Warning: smoking may cause laziness

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

Emma Vidak-Benjamin

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Has Chico State’s smoking culture made us lazier as both students and members of our community? I’ve decided that yes, it most definitely has.

Going to college in Northern California provides itself with a great set of liberties, one of them being that for the most part, Chico students can easily smoke marijuana wherever and whenever they want. There are few restrictions on the whole thing, which makes it that much easier to get comfortable with the smoking fad.

In 2015, a University of Michigan study revealed that 1 in 17 college students (5.9 percent) use marijuana on a daily basis – which is actually a low number compared to the true number of college kids that I know smoke everyday. However, the study stated that this is the highest reported marijuana use from college students since 1980, proving how prevalent smoking has become in everyday college life.

It seems as if smoking is the No. 1 recreational activity for Chico State students. People get together and “sesh,” or smoke weed with their friends while they talk, watch TV or eat, generally while sitting on a couch or chair. While I will never deny how nice this activity can be, I’m starting to think its prevalence is taking away from time we should be spending doing productive activities.

Homework, studying, exercising, cleaning, being out in nature – these are all things that are important for me to be a successful, productive college student. However, all the seshing and smoking with friends has served as a distraction from all these things. When you’re bored and there’s “nothing to do,” I don’t think I’m the only one who’s first instinct would be to text friends and see who wants to smoke.

Smoking weed has become so incredibly normalized in Chico State’s student culture, and it’s starting to take its toll. We should be out in the community trying to make a difference or at least trying to improve our own lives through healthy and beneficial methods. Instead, it feels like we’ve given up on utilizing our free time in vigorous ways and have traded it in for a life of lazily laying around on couches mindlessly watching bad TV.

The worst part about all this is that we’ve come to just accept this as the terms of college life. No one (including me) even tries to protest it at this point. Smoking with friends is such a social norm that students who don’t smoke are considered the black sheep of the group. It’s almost unheard of when someone walks into your house or apartment and doesn’t participate in the smoking.

Of course, I’m not calling for the complete shutdown of smoking weed among students. Trust me, I would never do that. However, I am calling for all of us to at least recognize the pattern that’s emerging among all of us students. Everyone should pay attention to the fact that we’ve become very lazy people. We’re putting productive, beneficial activities on the back burner because none of us can rip ourselves away from the life of smoking and socialization.

Emma Vidak-Benjamin can be reached at [email protected] or @gnarlyemma on Twitter.

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