When I realized at the beginning of Fall Semester 2022 that one of The Post’s print dates fell on April 20, or 420, as it is more widely known, I knew we had to put together something special. It started out as an idea for many months, but as April got closer, it became a reality. Over the past month, The Post’s staffers have been working hard to deliver stories, illustrations, photographs, videos and more about the one thing on everyone’s mind today: marijuana.
Don’t mistake my motivations for creating this edition. The Post as a publication does not encourage or endorse the consumption of marijuana, and it does not in any way condone any illegal activities associated with it. But newspapers owe it to their audiences to deliver measured, fact-based reporting on taboo topics, marijuana included. As editor-in-chief, I would be remiss not to take the opportunity to do just that.
According to the National Institutes of Health, marijuana consumption levels among college students rose to historic highs in 2020, nearly matching levels recorded in the 1980s. A survey conducted by the University of Michigan found 44% of college students reported using marijuana in 2020, and 43% of young adults not in college said the same.
Plus, an overwhelming majority of American adults have favorable opinions of marijuana, according to Pew Research Center survey results published just days ago. Almost 90% of those surveyed think marijuana should be legal for recreational use, according to the survey, and public support for the legalization of marijuana has burgeoned in the past 20 years. Additionally, 46% of U.S. adults said they had tried marijuana at least once, according to a survey from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Data Archive.
So, we know there’s an appetite for this kind of content. Within the pages of this edition, you’ll find information about a new business in Athens that offers legal, hemp-derived products. You’ll learn about the health benefits associated with cannabis and the history of 420 itself. You’ll read firsthand about the experiences of a marijuana dealer on Ohio University’s campus and so much more.
I hope you enjoy the articles in this edition and online, which you can find by scanning the QR code at the end of this story.
Ryan Maxin is a junior at Ohio University and the editor-in-chief of The Post. Interested in chatting with him about his thoughts? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @ryanmaxin.