Cannabis FAQs

What is the University of Oregon’s policy on cannabis?

Before you consider using recreational cannabis in Oregon, it is important to know and understand the facts and policies around its use.

It is against UO polcy to use or possess any form of cannabis anywhere on University of Oregon property, including Autzen Stadium. This means no vaporizers, no edibles, and no smoking. This policy also supports the smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy. Violations are subject to sanctions according to the UO Student Conduct Code.

Off-campus policies in the state of Oregon include:

  • Be of Age: You may possess and use recreational cannabis only if you are 21 or older, but not on campus.
  • Stay Inside the House: You can only use cannabis at home if your landlord allows it, or on private property if the owner allows it. Check your lease!
  • Stay Inside the State: You cannot transport cannabis across any border, including Washington.
  • Know the Limits: You may possess up to eight ounces of usable cannabis in your home and one ounce of usable cannabis outside the home, but not on campus.
  • Stay In One Place: You cannot drive a vehicle or ride a bike under the influence of cannabis.
  • Grow, Within Limits: You can grow up to four plants per residence, out of public view. Check with your landlord first!

What happens when someone smokes cannabis?

The way cannabis affects each person depends on many factors, including the user’s previous experience with the drug, the strength of the strain, the user’s expectations, how the drug is consumed, and whether the person has been drinking or using other drugs. Effects of cannabis can include:

  • Feelings of relaxation or feeling “high”
  • Increase in appetite and thirst
  • Feelings of anxiety and paranoia
  • Distorted perceptions
  • Trouble with thinking and problem solving
  • Loss of motor coordination
  • Problems with memory and learning
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Physical effects, such as increased heart rate and breathing problems

These can impact a person’s learning, academic performance, relationships, and athletic performance.

What is the active ingredient in cannabis?

The main active chemical in cannabis is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Cannabis' affects on users depends on its strength or potency, which is related to the amount of THC it contains.

What does cannabis do to the brain?

Some studies show that when people smoke large amounts of cannabis for years, the drug takes its toll on mental functions. Heavy or daily use of cannabis affects the parts of the brain that control memory, attention, thinking, and learning.

How does cannabis affect driving?

Cannabis impairs the skills required to drive safely: alertness, concentration, coordination, and reaction time. Cannabis use can make it difficult to judge distances and react to signals and sounds on the road. Data have also shown that while smoking cannabis people show the same lack of coordination on standard impaired driving tests as do people who have had too much to drink.

Can people become addicted to cannabis?

Yes, long-term cannabis use can lead to dependence in some people, meaning that they cannot control their urges to seek out and use cannabis despite negative consequences. Also, some frequent, heavy cannabis users develop “tolerance” to its effects. This means they need larger and larger amounts to get the same desired effects as they used to get from smaller amounts.

Note: The percentage of THC in cannabis products has been increasing steadily over time. While cannabis products in 2015 had an average potency of 10 percent THC, products today can range from 15–30 percent THC. Repeated exposure to higher THC levels leads to a greater risk of developing dependence.

What if someone wants to stop using cannabis?

An array of treatment and recovery support services exist to help people quit using cannabis. The Collegiate Recovery Center hosts support groups and provides resources for those in recovery or looking to cut down.