A new survey out of the nonprofit addiction center, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, has found that one in three college students living in New York has gone to class high. This isn’t surprising, but the foundation has placed a more urgent angle on its report, claiming that these students “fail to grasp the dangers of marijuana.”

The survey, which was commissioned by the Foundation’s Center for Public Advocacy, aimed to gauge how many college students were using marijuana on a daily basis and how this was linked to other drug use. It found that 39 percent of the students questioned used marijuana, while 28 percent used it regularly — and claimed that the legalization movement sweeping the country influences drug use.

“The nationwide movement to legalize marijuana is clearly influencing the perceptions that college students here in New York have about the drug,” Barbara Kistenmacher, executive director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s New York City treatment centers, said in the press release. “Marijuana’s impact on the still developing youth brain can have a lifelong negative impact. We want to see college students living healthy and happy lives and staying motivated to learn as much as they can during this critically important period of their development.”

Why are college kids smoking pot? The question has an age-old answer, likely similar to the reasons why college kids in the 60s and 70s smoked pot: usually to relax, kick it with their friends, listen to music, party without risking alcohol poisoning, reduce anxiety, or even help them focus. In addition, the survey found that 60 percent of the students said one of the greatest benefits of using marijuana is that “you don’t get a hangover” and that the side effects of weed were far less harmful than alcohol (fair enough).

But it also states that most kids who smoke weed regularly are less likely to “understand the harmful effects of the drug.” This includes the fact that frequent marijuana use among teens and young adults has been linked to impaired cognitive function and memory later on in life. Consistent use of marijuana at a young age can alter the brain, even if it’s not as drastic as hard drugs like heroin or cocaine.

It's likely most young pot smokers are thinking about the short-term benefits rather than the long-term consequences. Many say they use the drug to help them cope with day-to-day stresses, including depression, parental divorces, breakups, or abuse. And others use it to treat their anxiety. “I took it to calm down and concentrate,” a former St. Francis College student told the New York Daily News. NYU grad Alexander Liang told the NY Daily News that he smoked weed before class when “I wasn’t feeling my best. … Pot has a pick-me-up effect.”

So while weed may have a negative long-term effect if abused on a regular basis, occasionally smoking weed to chill or relax might actually have more benefits than risks. Recreational weed and medical marijuana is becoming more accepted in the U.S. as various states have already passed laws legalizing or at least decriminalizing it — so being so harsh about its negative effects might not always be necessary. Various other positive studies serve to act as a balance for the negative ones. For example, research has shown that marijuana might help in mitigating anxiety and depression, as well as physical ailments like chronic pain, seizures, and chemotherapy side effects.