Know all the facts
Before you consider using recreational cannabis/marijuana in New Jersey, it is important to know and understand the facts and policies about its use. Just like with alcohol and other drugs, there are existing laws. Montclair State University also has polices regarding the use of cannabis/marijuana. Violations are subject to sanctions according to the Montclair State University Code of Conduct.
If you choose to use
Cannabis/marijuana and its active components (THC and CBD) exist in many forms and strengths and can affect people in different ways. Whether it’s your first time or you’re a frequent user, here are some things to consider:
Keep it off campus
You cannot use or possess any form of cannabis/marijuana anywhere on Montclair State University property. This includes no vaporizers, no edibles, and no smoking. This policy also supports the University smoke- and tobacco-free policy.
Be of age
You may possess and use recreational cannabis/marijuana only if you are 21 years of age or older, but not on campus.
Know the limits
You may possess up to six ounces of usable cannabis/marijuana, but not on campus.
Don’t be on the move
You can be charged with DUI if you are under the influence of cannabis/marijuana.
Dealing is not allowed
The intent of or actual distribution of cannabis/marijuana /hashish (as well as other drugs), is prohibited. This includes any form of sale, exchange or transfer, regardless of monetary transaction.
Know the serving size
Double check the serving size for edible cannabis/marijuana products. A single serving should contain no more than 10 mg of THC. Remember, it may take two (2) hours for edibles to begin to take effect and up to four (4) hours to feel the full effect.
Avoid mixing cannabis/marijuana with other controlled substances
Two or more substances used together can slow breathing and result in adverse side effects. Play it safe by using one substance at a time.
Wait before engaging in activities that may put you at a higher risk
It’s recommended to wait at least 3-5 hours after vaping or smoking and 6-8 hours after consuming edibles before engaging in higher risk activities.
Reduce your frequency
Using cannabis/marijuana less frequently has been shown to lower the risk of dependency, negative mental health symptoms and long-term health effects.
Still have questions?
Trying to understand the University policy and the state laws can be confusing. Here are some resources and frequently asked questions that can help further illustrate how to use cannabis/marijuana responsibly and abide by the policies and laws.
- University Code of Conduct policy regarding cannabis/marijuana
- Health Promotion: Alcohol & Drugs Programs
- Counseling and Psychological Services
- Cannabis eCHECKUP :The electronic THC Online Knowledge Experience is a brief self-assessment that provides you with accurate, detailed and personalized feedback on your use of marijuana, and specific information and helpful resources in the Montclair State University community.
What happens when someone smokes cannabis/marijuana?
The way cannabis/marijuana affects each person depends on many factors, including the user’s previous experience with the drug, the strength of the strain, the user’s expectations, how the drug is consumed, and whether the person has been drinking or using other drugs. Effects of cannabis/marijuana can include:
- Feelings of relaxation or feeling “high”
- Increase in appetite and thirst
- Feelings of anxiety and paranoia
- Distorted perceptions
- Trouble with thinking and problem solving
- Loss of motor coordination
- Problems with memory and learning
- Disrupted sleep
- Physical effects, such as increased heart rate and breathing problems
These can impact a person’s learning, academic performance, relationships, and athletic performance.
What is the active ingredient in cannabis/marijuana?
All forms of cannabis/marijuana are mind-altering. In other words, they change how the brain works. The main active chemical in cannabis/marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Cannabis/marijuana ‘ effects on users depends on its strength or potency, which is related to the amount of THC it contains.
How long does cannabis/marijuana stay in the user’s body?
The THC in cannabis/marijuana is rapidly absorbed by fatty tissues in various organs. Generally, traces of THC can be detected by standard urine tests several days after cannabis/marijuana has been used. In chronic heavy users, traces can sometimes be detected for weeks after someone stops using.
What are the long-term effects of cannabis/marijuana use?
Findings show that regular use of cannabis/marijuana or THC may play a role in some kinds of cancer. Studies show that someone who smokes five joints per day may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day.
Smoking cannabis/marijuana can also cause problems in the respiratory and immune systems. People who smoke cannabis/marijuana often develop the same kinds of breathing problems that cigarette smokers have, including coughing and wheezing. They also tend to have more chest colds and are at greater risk of getting lung infections.
What does cannabis/marijuana do to the brain?
Some studies show that when people smoke large amounts of cannabis/marijuana for years, the drug takes its toll on mental functions. Heavy or daily use of cannabis/marijuana affects the parts of the brain that control memory, attention, and learning. A working short-term memory is needed to learn and perform tasks that call for more than one or two steps.
How does cannabis/marijuana affect driving?
Cannabis/marijuana impairs the skills required to drive safely: alertness, concentration, coordination, and reaction time. Cannabis/marijuana use can make it difficult to judge distances and react to signals and sounds on the road. Data have also shown that while smoking cannabis/marijuana, people show the same lack of coordination on standard “drunk driver” tests as do people who have had too much to drink.
Can people become dependent to cannabis/marijuana?
Yes, long-term cannabis/marijuana use can lead to dependency in some people, meaning that they cannot control their urges to seek out and use cannabis/marijuana, even though it negatively affects their family relationships, school performance, and recreational activities. Also, some frequent, heavy cannabis/marijuana users develop “tolerance” to its effects. This means they need larger and larger amounts to get the same desired effects as they used to get from smaller amounts.
What if someone wants to stop using cannabis/marijuana?
In 2002, over 280,000 people entering drug treatment programs reported cannabis/marijuana as their primary drug of abuse. However, up until a few years ago, it was hard to find treatment programs specifically for cannabis/marijuana users. Now researchers are testing different ways to help cannabis/marijuana users abstain from drug use. There are currently no medications for treating cannabis/marijuana addiction. Treatment programs focus on counseling and group support systems.
For more information, see the National Institute on Drug Abuse website https://www.drugabuse.gov/.