Communal Drug Use?
This is where college comes in. College is an intense incubator where smart people meet other smart people. The large number of leisure activities and the close quarters in which people live facilitate the formation of friendships and romantic relationships, while the exclusiveness of college makes sure that the people you're meeting are pre-screened to be the type of people with whom you are most likely to click. In the U.S., the "college experience" includes parties, trips, clubs, athletic events, religious fellowships, communal drug use, study groups, endless late-night conversations, and more esoteric events like the one pictured above. In Japan, it includes "go-kon" (group blind date) parties, "nomikai" (pub nights), and clubs. American college works better, but it's much the same sort of thing.Communal drug use? Doesn't that subtract from human capital? For one thing, when everybody is using the same mind-altering chemicals, everybody will be making the same mistakes. (I have mentioned this before.)
Yes. This even applies to caffeine. This fall I intend to vote for someone who doesn't use caffeine. I figure somebody has to avoid caffeine—just in case it has some bad effects—and I'm glad the Mormons have volunteered so I don't have to. (ObSF: Distress by Greg Egan)
I'm mostly opposed to the War on Some Drugs (please note that also means I disapprove of the “only legalize ‘soft’ drugs” faction) but maybe we should make an exception for college students.
For that matter, much of what is learned in the hallways between classes isn't so. I suspect that students learn that Christopher Columbus discovered the world is round, that astronauts are weightless because they're beyond the Earth's gravity, that marijuana smoke does not contain carbon monoxide, that religion is somehow opposed to rational thought, and that plutonium is the most toxic substance on Earth (my usual list of inane ideas) in hallways and dorm rooms rather than in classrooms.