Unless you’ve buried your head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich, you’ve probably heard that Washington and Colorado recently voted to legalize marijuana in their prospective states. But just like those new rules governing cannabis use won’t go into effect right away, there’s another major buzz kill for fans of the green stuff — namely, those same college students that likely helped the vote succeed won’t be allowed to smoke it on campus.
There have already been the inevitable reports floating around of residents in those states lighting up willy-nilly, thinking it’s all copacetic now that voters legalized marijuana. But even those young constituents who aren’t stirring the pot by blatantly flaming up just yet better mind their schools’ drug-free policies. And oh yeah, the federal government, notes the Associated Press.
Most universities ban marijuana use on campus, and since they often rely on millions in federal funding, it’s doubtful that any of those schools will chuck those regulations out the window in the new legal marijuana era.
“Everything we’ve seen is that nothing changes for us,” said a spokesman for Washington State University in Pullman.
And those students who voted in the law aren’t ignorant of this dilemma.
“The first thing you think of when you think of legalized marijuana is college students smoking it,” said one Washington State senior the AP spoke to. “It’s ironic that all 21-year-olds in Washington can smoke marijuana except for college students.”
Adults over 21 will be able to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, but students who violate college rules might end up expelled under student codes of conduct.
Local law enforcement are still figuring out how to deal with the new marijuana law from their states’ Liquor Control boards, but even if there were no codes of conduct on campus, pot is illegal under federal law which would make those schools stay drug-free anyway.
According to the AP:
The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act requires that any university receiving federal funds adopt a program to prevent use of illicit drugs by students and employees, much in the same way other federal funding for law enforcement and transportation comes with clauses stipulating that recipients maintain drug-free workplaces.
And if there’s one impetus for universities to pay attention to federal laws, it’s federal money. But then again, this is college we’re
talking about — the place where black light posters and tie-dyed tapestries reign supreme. Law or no, students are going to do what students do, sometimes with a soundtrack of Led Zeppelin or just to impress that girl down the hall.
To that effect, one student notes: ”People in dorms now who want to smoke, they do it. I do think more people will be smoking in the dorms when marijuana is legal for use.”
Pot Legalization No Free Ride To Smoke On Campus [Associated Press]