Now that marijuana is legal and for sale in Colorado, naturally the state is seeing an increase in college and university applications. In fact, applications to the University of Colorado are on the rise by 30 percent. But Mike Hooker, a spokesman for Colorado State University, doesn’t see a connection.
“I have a hard time believing that someone is going to make that kind of significant decision about investing in their education based on whether they can smoke marijuana in the state,” Hooker told Fox News.
However, Rachel Gillette, executive director of the Colorado chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is a believer. “I can see how Amendment 64 could be an incentive for some prospective students to apply to college in the State of Colorado,” she told Fox. “From a college student’s perspective, we can analogize it to alcohol. Young people do appreciate freedom.”
College kids also appreciate weed. So it makes sense that they’d want to attend school in a state that allows them the freedom to smoke weed. Allen St. Pierre, the Executive Director of NORML, agrees. “In a Hobson’s choice-type way, parents might be chagrined by their child’s marijuana use but still prefer that the child go to school in a state where it is legal as opposed to a state where the child will be punished and face the entire loss of their investment in a college education.” he said.
Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in November of 2012 and began selling it on New Year’s day. In the first month, the state took in more than $2 million worth of taxes from its sale. It collected roughly $1.4 million from the sale of medical marijuana. Including licensing fees and taxes Colorado took in about $3.5 million from its burgeoning marijuana industry in January.
Along with a windfall of new tax revenue, Colorado can now look forward to a spike in out-of-state tuition fees from students looking to get high while working on their higher education.