Perceived cannabis use unchanged since legalization, some say

by Paulette Villicana, Staff Writer

San Diego State students say they have seen no change in the occurrence of recreational marijuana use since the drug was legalized at the beginning of the year.

SDSU is a recipient of federal funds and therefore is required to maintain a drug-free community, prevent illegal drug use and discipline students and employees who unlawfully possess, use, or distribute illegal drugs on university property, according to an email from Dean of Students Randy Timm at the beginning of the year.

University police spokesperson Raquel Herriot said that there have been only two marijuana citations this year.

Journalism freshman Hayley Richmond, who lives in University Towers, said the odor of marijuana is ever-present on her dorm floor.

“My floor always smells like weed,” she said. “We’ve had cops come in multiple times but I don’t know if they (students) get in trouble or not.”

According to the SDSU Police Department evidence inventory, the amount of marijuana collected in the first three months of 2018 is significantly less than the amount collected in the first three months of 2017.

University police have collected a total of 179.3 grams of marijuana between the months of January and March 2018. Last year, there were 687.06 grams of marijuana collected by police between during the same three months.

Criminal justice junior Melissa Ramirez said she sees cannabis use just as often now as she did before legalization.

“I’ve seen (people smoking marijuana) inside the parking structures but not really around buildings or during school hours,” she said.

Cooper Doty, a television, film and new media production senior, said while he doesn’t think legal marijuana has led to an increase in its use, he has seen an increase in vape pen usage.

“I definitely don’t see an increase in weed but an increase in vape pens everywhere, which is nicotine, that’s actually been more of a rise on campus I think everyone has one of these now,” Doty said.