No marijuana on campus — even for medicinal use
- Officials at Redlands Community College in Oklahoma City have announced that marijuana use will not be allowed on campus, taking a position on an issue that universities are increasingly facing with the legalization of pot in some states and its growing use for medical purposes.
- A KOCO television news report said that despite critics, the college's board of regents voted to ban all types of marijuana in all campus locations because, a spokesperson said, the college receives federal funds and "must abide by federal law."
- Elsewhere in the state, officials at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University both reported they were reviewing their policies dealing with marijuana use, but had not changed them.
Despite the changes in laws governing marijuana, Inside Higher Education recently reported that college administrators are reluctant to change policies prohibiting its use because of the 1989 Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. Even in states where recreational marijuana use is legal, such as Maine and California, university representatives reported that their institutions were not yet ready to treat it the same way as alcohol, which is what advocates for loosening the policies suggest. Most colleges don't distinguish between using marijuana recreationally or medically, Inside Higher Education reported.
The issue arose in Arizona when the state Supreme Court earlier this year ruled against a law that criminalized the use of medical marijuana on campus and made it a felony. The substance is still restricted at state colleges, but the ruling said that a student with a card authorizing use cannot be charged with a state crime. An Arizona State University student had been convicted of a felony for possession of a small quantity of marijuana, though he had authorization to use it medically. The controversial 2012 state law he was charged under was promoted by university officials and cannabis prohibitionists, but advocates for tougher restrictions have also said that federal law required restrictions about use of the drug.
Some universities also are grappling with policies about training students to work in the industries surrounding recreational and medical marijuana use.