No doubt about it: College and cannabis go well together, particularly if you’re seeking true mind expansion, as opposed to a few semesters of mental demolition derby followed by the inevitable flunking out (hey—it happens). Regardless, marijuana has been associated with a highly intellectual, bohemian undergrad lifestyle since Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac smoked out New York’s Columbia University back in the ’40s, although nowadays it seems you’re just as likely to find a joint dangling from the lips of a jock, nerd, Greek, geek, teacher or dean as from the lips of a freaky beatnik.
But while marijuana use has undoubtedly become more mainstream over the years, and you’d be hard-pressed these days to find a campus anywhere that doesn’t have its share of heads, some schools are certainly more suitable for stoners than others. So, with that in mind, HIGH TIMES proudly presents our annual list of the Top 10 cannabis colleges in America. Please bear in mind that this is a highly subjective ranking. Also, you probably shouldn’t decide where to spend four years of your life based on a Top 10 list in a magazine.
Particularly this magazine.
1) University of Colorado - Boulder, CO
Out-of-state tuition: $21,453
Web site: colorado.edu
A recent study commissioned by the US Department of Health and Human Services ranked Boulder as the second-most-pot-smokingest city in America (behind Boston). It’s no coincidence that this offbeat locale was where Mork set down his spaceship in Mork and Mindy—but if the local freaks ever get to be too much for you, solitude can be found in the Rocky Mountain National Forest, which practically borders the campus.
2) University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI
Out-of-state tuition: $19,866
Web site: wisc.edu
The original home of The Onion (America’s finest news source), UW boasts a history of antiestablishment ideals and lenient local laws when it comes to marijuana. Also, hate to Badger you, but it’s a damn good school.
3) University of Florida - Gainesville, FL
Out-of-state tuition: $15,827
Web site: ufl.edu
Nothing wrong with a little fun in the sun—and it’s all the better with a handful of the local Gainesville green to go along with all those blue skies. No wonder UF boasts one of the most active NORML chapters in the country.
4) University of Oregon - Eugene, OR
Out-of-state tuition: $16,914
Web site: uoregon.edu
Situated in the city known as the capital of American anarchism, UO boasts easy access to both the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific Ocean—so you can tear down the system one minute, and then run off and get high with Mother Nature the next. What could be better?
5) Hampshire College - South Amherst, MA
Out-of-state tuition: $33,099
Web site: hampshire.edu
Recently made famous as the home away from home of über-stoners Jarrett (Jimmy Fallon) and Gobi (Horatio Sanz) on Saturday Night Live, Hampshire has a well-deserved reputation for encouraging experimentation of all kinds. Also, we hear that on Halloween everyone trips out!
6) University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI
Out-of-state tuition: $26,028
Web site: umich.edu
Home of the infamous annual Hash Bash, and once the launch pad for such radicals as John Sinclair, the MC5 and the Students for a Democratic Society, UM represents with some of the best grass the Midwest marijuana scene has to offer—just plan to spend some cold, smoky evenings sitting at home in the winter.
7) New College of Florida - Sarasota, FL
Out-of-state tuition: $19,475
Web site: ncf.edu
By far the smallest school to make our list, New College allows students to create their own classes. Make up your own course in psychedelia and follow in the footsteps of famous alum Rick Doblin, who went on to found the highly respected Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. The campus, designed by acclaimed architect I.M. Pei and covered in towering palms and lush banyan trees, enjoys beautiful tropical sunsets nightly.
8) Humboldt State University - Arcata, CA
Out-of-state tuition: $13,036
Web site: humboldt.edu
Dude, it’s in fucking Humboldt.
9) Wesleyan University - Middletown, CT
Out-of-state tuition: $33,190
Web site: wesleyan.edu
The school was the inspiration for the movie PCU, and, true to form, the average Wesleyan student finds himself (forgive me: him/herself) politically just to the left of Michael Moore. Then again, is that really such a bad thing?
10) University of Vermont - Burlington, VT
Out-of-state tuition: $24,934
Web site: uvm.edu
The birthplace of Phish can be found high upon a hill overlooking Lake Champlain, in a valley in the shadow of the aptly named Green Mountains. Meanwhile, on campus, UVM represents the best that New England collegiate life has to offer—including a top-notch liberal-arts program and some fantastic local produce come harvest time.