Cannabis has been reported to be associated with impaired educational attainment in adolescents, reduced school performance and the potential for underperformance in adults engaged in occupations requiring high-level cognitive skills. The current study examined the extent and patterns of cannabis and other drug use among 386 tertiary students in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. The sample was mainly female (72%), half were aged under 25 years and 52% were in the first year of tertiary study. Cannabis use was prevalent among students, with 68.3% ever using it, 32.4% in the last year and 22.4% with recent use (last six months). The current pattern of cannabis use was significantly associated with age and gender. The most common reasons for using cannabis were to unwind (45.6%) or become stoned (33.7%). Close to half (52.3%) of recent users were not at all concerned about their cannabis use and 63.2% did not think they needed to reduce consumption. In the last six months, 84.5% of students had used alcohol, 12.1% amphetamine, 8.4% ecstasy, 6.8% non-medical use of benzodiazepines, 4.6% hallucinogens, 1.6% inhalants and 1.1% opiates. A quarter (23.6%) of students had used alcohol and cannabis on the same occasion. The results are discussed in relation to the utility of traditional awareness programs and the desirability of appropriate and credible intervention strategies.