Is cannabis making our college students too lazy to binge drink? That’s one interpretation of a new survey from Oregon State University.
OSU research nerds compiled date from more than one million U.S. college students, dating from 2008 to 2018. The study found that, in states which legalized recreational cannabis during that time, college students experienced an average 6% decrease in binge drinking.
The assumption is that, because alcohol and cannabis are comparably available to students, many are substituting wacky weed for the sauce.
“When you reach the legal drinking age, suddenly a lot of people transition to using more alcohol because now it’s more available and marijuana is not,” study co-author and OSU Ph.D student Zoe Alley told Global News.
But, of course, cannabis is more available in weed-legal states, so some students are opting to puff on a spliff instead of doing a keg stand.
The precise effect of cannabis legalization on other drug use is still undetermined. As reported by High Times, there are studies which show that legalization actually increases alcohol consumption in some areas, and others that find no relationship at all.
There have also recently been many studies which find a decrease in opioid addiction after cannabis legalization, and other studies which refute that claim.
This new study, published in Science Direct, follows the effects of cannabis legalization on a very specific demographic. “The biggest takeaway from our paper is that problem binge drinking in college students who are 21 and over changes after the implementation of recreational marijuana use,” said Alley.Photo via Flickr/Jason Meredith