Given a Choice, College Kids Prefer Pot to Alcohol

As marijuana becomes legal in states around the country, those used to drinking now face a choice. Pour a drink or light up a joint?  College kids appear to prefer the latter.

In states where recreational cannabis use is allowed, put use rose from 21% to 34% among college students from 2012 to 2018.  Use in states where it remains illegal increased from 14% to 17%, while binge drinking declined.

Research leader David Kerr, director of graduate education at Oregon State University’s School of Psychological Science, said:

“So in these two studies we saw changes after legalization that really differed by substance.  For marijuana, we saw state-specific increases that went beyond the nationwide increases, whereas binge drinking was the opposite: a greater decrease in the context of nationwide decreases.”

While the survey didn’t ask for reasons, it’s not hard to find some, such as no hangover and better self-control while your partying.

Interestingly, the study found the difference in drinking and marijuana use more pronounced among women and students living off campus.  Researchers guessed that off campus living made smoking pot easier, as universities still adhere to federal guidelines, but they didn’t suggest a reason for women use more pot.  Perhaps its because alcohol can make you heavy, whereas that only happens with pot if you give in to the munchies.

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