De-Bunking Weed Laws On College Campuses

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If you’re a college student the question of cannabis legalization is unclear, especially if your school is in a state where it is recreational.  That’s because most universities in the U.S. still ban the possession and use of cannabis on their campuses, regardless of state and local laws.

The reason is Congress. Many of these universities claim their anti-marijuana rules are in order to follow federal law. Any institution that receives federal funding is also required to follow federal law. Under national law, marijuana is illegal, so for these schools to allow cannabis on-campus would put funding at risk.


For example, colleges in California, Washington state, and Oregon all ban cannabis consumption regardless of state law. Since this year, states like Maine and Massachusetts are in the same boat. Sadly, in many cases, these restrictions also include medical marijuana. Students with legitimate medical marijuana cards are at risk of expulsion if they are caught treating their illnesses on campus. This restriction seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

If the decision is appealed in a higher court, which seems likely because the Arizona Attorney General wants to reinstate the  ban on college campuses. Stay tuned. There should be more of the same.

So why the ban on college campuses in weed-legal states?

It all goes back to the stubborn fact that marijuana remains federally illegal. Most public and private colleges across the country receive federal funding of some kind and have no choice but to comply in order to remain eligible for the money.

Kelly McIver, of the University of Oregon Police Department.

“Universities, being federally funded, are obligated to follow federal regulations when it comes to treatment of controlled substances, such as marijuana,”

Meanwhile, college students are still prohibited from using a safe, legal product while on campus, even in states where voters have chosen to get rid of prohibition. It will be interesting to see how these laws pan out in the near future.

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