Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Marijuana, hallucinogen use soars among college students as alcohol loses popularity

This is actually a good thing. These drugs are mostly less dangerous than alcohol, both to self and others.

College students smoke weed; it’s all in the data. But now a new study shows they are lighting up at the highest recorded levels since the 1980s.

Just five years ago, 38% of college students reported using marijuana. In 2020, that percentage grew to 44%. Daily or near daily use of weed also rose among the group, from 5% in 2015 to 8% in 2020 — and cannabis is not all they’re enjoying.

Hallucinogens, including LSD, psilocybin, mushrooms and other psychedelic substances, are rising in popularity. In 2019, about 5% of surveyed college students reported taking hallucinogens compared to nearly 9% in 2020.

Meanwhile, alcohol is losing some of its appeal. There was a “significant drop” in its annual use among college students last year, with 56% reporting alcohol use in the past 30 days, 28% reporting being drunk in the last 30 days and 24% reporting binge drinking, compared to 62%, 35% and 32% in 2019, respectively.


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