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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Cannabis use at City College
Graphic created on Canva by Acsah Lemma / [email protected]

Cannabis, in all of its forms, has been around for a long time. 

Prominent in all media like the movie “Friday” to almost any one of Snoop Dogg’s songs and even cartoon characters like Scooby Doo’s Shaggy. 

With weed being legal for consumption in California since November 8, 2016, the drug has become even more rampant in the state. Adults who are not yet 21 can now access it through medical cards starting at the age of 18, but after 21 there are little to no restrictions.

A popular alternative to drinking alcohol, weed can be found at almost any party and most prominently on college campuses.

On Wednesday, April 5, 2023, members of The City College’s Express set up a table on campus to hear what students really think about weed. 

LaTasha Orebaugh, a 52-year-old business major, has been smoking weed since she was a teenager, and now as a mother of six, she smokes everyday. In addition to helping her with her appetite, she says smoking helps to calm her down and not lash out at people when she’s feeling angry. “…as you get older, you don’t eat a lot, but when I smoke, it makes me get an appetite and control my attitude,” she remarked.

Chris Valenzuela, a 20-year-old filmmaking major, claims he smokes weed for creative stimulation that he channels into filmmaking; one of his short films was recently featured in the Sonoma International Film Festival. Valenzuela sees the only downside of smoking weed is feeling gluttonous.

“Like I’d be eating the f**k out of chips when I get high but besides that there’s no real true danger,” he said.

He added that driving while high could be a potential danger but he stays home to relax when he smokes.

Mia Blanton, a 22-year-old dental hygienist major, claims she smokes weed as soon as she wakes up. She says it helps her focus but when she has things she needs to get done, she’ll use weed as a prize for accomplishing those tasks.

“Like if I accomplished that, I smoke afterwards. Like you did your s**t,” she added.

Hannah Petree, a 29-year-old film and computer science major, previously smoked weed to relax, but now uses it as a form of pain management. Petree has endometriosis –a condition that can cause chronic pelvic pain, fatigue, nausea and more– so it can become hard for her to function and do what she needs to do. 

On the days when she stays home and doesn’t have class, she resorts to weed instead of relying on Ibuprofen to help her feel better. She said that she is, “more worried about the long-term effects of popping Ibuprofen everyday,” as opposed to the long-term effects of weed.

Similar to Petree, Zekariah Anaman-Ikyurav, a 22-year old athlete with ADHD at City College uses weed to help relieve him of his back pain and other injuries he suffers from. He’s used weed since he was 12 and used to frequently combine it with tobacco. After removing the tobacco 10 months ago, he thinks he sees more positive effects and now the whole process helps him to feel a lot better.

One anonymous student has been smoking since she was 11, now she is 57 years old. She said that she was told by the doctor to continue smoking weed when she had tried to stop. One year she had lost 32 pounds, but when she started smoking again, she gained all her weight back and claims her health has been fine since then.

Originally she smoked to fit in with the older crowd, but now she smokes daily to keep both her weight and appetite up.

“I endured a lot, coming from the streets, trying to start all over again. I smoke, I relax, I get upset. I smoke, I relax. And if I don’t smoke, I’m not relaxed. I can’t sleep. Can’t eat,” she said.

Although there are definite harms to weed, City College students have found positives to it, and might continue to consume weed for who knows how long.

“All this stuff out here in the world. Anything could kill you. I could go outside and get run over by a car. I ain’t worried. About none of that,” stated Orebaugh.

Additional reporting from: Emma Richman, Nick Shockey, Manuel Figueroa and Neezy Jeffery

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