College Students & Marijuana: Skipping Classes, Lower GPAs, & Late Graduation

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new study reports that college students who use marijuana during their first year of college have a tendency to consistently skip classes. As a result, their GPAs suffer and late graduation can eventually become a reality. “The more frequently a student uses marijuana, the more they tend to skip class, earn lower grades, and graduate later,” say Arria and colleagues from the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

The results of the study showed that marijuana use adversely affects college academic outcomes. The primary objective of the study was to show how marijuana use during college can be a barrier to academic achievement and how prevention and early intervention might be important components of a comprehensive strategy for promoting postsecondary academic success.

When the rubber meets the ground, it’s the relationship between marijuana use and academic problems that is cause for concern. College students who use cannabis show decreased motivation with their courses, and subsequently, their academic performance. Additionally, marijuana use can cause difficulty retaining information, such as that presented in a traditional classroom setting.

Certain risk and protective factors such as demographics, college engagement, psychological functioning, and alcohol and other drug use are thought to contribute to college academic outcomes, the study mentions.

More cause for alarm might be the fact that mental health problems and substance use peak between the ages of 18 and 25. This represents an ever-present need for prevention and intervention measures to be made a priority on college campuses. Though most college students are legal adults, it’s vital that “[parents] talk to their teens about making the educational aspects of college a priority, and how using substances can impair their academic success.”

The frontrunners of this study are “urging college administrators to integrate substance use screening within academic assistance centers.” 3rd Millennium Classrooms offers Marijuana-Wise and Marijuana 101 for college students. Marijuana-Wise is a marijuana prevention course that can be completed in less than one hour and can be paired with Alcohol-WiseGreek-Wise or taken as a standalone. Marijuana 101 is a four-hour online intervention course used as a sanction for on-campus student marijuana violations.

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