Students don’t fear the reefer
Grass, ganja, bud, cheeba, chronic, pot, reefer; no matter what name you give it, marijuana is coming to Oregon in a higher way this July. Thanks to the passing of Measure 91 back in November, recreational marijuana use will be legal for Oregon residents over the age of 21. With this paradigm shift on the horizon, we here at The Clackamas Print were curious to see how the student body felt about the subject.
In a poll conducted at Clackamas Community College we found some interesting trends. Of the 225 students polled, we found the majority of people were mostly indifferent about recreational marijuana use. Roughly 29 percent of the students polled say they had positive attitudes toward marijuana before the measure passed, and 21 percent felt negatively, with the remaining 49 percent feeling mostly ambivalent on the matter pre Measure 91.
The next question on our minds was if students’ opinions had changed now that its been voted to be legalized, and the answer in generally is “No.” The biggest change we saw was in favor of marijuana. With 36 percent of students polled saying they felt positively about marijuana use, up 7 percent from before the passing of Measure 91.
Andrew Weaver said, “Growing up in Oregon, marijuana was just like alcohol. When we celebrated we didn’t pop open a bottle of champagne, we decided to smoke up. It’s celebrated in Oregon. I didn’t expect it so suddenly, but still happy about it. I am a strong marijuana supporter regardless.”
Meanwhile, 48 percent of students say they are indifferent and 16 percent remain staunch in their bias against pot, down roughly 2 percent and 5 percent respectively.
Now here is where things get interesting. Regardless of their personal feelings on marijuana use, a startling 61 percent think that the passing of Measure 91 will be good for the state of Oregon as a whole. These students often cited factors such as increases in tax revenue, increased tourism, wider availability of marijuana for medicinal uses, as well as others.
Meanwhile 16 percent feel its passing will negatively impact Oregon, giving reasons like increases in social costs and more intoxicated drivers on the road. One such student, Samuel Donily said, “I’m not necessarily against pot, but I’m a big supporter of ‘small town’ Oregon and I don’t want more people moving here, cutting down our forests to make more room.” The remaining 29 percent thought that the pros and cons would even each other out in the long run. Many students are worried that the tax money coming in won’t be going toward the schools and other causes as outlined in the bill. For instance Andrew Taylor said, “If the money goes where it is supposed to go it’ll be a good thing, but look at the lottery. That money was supposed to be going to schools, but it didn’t.”