Recreational marijuana retailers in Massachusetts are slated to open shop in the near future. And with the prospects of legal weed on the immediate horizon, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is spreading the word that weed will not be tolerated on campus.
No Weed at UMass Amherst
Massachusetts is one of the newest states to legalize recreational marijuana. And while there is still no product on shelves yet, things are getting close.
In particular, one of the first weed shops scheduled to open is in Northampton. Importantly, Northampton is located near UMass Amherst. In fact, it’s only a short drive to get from campus to the dispensary.
And that has some school and city officials worried. For starters, local authorities are worried that the roads between Northampton and Amherst will see a huge increase in traffic.
This fear is apparently founded in the idea that there will be so many students traveling to the dispensary that the highways will become congested.
Beyond that, officials at UMass Amherst are making it clear that although recreational marijuana is legal in the state, it is still not allowed on the campus of UMass Amherst.
The university recently launched an aggressive information campaign about cannabis. More specifically, the campaign is aimed at letting students know that weed will not be tolerated anywhere on campus or school property.
Part of this campaign is taking place on the university’s website. There, a page called “Know the Facts” states: “You may not use or possess marijuana, medical marijuana, or marijuana paraphernalia in any form anywhere on University of Massachusetts Amherst property.”
The university’s page goes on to warn students that “marijuana negatively affects academic performance.” Additionally, the site says: “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.”
University Rules and State Laws
So how can UMass Amherst outlaw marijuana when the state of Massachusetts has made it legal? According to the university, it has to do with federal prohibition and certain aspects of state law.
In particular, the school says that “federal laws prohibit the use, possession, and/or cultivation of marijuana at educational institutions.”
Additionally, the university cites state laws that make it illegal to possess or consume cannabis in public. According to the university, the state includes schools in its definition of “public.”
Legal Weed in Massachusetts
This is one of the latest developments in the protracted rollout of legal weed in Massachusetts. Initially, retail sales of recreational cannabis were supposed to begin July 1. But that objective failed to materialize.
A major problem was a number of hiccups in the licensing process. In particular, the state was unable to license the testing labs required to get the program up and running.
Similarly, the state took longer than anticipated to license marijuana retailers. After these setbacks, the state finally began issuing retail licenses over the summer.
So far, the state has reportedly issued licenses to three medical marijuana dispensaries. That includes the one in Northampton. These shops still need to clear final inspections before beginning recreational retail.