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Across Memorial Circle on campus, a dispensary called Bloom Labs Lubbock offers hemp and cannabis products. Close to campus, this store uses students as its target audience, satisfying the growing demand in their products.

Serving merchandise such as Delta-8, this shop along with others in Texas challenge the marijuana and recent Delta-8 ban. 

This ban threatens the livelihood of businesses like Bloom Labs Lubbock.

The rise in state marijuana legalizations begs the question of Texas’ participation and its accessibility to college students. Currently, both marijuana and Delta-8 are classified as Schedule 1 drugs, making them illegal in Texas. 

Despite the current federal ban on these substances, many states have taken the step toward legalization. 

Through the recognition of unlawful drug charges and the overall harmless effects, marijuana is seen as suitable for medical and recreational use in states where it is legalized.

Research shows the benefits of medical marijuana use, acting as a substitute for the highly addictive opioids. Studies connect the relation between pain relief in symptoms of cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma and many other medical diagnoses and the use of medical marijuana.

However, with any substance, illegal or not, THC has negative effects as well. 

Marijuana disorders such as addiction can harm the lives of users. Even more so, studies show the correlation between marijuana use and the alteration of memory processing.

Despite this, an individual cannot overdose on marijuana. Unlike excessive alcohol, there is no lethal risk to cannabis use. 

According to the Washington Post, 44 percent of college students in the U.S. reported marijuana use in 2020. Concurrently, alcohol use in college students fell from 62 percent to 56 percent. 

This data reveals the link between marijuana use and the decrease in lethal drinking activity.

Texas Tech has a history of alcohol-related deaths; in 2014, an incoming freshman died from alcohol poisoning due to hazing by a Tech fraternity. The danger of alcohol relies on college drinking culture and participants’ lives. 

The decrease in drug-related incarcerations as a result of marijuana legalization prevents severe punishment for non-violent arrests. Nevertheless, no one should be in prison for a plant that does not seriously cause harm. 

In addition to legalization, state and campus compliance must be implemented.

If marijuana is made legal, police must follow legalization protocol; cops should be more lenient with marijuana possession considering it is non-violent. Furthermore, campus police should abide by legalization as well and provide a safe and non-threatening environment for students.

Compared to other substances, marijuana offers a safe substitute in medical and recreational use. For college students, marijuana acts as a healthier replacement for alcohol and drug abuse. 

The increase of legal THC products reveals the growing trend of validation for marijuana substances. By joining in on legalization, Texas creates a more secure environment for its residents and defends marijuana users.

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