Although recreational marijuana use is illegal for people under the age of 21 in Colorado, pot has become the number one reason why kids are getting kicked out of public schools in the state.
7NEWS reports that between 2012 and 2013, 230 public school students were expelled for marijuana. That’s 32 percent of the 720 total kids removed from schools that year, according to the Colorado Department of Education. It was the first year that schools officials separated marijuana from other drugs in statistics quantifying the types of violations leading to expulsion.
The amount of students getting booted from school for marijuana are more than the double the total that have been kicked out because of detrimental behavior, which is second on the list behind marijuana. Expulsions for marijuana more than triple the numbers for disobedience, weapons, alcohol and all other drug violations.
The director of the Colorado School Safety Resource Center said the increase of marijuana in schools is not just a problem for school resource officers to deal with, according to The Denver Post. It was discussed when school psychologists met in Vail last week.
“They are seeing more incidents of kids smoking and thinking it is a safe thing to do,” Christine Harms said. “More kids are saying they are getting it from their parents.”
Educators worry that if more students are being kicked out of school for marijuana, more teens are likely using the drug.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse found that marijuana use has climbed among 10th- and 12th-graders nationally, while the use of other drugs and alcohol has held steady or declined.