No. 1 drug used on TCU campus
is readily accessible and prevalent on TCUs campus,
a survey shows.
NOTE: Some of the names in this story have been changed
at the request of those being interviewed and quoted.
Names that have been changed are indicated.
Authorities say marijuana is the most common illegal
drug used at TCU and a survey of students says it is
also the most accessible.
In a survey of 700 TCU students conducted every two
years, marijuana was the most frequently reported illegal
drug used in the past 30 days at the time of the survey
at 11.2 percent. Also in the 2002 survey, amphetamines
followed at 2.4 percent and designer drugs, such as
Ecstasy, at 1.3 percent.
Nonetheless, student marijuana use consistently ranks
below the national average among college students, said
Angela Taylor, director of alcohol and drug education.
According to a survey conducted earlier this semester
about access to substances on campus, marijuana is also
perceived as the most accessible drug on campus. The
survey, conducted by sociology professor Michael Katovich,
found that on the average, students who wish to obtain
marijuana could do so within three hours.
Its really easy to get weed about
as easy as getting beer if youre 21, said
Andrew, a student in the College of Science
and Engineering. In high school, it was harder
to get beer than to get weed.
Although Andrew agrees that pot use on campus is prevalent,
he said he buys his weed off campus in a nearby Fort
Jamie Johnson, a Fort Worth police officer, said he
has not encountered TCU students with marijuana while
patrolling the neighborhoods surrounding the university.Im
not comfortable saying its not a problem,
Johnson said. A lot more people use it than Im
Taylor said students tend to deny use of pot because
there is still a social stigma associated with its use
at the school.
Ashley, a junior in the AddRan College of
Humanities and Social Sciences, agrees.
TCU is conservative, she said. The
attitude of a stereotypical TCU person is to look down
on anyone that is different from them. The few people
I know that dont do (marijuana) really look down
Ashley said she began smoking marijuana her freshman
year of college. Her first use was a combination of
peer pressure and knowing the effects of marijuana,
I knew it wouldnt mess me up like harder
drugs, she said.
Ashley said she thinks far worse drugs are legalized,
such as alcohol and tobacco.
I dont know anyone that has ever been in
a car wreck because of pot, she said.
But Taylor says pot and academics are not a good equation
Pot causes more problems for the individual reaching
goals, she said. It affects memory, motivation
People are more apt to try another drug when they are
under the influence of marijuana, Taylor said.
Just because you smoke marijuana doesnt
mean you do other drugs, but accessibility to people
with other substances will increase your accessibility
window accordingly, she said. There is more
Taylor said its difficult to describe the typical
pot smoker because marijuana transcends all social groups.
Although Andrew and Ashley say pot hasnt affected
their goals, they do know individuals who have been
negatively affected by the drug.
For a lot of people it probably is amotivational,
Andrew said. But its not the drug, its
Andrew said he is currently doing well in his classes
and maintains a 3.6 cumulative GPA.
Ashley said she thinks she is completely successful
academically and said her GPA has risen steadily since
You just have to be smarter than the drug,
I smoke to relax; to forget about everything,
like school, he said. But if I have something
to do, I dont get high.