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What Happens if You get Caught With Marijuana on Campus?

By August 19, 2019May 7th, 2020No Comments

If you are caught with marijuana on a college campus, you will be penalized.  It does not matter that recreational marijuana is being legalized in one state after another with each passing year.  The bottom line is marijuana is still categorized by the federal government as a Schedule I drug. Colleges will not allow students to use marijuana on campus as they fear losing their federal funding.  If a college were to permit marijuana use on campus, there is a good chance the federal government would strip that educational institution of all its federal financial support.

Penalties for Marijuana use on Campus 

Each college and university has its own unique penalties for marijuana use on campus.  Plenty of post-secondary educational institutions are willing to remove students caught with marijuana from campus.  Some such students are suspended while others are expelled. Even fairly liberal college campuses have harsh penalties for marijuana use on campus.  If you are caught with marijuana on campus or accused of possession/sue, reach out to our law office for assistance. 

The Issue of Enforcement 

Plenty of colleges and universities have fairly strict anti-marijuana policies yet there is the looming question of whether those policies will actually be enforced.  Some colleges do not actually enforce the rules pertaining to marijuana as detailed in their policies as they typically consider marijuana use to be a lesser offense when compared to rape, hazing and other criminal acts performed on campus. 

What About the use of Medical Marijuana on Campus?

Those who have a prescription for medical marijuana due to pain, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis or another health ailment are in more of a grey area when it comes to marijuana use on campus.  Though universities and colleges can certainly punish such students for using medical marijuana on campus, there is the potential for a legal backlash. In general, colleges do not permit the use of medical marijuana even if the student has gone to the trouble of obtaining a prescription for it.  However, it is interesting to note the tide may be shifting. Earlier this year, an Arizona court of appeals overturned a state law that had criminalized the use of medical marijuana on college campuses. The moral of this story is you should not use marijuana on a college campus even if you have a script.  Colleges and universities have the legal right to establish their own rules regarding marijuana, alcohol and other drug use on campus.

Do not Count on Colleges Changing With the Times 

Though the general public is more open to the legalization of marijuana, it is unlikely colleges will change their stance toward marijuana use on campus in the near future.  Any post-secondary institution that receives federal funding and violates the Controlled Substances Act and the Drug Free Schools, Community Act runs the risk of losing vitally important federal funding.  Such funding is necessary for institutions of higher education to remain financially viable. 

Instead of embracing marijuana use, colleges and universities are likely to do the exact opposite.  Look for local colleges to double down on their compliance and enforcement of federal marijuana laws.  Even if the federal government removes marijuana from its current classification as a Schedule I drug, it will still likely be against school rules to use it on campus.  After all, marijuana smoke can move through air ducts within residence halls and spread to other non-smokers, resulting in a contact high. This is precisely why marijuana use on campus will always be barred.

Caught With Marijuana on Campus?  Obtain Legal Assistance Right Away 

If you are caught using or possessing marijuana on a college campus, it is in your interest to find an experienced criminal defense attorney.  The support of a savvy lawyer has the potential to make the difference between a permanent campus ban and the opportunity to continue your post-secondary education while living on campus.  Your fate hangs in the balance. Do not delay reaching out to our office for assistance. Give our law firm a call today to schedule an initial consultation where we will review the details of your specific case.  


These materials have been prepared by Cohen Seglias for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.

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