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Since Amendment 64 was passed in Colorado–which made it legal to possess and consume marijuana–universities and colleges across the state have noticed a dramatic jump in their applications.
Reportedly, the University of Colorado at Boulder, a school already considered a paradise for those who embrace the stoner culture, has seen an influx of applications some 30 percent more than the norm. Additionally, officials at Colorado College have also cited a large increase in applicants, although the school did not make the exact difference public.
It seems quite intrinsic that the rise in high school students applying to schools across the Centennial State correlates to the pursuit of a college life with the liberty to light up and blaze wherever anyone damn well pleases. However, Kevin MacLennan, the director of admissions at UC Boulder, strongly–and for obvious reasons–claims the recent application spike and the legalization of pot are two mutually exclusive events.
“We aren’t getting a lot of questions about this,” MacLennan said, referring to the new law.
He said a better explanation for the rise in applications is increased recruitment at high schools across the country and abroad and the university’s adoption of the Common Application, which facilitates students’ ability to apply to multiple schools around the nation using a single form.
I feel as if MacLennan’s explanation of ramped up recruiting efforts would be understandable if the increase in applicants was marginal, say, by 4 or 5 percent. But he clearly needs a reality check, because there’s no way 30 PERCENT more applicants coveting a spot in the Boulder class of 2019 is non sequitur to the new marijuana laws.
Let’s be honest, there are a lot of kids out there who select a school, sometimes solely, based on a reputable party scene. Amendment 64 only makes a school like UC Boulder, already renowned as a great place to cut loose, even more enticing for youngsters seeking to live out their “How High” inspired fantasies.
Parents don’t like to admit it, but students going off to college to party is hardly new. Rachel Gillette, executive director of the Colorado chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said smoking pot in college has an appeal for students similar to drinking.
“I can see how Amendment 64 could be an incentive for some prospective students to apply to college in the State of Colorado,” Gillette said. “From a college student’s perspective, we can analogize it to alcohol. Young people do appreciate freedom.”
This lady totally gets it, and so do I. Not that I was ever wary of the consequences associated with getting caught smoking pot when I was a college student, but I sure would like knowing there wouldn’t be any repercussions if I was a high school student who enjoyed a toke every now and then.
Of course though, university and college administrations across the state have to maintain a certain semblance of political correctness when addressing the issue, and apparently, they don’t want students misconstruing the terms of Amendment 64.
Incoming freshman would be wise to read up on the state law, which went into full effect Jan. 1, 2014, and to learn campus rules as well. The law forbids marijuana possession by anyone under 21, and all colleges and universities in the state have policies forbidding use or possession on campus. And many localities — including Colorado Springs, where Colorado College is located — have banned the sale of marijuana for recreational use.
In addition to their own codes of conduct, Colorado schools are citing the Controlled Substances Act, the Drug-Free Workplace Act, and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act as federal statutes that prohibit marijuana’s use on their campuses. In a “frequently asked questions” section of its website, Colorado College also notes that a federal drug-related conviction could render students ineligible for federal financial aid.
It’ll be interesting to see moving forward if the legalization statute has any effect on sanctions levied by schools versus when marijuana was illegal. But, for a school like UC Boulder, which already hosts one of the biggest 420 celebrations on the face of the earth, I’m going to guess virtually nothing is going to change.
Bottom line? The kids across America who love to blaze are almost certainly the ones responsible for flooding Colorado’s admissions offices last fall.
[via Fox News]