on campus, it's possible to have an absolutely wonderful time without taking alcohol or any other drugs. And that principle can be demonstrated a lot more than it is, through campus activities that are really fun and don't involve drugs-like Sportsfest, or drug-free parties where you can create the atmosphere of a really intense party without any of that," Page said.

    Source: Miami Hurricane
    Author: Patrice Grell & Brian Petit, The Miami Hurricane, U. Miami
    Published: March 1, 2001
    Copyright: 2001 The Miami Hurricane via U-WIRE
    Website: http://www.uwiretoday.com/
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  2. I enjoyed reading that. :D
  3. Good read, thanks SJ
  4. meh, article is okay i guess, nothing I haven't heard before: some college kids like to smoke and others don't

    I don't get why he would say that even tho he didn't decriminalize it as president, you would think that if there was one person that could inform a nation on marijuana it would be the president...but noooo gotta wait til after no one cares about you to say what you mean
  5. College stoners mostly suck... Its really dorm life more then anything. Dorm life is for people who never got fucked up when they were in highschool. Getting high is like a ritual to me and my friends. We sit on my bed, turn the fan on and pass the bubbler around.

    Msot college 'stoners' have just discovered weed and its like the greatest new thing... They're newbies. I had to teach someone how to hit my pipe the first day of school. the excitement sort of fades off after a few years of being high every day.
  6. #6 Fings369, Mar 5, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2010

    And what are you some dumb ass getting paid 6 bucks an hour, Hey I started when I was 14 I'm in college and I smoke better weed than you've seen. Next time you want to hate on people getting an education do yourself a favor and just shoot yourself at your minimum wage, wannabe a bad ass stoner for the rest of my life, workplace I'm sure theyll get a kick. Oh and next time you think your better than all those kids going to class and spending that little extra 4 years at school, you just remeber that after those few precious year ima be rollin in scrilla, bitches, and better bud than the tinfoil bongrips that you probably take.

    Oh and thats a great article.... Props to Miami U.

    Disrespect is not allowed here. - KSR
  7. Being president is more than writing bills (which have to be passed by congress anyway). There is a lot of "politics" in it. He probably didn't do much for the cause for the same reason Obama hasn't talked about it.
  8. Have to say I agree. A lot of college kids act like they've been in the smoking scene for a while when in fact they only know as much as movies have told them.

    Dude, he's just saying that a lot of so called "college stoners" are really just getting into bud. He wasnt attacking anyone or anything...

  9. Well you would think that a college educated person would be able to tell time...
  10. Alcohol is the true gateway drug. They've found that teens who get drunk once a month are much more likely to try marijuana then those teens who don't drink. Alcohol: The legal gateway drug.
  11. and probably more accessable...almost every home in america has alcohol...and how do kids start drinking?

    "hey my parents got some booze in the cabinet, wanna try some?" and thats how it starts..

  12. Very very true.
  13. Don't forget about mouthwash! Bwahaha!
  14. if I were looking to interview a pot dealer in miami, purely for investigative journalist reasons, where should I go?
  15. I see not much has changed on college campuses in the past 30 years

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