April 9, 2019
In Fall of 2017, UT’s School of Population Health performed a survey of UT students and found that 20% of them had used marijuana in the preceding 30 days.
Marijuana is legal for medical use in 25 out of the 50 states. Ohio was added to the list in September 2016.
It’s only prescribed for certain medical conditions, like epilepsy, anorexia, and anxiety says UT professor of health Tavis Glassman.
However, Glassman says that marijuana is still a drug. Because it contains carcinogens, there are very serious short-term and long-term risks.
Glassman says marijuana isn’t as physically addictive as nicotine or heroin, but chronic users might experience irritability and sleeplessness without using it.
“This isn’t your daddy’s weed,” says Glassman of the marijuana available for use today. The psychoactive element of marijuana, THC, is much stronger than it was even as short a time ago as the 1960s.
Glassman says there’s different forms of THC available in the marijuana plant, edibles, and waxes or oils. The seriousness of risks is dependent on the dosage and frequency of marijuana use.
Glassman says that more research is needed to discover the medical benefits of marijuana consumption, but senior communications major Kemonte Glover believes it’s the best medicine for himself.
Glover says he uses it to stay calm and reduce his anxiety. He says it helps him focus.
He says he doesn’t bring it on campus, and his mom doesn’t approve of his use, but he finds time to drive up to Michigan and smoke with family and friends.
Marijuana was approved for recreational use in Michigan in November 2018, and Glassman says that its increased accessibility will increase use of marijuana.
He says that medical marijuana normalizes marijuana use.
However, Newton says that while those caught with marijuana on campus will face punishment, like fines, jail time, or suspension from school, he doesn’t see marijuana use as a current problem on campus.
He says any infractions are well-handled by the Office of Residence Life, and the severity of punishment is dependent on the amount the person is caught with and their intent.
“Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s healthy,” Glassman says. “You don’t see me rolling around in poison ivy.”