Academics Favor Cannabis

Students * Shakespeare

Study: College Marijuana Use Growing

By LISA LIPMAN. c The Associated Press (AP-NY-10-30-00)

BOSTON (AP) - Northeastern University junior Robert Devaney says many of his fellow students have trouble buying beer at nearby bars - but no problem getting marijuana.

"It's the alternative to drinking,'' Devaney said Monday. "To get alcohol, someone is going to make sure you're of age, whereas marijuana is easily available. I would definitely say it's a big problem on campus.''

Marijuana use among college students rose 22 percent between 1993 and 1999, according to a study released this week by the Harvard School of Public Health.

Seven years ago, 12.9 percent of students claimed to have used marijuana in the previous month. Last year, the figure was 15.7 percent.

The research was based on the responses of more that 14,000 students selected randomly from 119 four-year colleges in 40 states.

"I think it shows the need for colleges to approach this problem, but it also shows the need to beef up the programs earlier - in high schools and even middle schools,'' said Dr. Henry Wechsler, who headed the study.

The increase was reported among all races and types of students, though the study found that marijuana users are typically single and white. Marijuana use was higher among students who participate in other high-risk behaviors, such as binge drinking, cigarette smoking and having multiple sexual partners, the study found.

Marijuana use was highest at colleges in the Northeast and lowest in Southern colleges. It was also highest at colleges classified as "very competitive,'' and lowest at those considered "not competitive.''

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DMACC College President Faces Drug Charges

Family Members Expected To Turn Themselve In Thursday

POSTED: 2:35 p.m. CST March 12, 2003; UPDATED: 11:47 a.m. CST March 13, 2003

JOHNSTON, Iowa -- The president of Des Moines Area Community College went before a Polk County judge Thursday morning.

Police said Dr. David England, 50, was taken into custody at his Johnston home Wednesday afternoon for drug related charges. He was held overnight at the Polk County jail on $49,000 bond. England has been charged with possession with intent to deliver, manufacture of drugs/marijuana, failure to have drug tax stamps and two felony conspiracy counts. England waived his preliminary hearing Thursday and is scheduled to be arraigned in late April. England's wife Donna, 16-year-old son, and 22-year-old daughter are expected to turn themselves in to authorities Thursday. NewsChannel 8 is reported that police found 4 to 5 pounds of marijuana in the family's home. Officers said they also found grow lights and more than 70 "starter" marijuana plants. DMACC officials said England has been put on paid administrative leave. England took over as president and CEO of DMACC in August of 2001.

UK: Bard On Pot? Weed It And Weep

02 Mar 2001, New York Post (NY). Copyright: 2001 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.

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Author: Bill Hoffmann

To toke or not to toke - that apparently wasn't a tough question for Shakespeare.

Scientists say he may have smoked marijuana for inspiration. Pipes dug up from the garden of Shakespeare's home in Stratford-upon-Avon in England contain traces of pot, researchers say.

A team of scientists began their study after noting that Shakespeare's Sonnet No. 76 refers to "invention in a noted weed."

"Weed" is a slang term for marijuana, and "invention" refers to writing. The findings spark speculation that the world's most famous author may have been inspired to write his enduring classics while stoned.

"We do not claim that any of the pipes belonged to Shakespeare," Dr. Francis Thackeray, head of paleontology at the Transvaal Museum, writes in the South African Journal of Science.

"However, some of the pipes come from the area in which he lived, and they date from the 17th century.

"So we put forward a hypothesis that Shakespeare may have used cannabis as a source of inspiration."

Marijuana was first grown in England in the year 400 AD. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was used to produce hemp for ships' ropes and canvas.

"The [marijuana] was found in two of the 24 pipe fragments examined, which is really quite remarkable," Thackeray said.

In the same sonnet that refers to "a noted weed," the Bard also mentions "compounds strange" - another possible reference to drugs. "But I think Shakespeare, who may have experimented with these substances, is saying he would rather turn away from them. I would not read it as an endorsement of drug use," Thackeray said.

Professor Stanley Wells of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which lent Thackeray the fragments, said the conclusions were "regrettable."

"I think it's trying to suggest that Shakespeare was not a great genius, but somebody who produced his writings under an artificial influence," he said.

"There are about 8 million cannabis takers in this country at the present time. Are they producing anything comparable to Shakespeare's sonnet, I ask myself? I doubt it."

(He obviously never heard of the Beatles.)