Cannabis is known to have the side effect of getting the youth out to vote, which is great news for cannabis advocates across the country. But if said youth is in college and lives on campus, how are they impacted? The answer comes as a resounding “no cannabis on campus” lineup of school and federal policies.
Massachusetts to Oklahoma, schools are just saying no. Bob Davies, President of Central Michigan University put out a statement that started out with thanking the students for exercising their right to vote, but that it didn’t change school or federal laws. “Prop. 1 does not change CMU policies or federal law — both of which prohibit the possession, use and distribution of marijuana by students, employees and any person on university properties and at all university events.”
He went on in bold type: “The use or possession of marijuana is still not allowed on university properties or in the conduct of university business away from campus.”
And he’s not alone. His sentiment is echoed in Massachusetts where UMass Amherst has made it beyond clear that cannabis is not welcome on campus. On top of prohibiting marijuana on the university’s homepage, it goes on to warn that, “The academic impact of using marijuana includes lower GPA and delayed graduation. If drug testing is required, marijuana use can cause you to lose scholarships, jobs or internships.”
That’s harsh on a young voter’s vibes. Beyond being insulting to students who work hard and use cannabis, it means that off campus use is actually banned as well, even if in possession of a medical card. And Massachusetts is one of the 10 states to have adult use cannabis laws in place. It seems young adults who want to further their careers and education have a choice to make, and if they want to be in good standing, it’s putting down the bong.
When Oklahoma implemented medical marijuana, their major schools’ joint statement read, “Despite the recent passage of State Question 788, the DFSCA requires OSU and OU to adopt and adhere to policies prohibiting the unlawful use, possession or distribution of illegal drugs, including marijuana… Moving forward, OU and OSU will adhere to federal law prohibiting the use, possession, distribution or cultivation of marijuana for any reason at their campuses across the state.”
Another Michigan school, MSU, put out a similar statement and the list just keeps going. The main problem here is that many schools rely on federal government funding and as long as cannabis remains federally illegal, it remains banned on campuses across the U.S. The number of universities turning a blind eye must be moderately high though, as cannabis during college years is a basic right of passage, especially in these times of marijuana normalization.