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Is there a lot of peer pressure to use and what kind of impact does this environment have on your academic life? UC Berkeley is known for its highly esteemed academics, right?
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Written by Meegan Brooks
Despite Berkeley’s well-known hippie-stoner reputation, the drug scene is not intrusive. If you want drugs, they’re easy to find, but if you aren’t interested, they’re easy to avoid. Still, people who are uncomfortable with drugs should realize that they will hear about them much more than at home. At parties, pot is treated kind of like cigarettes—you may see it, but nobody will force it on you, and it's easy to walk by. And it's easy to sit there and talk to the smokers without feeling pressured to try it yourself. Many students try smoking marijuana at least once or use it occasionally without making it an important part of their lifestyles.
Marijuana is by far the most pervasive drug on campus. 4/20 is a campus holiday of sorts, and many students are brave enough to smoke in public. It is not surprising to see someone on other drugs such as cocaine, psychedelics, or ecstasy, though these harder drugs are used much less openly. Many students have an “I’ll try anything once” philosophy but don’t continue to use them after the first time. Prescription drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin are popular, especially before big tests, among many students who don’t use other drugs. While there are occasional drug busts, users shouldn't worry much about getting caught—UCPD seems to focus more on frat parties and public drunkenness.
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