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Marijuana Matters

What are the effects of using marijuana?

Just like many drugs, marijuana can produce both desirable and undesirable effects. Many users report feelings of euphoria, relaxation and sensory perception changes. Marijuana can also produce undesirable mental and physical side effects including:

  • Impaired focus, memory, concentration, and ability to learn
  • Negative psychological reactions (anxiety, paranoia, disturbing thoughts)
  • Slower reflexes, altered perception, impaired decision making (consent)
  • Increased chances for lung damage, respiratory infections, and cough (when smoked)
  • Greater frequency of cannabis use increases the likelihood of developing problem cannabis use (Dependence in about 10% percent of users, 30% of daily users)

Isn't using marijuana really common?

Not as much as you might think! Approximately 23% of SIU students in 2017 used marijuana in the past 30 days. That means the large majority - 77% - did NOT use. Surprised?

What is SIU's policy on marijuana?

Marijuana is prohibited on SIU's campus. Although the state of Illinois passed a law allowing for the use of recreational marijuana, it remains illegal under federal laws. Since SIU receives federal funding, it must abide by federal laws. Anyone found with marijuana or under the influence of marijuana in any form on campus may face university, city, state and/or federal consequences. Be informed; know the laws and your Student Code of Conduct!

If I choose to use marijuana, how can I reduce my risk of undesirable effects?

If you make the decision to use marijuana, there are ways to reduce some of the harmful consequences.

  • Avoid using before or during studying, class, and tests.
  • Don't use before driving any kind of motorized vehicle or machinery. Waiting 3-5 hours is recommended.
  • To reduce potential lung effects, don't smoke. There are other ways to use, but recognize those forms may also have other undesirable effects.
  • Use in a safe place with people you know and trust.
  • Recognize that there are more than legal risks associated with marijuana. Identify the risks you face by purchasing, transporting, storing and using marijuana.
  • Understand the laws and SIU policy regarding marijuana and other drugs.

How do I know if my marijuana use is problematic?

For many people, their marijuana use can become problematic. While everyone is different, signs of problematic use might include:

  • missing homework deadlines
  • showing up to class/work high
  • dealing with a chronic cough or memory problems
  • multiple citations/sanctions with police or the university
  • experiencing difficulty when trying to cut down or stop using

If you are concerned about your marijuana use and would like to talk to a professional, contact Counseling and Psychological Services at 618-453-5371 to make an appointment.

For more information on marijuana, check out our poster series!