Yes, medical marijuana has been legally accepted in 16 states in the United States, but the substance is still not welcome in school campuses as marijuana remains an illicit and illegal drug under federal laws.
If colleges were to allow the use of medical marijuana in campus, their federal funding will be compromised and they could face harsh consequences brought about by the violation.
This is why students prescribed with medical marijuana make sure that when they need their dose of pot, they light up outside their schools or in their vehicles to avoid challenging any campus rules on drug use.
University officials say they understand medical marijuana patients, but they just could not afford to risk losing the money from the government that helps them run the schools. Stephen Nelson from the University of Southern Maine estimates around $60 million comes from the Title 4 financial aid. This amount could be taken from the schools should they allow marijuana use in campuses.
“It’s not a question of right or wrong, ethical or not ethical, any of that. Right now, we just can’t run the risk of losing federal dollars,” Nelson said.
University of Colorado staff Jill Creighton shares the same sentiments as Nelson. “Some student codes of conduct are much more lax about marijuana use in general, but the assumption is if we were to allow medical marijuana on our campuses, we would then be jeopardizing our Title 4 funding.”
For medical marijuana advocates, using marijuana inside campuses should be treated no different when students bring in prescribed medications such as Vicodin, morphine, or Percocet for their own medical conditions.