A new study that purports to link marijuana use to academic problems -- and post-college difficulties -- experienced by higher education students was just released by the University of Maryland's Center on Young Adult Health and Development. The mainstream media was quick to spread the word that cannabis and campus don't mix.
Sporting the weighty title of "The Academic Opportunity Costs of Substance Abuse During College," this report alleges that even those smoking twice a month were 66 percent more likely to be discontinuously enrolled than those who smoked less. And if you're a heavy smoker -- 15 times or more a month -- it will impact your studies to the point that you'll be twice as likely to take longer to get your degree than "minimal" users.
The study was financed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which basically serves as a federal government propaganda tool to discredit marijuana. Also, special "thanks" were passed on to Robert DuPont, the very first director of NIDA. He's the founder of Bensinger, DuPont and Associates, and rakes in tons of revenue from the drug-testing industry. Needless to say, there are at least two biased elements lurking in the shadows of this "objective" research.
The study's own findings seem to invalidate much of the report's significance. It cites the fact that 58 percent of all college students nationwide take up to six years to complete a four-year degree and that most college students lack the skills that employers are seeking. However, the study reports that only 33 percent of all college students used pot in 2011, nowhere near a majority, let alone 58 percent. Isn't this figure then truly an indictment of the state of higher education in America, both in failing its students academically and not properly preparing them for career employment? Obviously, scapegoating pot is easier, cheaper, and serves the interests of the Feds and the drug-testing industry.
To the study's credit, it does cite alcohol as most widely used substance on campuses contributing to academic disorder. Still, the skyrocketing cost of college, which is more likely to disrupt one's education more than any other factor, was never addressed.
Bottom line: It's not pot, or even booze, that prevents one from getting a degree and achieving success. Success at the academic level and in the "real world"is a result of individual will and perseverance no matter what your intoxicant of choice.