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Study Finds Increased Pot Use Among Oregon College Students

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A new study by Oregon State University finds an increase in marijuana use in college students since pot was legalized 2 years ago.

The study surveyed students at an undisclosed large Oregon university before and after legalization. It found students who reported recent heavy drinking were 73 percent more likely to also report marijuana use.  The Oregon data was compared to surveys of college students in other states without legal marijuana.
David Kerr, OSU Associate Professor of Psychology, authored the study. He found that across the country, minors are using more marijuana that those 21 and over, this was more pronounced in Oregon, where pot remains illegal for minors.
 “So that surprised us because you would think that the law does something by allowing people who couldn’t use legally to now use legally.” Kerr says, “But it seemed to have an impact on people for whom use remained illegal.”
Kerr says more study is needed before he can form conclusions about how legalization is affecting marijuana use in Oregon. The research is published in the journal “Addiction”.


Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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