Yesterday at home, I was sorting through some old boxes and came across the letters I had received while in high school and college. Most were now moldy, and I was reading through them one last time before tossing them all these years later.
To my surprise, in letters from 1973, I had a friend at the University of Colorado in Boulder, who said, “If you don’t smoke grass, there is nothing to do on the weekends.” He wasn’t a smoker, but implied most people around him were.
In another letter, from my boyfriend, who was a serious student at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, said, “I went to a party this weekend where there was only supposed to be beer. But when I got there, there was a pile of marijuana at least three inches high. Everyone was rolling cigarettes (with the marijuana) and passing them around. I passed five (marijuana cigarettes) by to other people, but I didn’t try them myself. Everyone was stoned.”
I know a student currently at the University of Northern Colorado. I asked her what the reaction was on campus to the new law. She told me all the college students voted for it, and many were running around shouting, “Yay!” with their arms in the air after hearing that the new law passed. But I don’t think everyone is using it. The student I know told me that she’s been to a couple parties where she smelled the marijuana smoke in the air, but didn’t actually see any marijuana.
I’m sure I must have been around people who used drugs, but I never associated closely enough with them to know that they really were, other than some cousins I had who used marijuana during the hippy era. I also attended a couple of parties (in Cape Girardeau, Missouri) where I smelled the marijuana smoke in the air, but never actually saw the product myself. I used to hear during the 1980s that one or two people I knew in business were using cocaine, but I didn’t know whether to believe it or not.
Interestingly, I’ve lived in North Africa for twenty years, and I hear that tourists are always offered marijuana in the souk. Yet it’s never happened to me. My husband (a local) says it’s because, “You don’t look like the type of person who would want it,” which is true! But with it happening to so many others, I felt a little disappointed that I’d never even been asked, or approached.
I don’t know what the percentage of marijuana users in U.S. colleges was then, or is now, but I’m going to guess the percentages were/are similar. I’m going to guess that back then, 30-40% of people tried it once, and that maybe 15-20% of people might have been regular users in college (and far fewer once they got out of college).
I’m going to guess that with this new law, maybe 60-70% of youth may try it once, and maybe 30% might turn into regular long-term users. In April, 2012, a marijuana-smoking rally at CU Boulder attracted 10,000 participants. But it should be remembered that Boulder has 30,000 students, which means that 2/3 did not attend.
I predict it will be a novelty for a generation, and as health problems start to show up in regular users (such as happened with tobacco cigarettes), people will try to quit, and it will become thought low-class to be a pot-smoker, as has happened today with cigarettes.
Tags: drug use, drug use at the University of Colorado at Boulder, drug use at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, drug use in the 1970s compared with the 2010s, drugs, has marijuana use increased significantly since the hippy era, marijuana use in Colorado and Washington State, marijuana use on college campuses, smoking marijuana