Here are the top 10 most marijuana-friendly colleges and universities
The Princeton Review has released its annual compendium of rankings and ratings of institutions of higher learning across the land, The Best 385 Colleges 2020 Edition, and buried deep inside are student survey results that helped the Review determine which colleges and universities are the most (and least) marijuana-friendly.
In addition to a myriad of questions about academics, diversity and community, the survey asked 140,000 students: “How widely is marijuana used at your school?”
Before getting to the list, a couple of caveats: First, the survey data is impressionistic—asking respondents how many other students they thought were tokers instead of asking for self-reporting, which would theoretically be more reliable. Second, the Review provides no hard numbers—just rankings—so it’s impossible to know if the University of Vermont is way stonier than Pitzer College or just a bit stonier.
That said, the general outline of the pot-friendly colleges skews heavily to the liberal arts and the Northeast, with three outliers on the legal West Coast. And it’s fairly consistent over the years. If you review our 2017 articles on the stoniest small colleges and stoniest big schools, you’ll see a lot of familiar names.
Here, in rank order, are the Princeton Review’s most marijuana-friendly campuses for 2020:
- University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Vermont legalized pot possession last year, but not sales. Still, the students at UV apparently have no trouble finding it.
- Pitzer College, Claremont, CA
Part of the Claremont Colleges, this LA-area school is highly ranked academically but includes intercollegiate athletics, too. Go, you fightin’ Sagehens!
- University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
The state is likely to legalize weed next year, but students aren’t waiting. Neither are other Rhode Islanders: the state has one of the highest marijuana use rates in the country.
- Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
Inspiration for the ’90s film PCU poking fun at campus activism, the school generates a steady stream of artists, actors, and musicians. What’s inspiring them?
- Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
Fun Day is more fun, and the National Comedy Festival is funnier when you’re baked. This liberal arts college, a perennial high-ranker, was #1 in 2013 and #4 among small colleges in 2017.
- Reed College, Portland, OR
A radically liberal small college in a legalization state where chain pot-shops dot the landscape. Absolutely not a shocker.
- University of Maine, Orono, ME
Another legalization state, and one where college students are taking full advantage of weed’s legal status.
- Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Students at this liberal arts school have to make their way to Massachusetts to score legal weed. That isn’t stopping them.
- Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT
This tiny private liberal arts college in a legalization state features self-designed courses of study and a self-governed community. It has an organic farm, solar greenhouse, ecological reserve, and observatory. And it has the coolest school mascot name yet: The Fighting Dead Tree.
- University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
UCSB has long had a well-deserved reputation as a party school. And why not? After classes, students can pack a bowl of weed (legal or not—take your pick in the Golden State), then pick up their surfboards and head to the beach.
Phillip Smith is a writing fellow and the editor and chief correspondent of Drug Reporter, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has been a drug policy journalist for the past two decades. He is the longtime author of the Drug War Chronicle, the online publication of the non-profit StopTheDrugWar.org, and has been the editor of AlterNet’s Drug Reporter since 2015. He was awarded the Drug Policy Alliance’s Edwin M. Brecher Award for Excellence in Media in 2013.
This article was produced by Drug Reporter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.