Who are the biggest pothead college jocks? As it turns out, lacrosse players smoke more weed than any other type of college athlete, according to an NCAA survey. Their rate of use actually exceeds use among college students overall by over 15%.
Across college-level baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and wrestling, cannabis use ranges from 18.2-32.7% of players in 2013. But among lacrosse players, an astounding 46.3% reported using marijuana — that's actually down from 49.4% in 2005.
Alcohol appears to be the drug of choice for college athletes overall, with 80.5% reporting drinking. Marijuana comes in at a distant second with 21.9% of all athletes having used it socially.
Why do lacrosse players love weed so much? For one thing, there are far fewer lacrosse teams in the NCAA than there are for football or basketball, and many of the lacrosse schools are located in the Northeast and West Coast, where social and legal views of marijuana tend to be more accepting. That could mean that lacrosse players are less likely to be in an environment that discourages marijuana use.
Also, lacrosse players also have the highest rate of cigarette-smoking among all NCAA athletes, at 24.5%. It could be that most athletes avoid all smokable substances because of the impact they level on one's respiratory system, and that those who smoke one substance are primed to smoke others.
Some evidence points to lacrosse culture at large. A 2012 article on USLacrosse.org touches on the lacrosse community being more accepting of drugs, claiming, "There is nothing about the nature of lacrosse that predisposes participants to alcohol and drug use. But there are elements of the sport’s culture for which coaches and parents need to be held accountable."
Whatever those elements are, it seems like lacrosse players have been blazing and will continue to do so. In that sense, lacrosse culture may fit with the times more than any other NCAA sport.