Marijuana Mondays Educates students

Jon Olsen-Koziol, Staff Reporter

CWU is doing its part to educate students on marijuana. The Wellness Center is hosting Marijuana Monday’s as a part of Marijuana Awareness Month this February. These events are aimed at educating people on marijuana related issues.

Kelly Cronic is hosting and speaking at each event. Cronic is a public health major and is interested in going into drug policy when she graduates from CWU. Cronic wants to bring a bi-partisan perspective to the marijuana conversation.

The first event was a mock dispensary aimed at teaching people about the what  you can buy inside of a dispensary. Around 60 people showed up, Cronic said.

“It didn’t hit as many people as I thought it would,” Cronic said.

The next event was Marijuana and the Brain. Over 55 people showed up, which was more than they had planned for.

“We had to put extra chairs on the side, so that was cool,” Cronic said.

Marijuana is still a Schedule I drug, meaning it’s deemed to have a high level of abuse and have no accepted medical use, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s website. This makes research hard to conduct and limits availability to the public.

“It’s ridiculous actually,” Cronic said.

Members of  the audience were curious of the discrepancy between state and federal legality. The question of why people use marijuana for medical purposes if the government says it has no medical use was brought up more than once, according to Cronic.

Joel R. Ortega attended Marijuana and the Brain looking for a bias-free perspective on marijuana.

“I’ve found research that is biased and follows along previous prohibition propaganda. I was curious if this would be similar?” Ortega said.

Students also inquired about marijuana’s addictive properties. It is addictive, but far less than other substances, according to Cronic. There is an endocannabinoid system in the human brain, and this makes it easy for the body to wean off marijuana.

Ortega is more comfortable with his marijuana use following Cronic’s presentation.

“I can narrow the potential risks of using it,” Ortega said.

The next event is on policy and procedure. The first half will focus on the evolution of marijuana’s legality in Washington. The last half will be a Q&A with a panel of people including a CWU police officer, a resident assistant and Doug Fulp, M. Ed,  the health educator at the Wellness Center.  Cronic will ask them questions about how marijuana’s legality has changed policies for their respective jobs.

The last event will be about how marijuana compares to other recreational drugs like cocaine and alcohol. Both will take place in SURC 140 at 7 p.m.