2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

‘Bong-smoking elephant in the room:’ High Times links spike in college applications to legalization of weed

Published: March 18, 2014, 2:52 pm, by Debbie Kelley

pot leafThe world’s largest cannabis-related magazine in the world, High Times, is theorizing that a surge in out-of-state college applications could have something to do with Colorado’s legalization of marijuana.

In an article published Monday, High Times magazine said it doesn’t buy the “excuse” that the standardized online “Common Application” is driving interest at the University of Colorado, which reports that application submissions are up 30 percent.

The magazine also dismisses college officials’ explanations of increased high school recruitment efforts and long-term payout after years of hard work.

Still, school officials, from Colorado College to Colorado State University to the University of Denver, say they don’t see a correlation between the two.

Mike Hooker, spokesman for Colorado State University, told High Times he has a “hard time believing that someone is going to make that kind of significant decision about investing in their education based on whether they can smoke marijuana in the state.”

High Times points out that nationally, overall college enrollment fell for the second consecutive year in 2013, according to a National Student Clearinghouse report.

“When Colorado University is experiencing a 30 percent increase in just one year following marijuana legalization, academic spokesmen have to work extra hard to avoid the bong-smoking elephant in the room,” High Times concludes.