Any Universities Permitting Medical Marijuana?

KDVR.COM reported today that Fort Lewis College has forbidden any marijuana on campus, even if someone has a medical marijuana license. The issue was raised after a student group asked that the penalties for Marijuana are the same for those who violate the alcohol policy. Help me Jesus!! Where to start……..A few issues jump out at me. Let’s begin with the obvious, even if someone has a legal right AND a doctor’s prescription they can’t consume their medicine? Ok, that’s fine, except what if you have a prescription for Zanax? How about Valium? Ritalin? Adderall? All of these are drugs of abuse but legal if they are prescribed. Is consumption of those substances forbidden on the campus of Fort Lewis College? Why is it that Marijuana users are singled out?  Adderall can be crushed, snorted, and has all kinds of routes of admission that make it highly addictive and dangerous. What if you have dental work? Can you take Vicodan on campus?  In other words: Chemo got you down? Well that sucks for you but don’t think you will be relieving your side effects on our campus,  you hippie – commie – pinko.  This makes no sense at all. The report didn’t state the penalties for alcohol violations but one could surmise that they are less severe than they are for Marijuana.  Who drafts this policy? What are they smoking?

I began to wonder what other schools did about this. If one attended Berkeley and had a prescription for Marijuana and had that prescription filled at a legal dispensary in Oakland, could you sit on Sproul plaza and smoke it? Beats me. It would seem logical that you could.  I selected to look at the drug and alcohol policy at the University of Iowa. Why Iowa? It seemed to be a pretty American place. There is no mention made of medical Marijuana, I have no idea if Iowa has legal medical Marijuana but I did read through the other policies. The residence halls at Iowa are all substance free (um, ok, Iowa). However if some of the kids did use something, let’s hope it’s alcohol. Why? Because if they get caught they are sent to a program at Iowa health. After repeated offenses they could be dismissed from the residence halls. Caught with Marijuana at Iowa? They call the police. What is this really saying? It’s saying, “use alcohol,” the penalty is softer; forget that it can kill you. My sense is that the policy at Iowa is common at other universities. It’s outdated and unrealistic (the residence halls are substance free), it follows generations old ineffective “just say no” rhetoric based on “tough on crime” logic that simply does not work.

Universities are important systems for progressive policy reform that makes sense. They need to lead the culture with this and lay the foundation for the next era which could stand a chance at ending the bloody, senseless and ineffective drug war.

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