Aside from alcohol, marijuana is the drug of choice at Bates, and it’s definitely a presence on campus. Students don’t make much of an effort to keep their smoking under wraps. If someone bothers to light some incense to hide the scent of his or her pot, they’re being discreet. It’s fairly easy for students to acquire marijuana if they want to, usually through friends or friends-of-friends. Other drugs are also present but less obviously so. Bates students probably use or have tried pretty much every available drug, but everything harder than alcohol and marijuana is kept secret. It’s more difficult for people to get a hold of these harder drugs, but if students are persistent enough, they can probably find the coke that got Boston George arrested.
Bates is like most other colleges as far as drugs go—a majority of the campus drinks, a significant number of the students have at least tried marijuana, and more than a few are regular smokers and are not inclined to be secretive about doing so. Marijuana is definitely present, and you’d be hard-pressed to walk through the dorms without smelling pot. For students who don’t want to get involved in the drug scene, there are a variety of chem-free housing options that really are chem-free—smoking and drinking are prohibited within 20 feet of these buildings. There’s no social stigma attached to people who smoke marijuana, probably because so many people do smoke. Another reason for this is because the students who choose to smoke pot have to keep up with Bates’s challenging curriculum, so few people really abuse the drug.