​If cannabis is legal, is it safe to use?

Cannabis may help relieve some medical symptoms, but cannabis can also cause problems depending on how it is used. Just because it is legal, doesn’t mean it is safe. With cannabis newly legalized in some places, there are a lot more questions than answers, especially about the possibility of addiction and other health risks.

Know the law where you are going to college.

Laws on cannabis vary from community to community and from state to state. Check with your local state governments for the latest information. As of December 2022, possession of up to 3 ounces of cannabis by those over 21 is legal in the state of Missouri.

Federal Law still prohibits the use, possession, or cultivation of Cannabis. While cannabis possession is legal in the community, cannabis is not permitted on Washington University’s campuses. This is due to WashU being federally funded and needing to comply with federal regulations.

Edible Cannabis products

Include candy, baked goods, and teas infused with THC. They are usually strong than cannabis that is smoked. It may take 20-60 minutes to feel the effects of an edible cannabis, however.

The risk of complications is higher when using an edible, because it is so concentrated and the user may consume more without realizing the delayed effects.

What are some effects of using cannabis?

Short-Term: Relaxed feeling or sleepiness; impaired short-term memory; slowed reflexes; increased heart rate; dry mouth and throat; red eyes; paranoia

Long-Term: Reduced ability to learn; lack of motivation; upper respiratory problems; possible cancer risk from smoking; risk of dependence; increased risk of depression

Effects on brain development: The human brain is still developing into our early to mid-20s. The use of any drug can hurt brain development. Parts of the brain might not develop the way they are supposed to if a young adult uses cannabis.

Students who use cannabis regularly are more likely to:

  • Perform poorly in school
  • Get lower grades
  • Drop out of school