Despite Prohibition, Student Cannabis Consumption Hits an All-Time High at University of Minnesota

Cannabis prohibition isn't stopping people from smoking up in the North Star State.

More University of Minnesota students are consuming cannabis now than in the past 20 years, according to a recent study conducted by Boynton Health Services. The survey - which is sent out every three years - shows a five percent increase in cannabis use on campus since 2015, bringing the total number of student cannabis consumers at the university up to 22 percent.

Dave Golden - Director of Public Health and Communications at Boynton Health - told Minnesota Daily he was "not terribly surprised" by the new findings. Minnesota now shares its northern and eastern borders with places that have legalized recreational cannabis—Canada and Michigan. Golden says he believes the increased legalization of cannabis is contributing to how students perceive the substance.

"I'm now aware that more states are legalizing [marijuana]," Golden said. "That's a big change in the country, and that affects how people interact with the drug."

This increase in consumption comes despite the fact that recreational cannabis use remains prohibited in Minnesota. But Golden is right: These days, even the half of Americans that don't consume marijuana support legalization efforts. Minnesotans too have voiced their desire for a regulated cannabis market with the recent election of the pro-pot Democrat Tim Walz to the governor's seat.

If all goes well, students in Minnesota won't have to hide their cannabis habits any longer.

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