High On Education?

This semester I spent the better part of a class sniffing students. Yeah, that’s weird,

but I was on a mission. The room smelled when I walked in, and the aroma grew

stronger after I closed the door. That meant the “O” was still with the “B.” (Please

binge watch Seinfeld if you’re lost.)


I walked up and down aisles pretending to make friendly chit chat, but I was really

just smelling people. I narrowed it down to the first two rows, but I couldn’t figure

out who the offender might be. I considered telling a joke so stupid, you’d have to be

high to laugh, but it’s kind of hard to seamlessly weave a knock-knock joke into a


Knock Knock. Who’s there? Mary. Mary who?

Then I started to wonder why a student would come to a 9:30 am class high. Am I

that bad, you can’t take me sober? Or maybe, I’m just not a buzz kill. Either way, I

think we can agree the taboo has been broken, and I blame it all on Colorado.


Here’s the issue. As a society, we’ve trained ourselves to drink alcohol after 5 p.m.

Happy hour was invented to keep us from sneaking a sip in the morning. If you can

just hold out until 5, you can get plastered – no questions asked.

One of the problems with legalized pot is that we haven’t established social norms for this drug.

Not only are students smoking before class, they think it’s okay – even outside of Colorado.

Maybe I should be teaching geography?


I’m not advocating for a marijuana happy hour, but you see where this is going. In all

the years I’ve been teaching, I’ve never had a student walk in with a lampshade on

their head, and I’ve never wondered what was in that water bottle.


So yeah, this pot thing is bugging me. I’d love to hear your opinion. (And how about the photo? Are you laughing yet?)


  • Aidan Ekelund

    I have also been trapped in a classroom with a skunk aroma lingering in the air throughout the entirety of class. Since I was in high school I can recall people bringing or reeking of pot to class. Some may argue that smoking eases anxieties and are able to perform better after smoking. With medical marijuana legal in an increasing amount of states, I do believe that this can be true, but it certainly does not apply to everybody. Out of the respect for instructors and fellow classmates, I think it might be a better idea to leave the weed behind and maybe change into a fresh outfit. In other cases, I think that people should spend their energy being productive during the day rather than having your energy drained from you first thing in the morning.

  • Karina Gomez

    I am also bothered by this and I am always preaching to anyone that will listen. It doesn’t take long for anyone to realize the smell of marijuana especially in a classroom. Not only is it obvious but quite distracting especially for people who are sensitive to smells in general like myself. I find myself trying to put my feet in someone else’s shoes especially when I cannot see myself doing certain things. When I do this i come to the conclusion that not everyone lives the life that I live. There are people who feel as if they have no escape and then there are people who feel it is just normal and natural. A world without pot is odd for some people but it is the norm for me. I believe people have their own reasons for smoking pot and I have asked many people for their reasoning. The answers that I heard were that it reduces their anxiety and that it helps them distract themselves from their lives. Both answers leave me with the thought that people are becoming more and more reliant on this drug which is sad. I agree with you on there being no social norms for this drug. We live in a world that teaches us to not eat brownies for breakfast however smoking marijuana before class or work seems acceptable. I think the main cause of this is social media and the newer generations. Social media now allows us to keep up with others and for others to keep up with us. People are constantly looking for “likes” and “views” and will do anything for attention. As for the newer generations I feel as if they are growing up in a world where pot is legal in certain states and countries which gives them a thumbs up to smoke pot because if the government allows this than why wouldn’t it be okay? They are also growing up in a world that encourages them to be whoever they want to be and for some it can be interpreted in a completely different manner which happens to include marijuana.

  • Mark Blum

    I definitely hear your point about the “happy hour” factor in it all, how there are no social guidelines as to when it is socially acceptable and not to be high and have seen countless cases of this in class and all around campus that have irritated me beyond belief. While it is still completely illegal in most states in America, I think that media should come into play to help enforce guidelines for the states in which marijuana is legal. Currently in media, if marijuana is shown it is used either in excess (e.g. Pineapple Express, Ted etc.) or is shown in a harmful light, neither of which help the case of when its okay to smoke. This is because for people who see the excessive smoking it only encourages them and doesn’t propose any guidelines at all and in fact shows that they are virtually non existent, and in the case of the films where it’s shown in a bad light it only makes people want to do it to feel rebellious or youthful, similar to the Marlboro Man cowboy advertisements. I think that a television show or film should tell people that it’s not ok to be high in public and that it is actually disrespectful to others and that there needs to be decorum similar to the case with alcohol. But needless to say, within the states where it is not yet legal it shouldn’t be promoted in any way.

  • Jacklyn Decker

    I don’t necessarily agree with this. I don’t actually smoke but I know countless people who do and a majority of them do so for reasons other than just to get high. Most of my friends who smoke marijuana do so for some type of reason, either they have trouble sleeping and it helps them to fall asleep, they have trouble concentrating and this helps them to center their focus, they have anxiety and this helps to calm them, etc. I don’t know the student and their circumstances but I don’t think that they were getting high to insult you or your class. I also don’t think this is always the case and this student might have just been doing it to get high, yet I think this would be more noticeable. I tend to find that people who get high just to get high tend to look “stoned” whereas people who do it for other medical reasons tend to look less “stoned”. If you couldn’t tell by looking at them, it might be that they were doing it for medical reasons.

  • Delia Courtney

    I completely agree with you on this topic. As it becomes more and more the norm for people to smoke it is hard to distinguish what is right and wrong. There is little to no judgement when people wake up and take a hit, not necessarily to get high but to just calm down. As the legalization of marijuana spreads the stigma begins to disappear. There is no “social norm” such as happy hour and it leads to people showing up to class reeking. Im not entirely sure if anything can be done about this either, its not as a if a national bulletin will come out saying its unacceptable to smoke before x time. Even if there was something like that, no one would listen. I guess the only thing to do would be to make a comment about it at the beginning of class when you smell it, maybe scare the kids? Otherwise were stuck with this new norm, and we have to hope that its just a phase.