Great strides in marijuana legalization have been made across the country, but not at some colleges.
Yes, despite the shifts in social attitudes towards marijuana -- or rather, cannabis -- some things have remained the same, even in the nine states that have currently legalized marijuana. Some schools still follow federal law.
But, one guy who's running a podcast wants you to drop out and study weed. YES! He will pay you too!
First... Let's look at why some schools aren't so high on the growing popularity surrounding pot.
This could, in part, have to do with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments passed in 1989. What they stipulate is simply, state-level laws notwithstanding, the Federal government can rescind funding to public institutions, such as schools and universities, if they violate the federal ban on illegal substances, such as marijuana. The law, however, does not differentiate between medicinal or non-medicinal uses.
And the fear is real enough, though the punishment has not been mete out, that the refusal to impinge on that law continues. Jeremy Bauer-Wolf reported that officials at the “university systems in both Maine and California cited the 1989 law as the reason policy hasn’t changed.” At the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), student-led initiatives, such as the one by the Student Government Association (GSA), which asked for a change to the university’s policies towards marijuana possession, may very well, in the end, yield some success.
Currently, the states that have legalized the recreational use and sale of marijuana include Colorado, the first state in the U.S. to have done so in 2012, Washington state, Oregon, Alaska, D.C.; and followed by, in 2016, California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine.
A side note, Canada goes fully legal in July 2018.
But shifting public attitudes, especially towards the left of center, has been a trend in the making over the past few years. This is what Gallup calls “an increasingly liberal outlook” on a host of social issues not only limited to drug use.
So seismic this shift has been that even the host of a Boulder-based pot business-themed podcast CannaInsider will award the inaugural "CannaInsider Cannabis Education Scholarship", worth $3,000, to those who "best demonstrates the passion, curiosity and commitment for cannabis necessary for success in this historic, blossoming industry.”
The campaign, led by the host of the podcast, Matt (Kind) McCabe, asks students not to attend college, citing its costs and the discrepancies of an education and prospects of employment.
Colleges will have to contend with this matter, whether or not to stay on the high road, so to speak. When a Boulder podcast host will pay students to dropout of college in a state with a $1.3 billion marijuana industry that has generated $200 million in tax revenue, school seems less enticing.
By 2020, according to a report by New Frontier Data, more than a quarter of a million jobs will be generated by the marijuana industry. Its estimated worth in 2016 is at $7.2 billion and its growth, at a compound annual rate, is measured at 17 percent. In other words, it’s green gold and it's not stopping anytime soon.
Schools, much like the Federal government, continue to remain unfazed by the larger trends taking place in the public.
But, will lawmakers stay dazed and confused over a topic that's all the rage in popular culture?