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Why Cannabis Is Still Outlawed at Universities in Weed-Legal States

Maureen Meehan

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Why Weed Is Still Outlawed At Universities In Cannabis-Legal States

If you’re a college student, the question of cannabis legalization is a pressing one—even if you’re going to school in a state where weed is legal. 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.

Most Universities Still Ban Cannabis

Just when you thought it was safe to partake, it turns out universities around the country—including in weed-legal states—continue to prohibit cannabis.

For example, the entire University of California system, including Berkeley, the University of Washington and the University of Oregon all ban cannabis consumption regardless of state law.

The University of Oregon allows for possession but not consumption of cannabis on campus for the over-21 student crowd. Sadly, in many cases, these restrictions also include medical marijuana.

This means that students with legitimate MMJ needs are at risk of expulsion if they are caught treating their illnesses. This restriction seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

In fact, that very thing has already happened. In April, an Arizona court ruled against the state’s ban on medical marijuana on college campuses because MMJ is legal in the state.

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.

What’s Going On With Campus Weed Laws?

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.

“Universities, being federally funded, are obligated to follow federal regulations when it comes to treatment of controlled substances, such as marijuana,” said Kelly McIver, of the University of Oregon Police Department.

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. And it is all because of backward federal laws and lawmakers who recently tried to block even the most moderate marijuana bills from being discussed.

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