With summer now officially over, college kids across the country are already arguing over shared mini fridges, skimming over readings they were supposed to be annotating, and trying to sort out which of this semester’s classes are acceptable to skip on Wednesdays. But as you spend your entire summer job nest egg on seven textbooks, are you sure you chose the most 4/20 friendly University? Thankfully, the Princeton Review, most notably known for their college rankings and SAT test prep, has put aside the academic issues and compiled a list of the nation’s campuses with the most widespread marijuana use.
And while you might assume that every institution of higher learning in America’s legal weed states would be fighting for the top spot, after surveying 137,000 college students with questions like "How widely is marijuana used at your school?" the college ranking crew discovered that wasn’t always the case. Coming in first was the hot-boxed ivory tower of the University of Vermont. Behind Burlington, liberal arts havens Ithaca College and Bard College rounded out the top three.
The first college in a legal weed state came in at the number five spot with the University of Colorado, followed closely by schools in Washington State and Oregon, where researchers have already admitted that cannabis use has increased in the years since recreational legalization passed.
"It does appear that legalization is having an effect on usage, but there is some nuance to the findings that warrant further investigation," David Kerr, an associate professor in the School of Psychological Science at Oregon State University, who published a college cannabis study earlier this year, said. Adding, "We found that overall, at schools in different parts of the country, there's been an increase in marijuana use among college students, so we can't attribute that increase to legalization alone."
Those increased numbers across the board could speak to the prevalence of schools in prohibition heavy states at the top of the list; it turns out college kids were even lighting up before legalization.
In the legal weed industry, though, college students are a salesman’s dream, with more free time than the traditional workforce and less expenses (minus those deferred student loans, of course), companies like Denver-based Baker, an online dispensary engagement platform, say they’ve raked in big business from not only college kids, but their professors and administrators.
"Younger demographics tend to naturally grasp concepts like online ordering and digital loyalty programs, so it was a natural fit for their dispensaries to offer these types of services," Baker CEO Joel Milton told The Street about University-adjacent dispensary traffic in states like Colorado and Oregon. “[Professors] used Baker so they could shop more discreetly and try to avoid running into their students. We noticed a trend that newer products like concentrates are more popular in these towns. Students have more time to experiment with the newer cannabis products and tend to shy away 'old school' categories like prerolls which was likely how their parents used cannabis."
Based on Baker’s data, the colleges ordering up the most ‘dro to their dorm rooms come from the University of Colorado, followed closely by the University of Oregon, UCLA and USC.
So whether you’re going to school in SoCal, the Ozarks or Upstate New York, odds are it won’t be that hard to find someone to share a bowl with. After all, they don’t call it higher education for nothing.