While marijuana is illegal, some FAMU students do not agree with the current regulations.
“I feel like it shouldn’t be illegal. It doesn't harm anybody at all, if anything, it’s used to help cope with stress,” a graduating psychology student said.
“My stress is so overwhelming for me sometimes and I feel like I can't escape reality when I need a break,” the student said. “I smoke because it calms me down and puts me in a place where I can rationally think about everything I need to get done instead of freaking out about everything I have to do,” she said as she explained why she still smokes knowing that the drug is illegal.
A junior mechanical engineering student also does not agree with the drug being illegal. Students spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want their names linked to illegal drug use.
“I feel it's [messed] up that there are people in jail for non-violent drug offenses. The same ‘offenses’ that people in recreational legal states are just enjoying themselves for. Marijuana is a federally illegal drug, so truth be told all those people in ‘legal’ states need to be in prison too. Obviously the United States can't put [entire] states in prison so the fact that it's not legal across the country bothers me.”
He went on to say, “The fact that the reason behind marijuana becoming illegal in the first place was because Harry J. Anslinger, director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. lost the war on alcohol to gangsters and real criminals in the ’30s. In order to justify his job and the departments whole existence he needed a new drug to go after.”
The drug happened to be marijuana.
Of the students interviewed, all say that they use marijuana as a stress reliever and have increased use in the past year.
“What started as a fun side activity became a stress reliever and an escape from the pressures of life. Although not a life-changing effect, it was enough to grant me a way out from everything that was going on,” the junior engineering student said.
“I hit a low point in life awhile back and it gave me an entirely new outlook on the drug and how I don’t want it to inhibit me,” he said as he spoke on why he tries to limit his use now.
“I usually only do weekend smoking after all my work is done now after I saw how badly you can get off track from life if all you do is smoke marijuana. It’s not a good look nor does it give you anything real to look forward to,” he said.
Marijuana is legal for medical use in 29 states and legal for recreational use in nine states. In Florida, medical marijuana can be purchased on the merit that the drug is only available in a processed form.
On Florida A&M University’s campus, marijuana is considered an illegal drug and is prohibited by the school.