Marijuana is one of the most commonly used illegal substance in the US.  It can be smoked in hand-rolled cigarettes, in pipes, cigar casing or water pipes.   Marijuana users may also inhale vapor using vaporizes which pull the active ingredients from the marijuana and collect the vapor for inhalation.  Marijuana may also be consumed by mixing it in food, such as brownies, cookies, or candy.  Marijuana can become addictive and research suggests that 1 in 6 users becomes addicted to marijuana if they start using marijuana as a teenager.   

Health Risks: Short-term

  • Altered senses (for example, seeing brighter colors)
  • Temporary paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others
  • Temporary hallucinations—sensations and images that seem real though they are not
  • Altered sense of time
  • Changes in mood
  • Impaired body movement
  • Difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
  • Impaired memory

Health Risks: Long-term

  • Increased heart rate - raised heart rate for up to 3 hours after smoking
  • Breathing problems - daily cough and phlegm, more frequent lung illness, and a higher risk of lung infections
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts among teens

Source: Drug Facts: Marijuana, revised September 2015, National Institute of Drug Abuse (

Medical Marijuana

The use, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes is not allowed in any Siena College housing or at any other Siena College property; nor is it allowed at any College sponsored event or activity off campus.  Effective in 2016, New York State law will permit the use of medical marijuana. At that time, students who have valid medical marijuana prescriptions may petition the College for a waiver of their requirement to live on campus. Federal laws (including the Controlled Substances Act and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act) prohibit marijuana use, possession and/or cultivation at educational institutions and on the premises of other recipients of federal funds. Therefore, even students with medical marijuana prescriptions will not be able to possess or use marijuana on the Siena College campus.