Is Marijuana legal is Massachusetts? Is it safe? Can I use it on campus?
Amherst College receives federal funds. Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. Even though Massachusetts has decriminalized marijuana, its use and possession on campus is a violation of our community standards. Students are prohibited from using marijuana even if they have a medical marijuana card.
Marijuana is the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the plant, Cannabis sativa. The plant contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other related compounds. Extracts can also be made from the cannabis plant. Marijuana can be consumed in many ways, including smoking a cigarette, using a water pipe, or eating edibles that contain marijuana. Marijuana can also be consumed using e-vaporizers (these are similar to e-cigarettes but burn marijuana oil at a higher temperature). There is no standard for the amount of marijuana contained in these products, so the amount of marijuana and the THC concentration can vary greatly.
Things to know:
- Detectable amounts of THC can remain in the body for weeks after use.
- The “high” associated with marijuana typically lasts for 1–3 hours, but if eaten the effects come on slower and can last for hours.
- The effects can vary from person to person and are dependent on lots of factors including previous experience, genes, the potency of the drug, and what other substances a person may be using.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the short-term and long-term effect of using marijuana include:
Short-term effects (while using or right after using):
- Learning, attention, and memory problems
- Distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch)
- Poor coordination and motor skills
- Increased heart rate
- Anxiety, paranoia
- Psychosis (not common)
Effects that last longer than the short term (a few days) but may not be permanent:
- Learning and memory problems
- Sleep problems
Long-term effects (effects of repeated use):
- Risk of marijuana addiction
- Long-term learning and memory problems
- Risk for chronic cough, bronchitis
- Risk of schizophrenia in some people with higher genetic risk