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Marijuana on campus

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Although the use of marijuana is legal in Colorado, it is against university policy to use on campus. Photo courtesy of http://the420times.com

In the state of Colorado, it is still a felony to sell marijuana without a medical distribution license, but the use of it is a different story.

Medical marijuana has been utilized, in the state of Colorado, for quite some time, and a recent law has been passed allowing certain stipulations for people to use it, without a medical prescription.

A person who is over 21 years old may possess 1 ounce or less without punishment or fines. It is still a petty offense to use this in a public setting. A person carrying 2-6 ounces will be charged with a misdemeanor and potentially face one year of incarceration.

Carrying marijuana becomes a felony when the amount carried reaches 12 ounces. The possession of 8 ounces or more is considered possession with the intent to distribute and will enhance any sentencing brought to a person.

Like many university campuses in Colorado, Colorado State University-Pueblo does not allow the use of marijuana. Even if a person meets all the requirements of the law, the use of marijuana on the university’s campus, including parking lots, will result in immediate punishment.

The reason for this is because the university is federally funded. All the grants, financial aid and loans are through federal funds and the use of marijuana is still federally illegal.

The university has to sign off that there is no tolerance to the use of marijuana, with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, to receive all the funding that is required. Without federal funding all students would be required to pay their own way out of pocket.

However, the question is, whether or not it is illegal to come on to campus, from an off campus location, under the influence of marijuana.

“It would violate the code of student conduct even if it is legal, but without drug testing we can’t tell unless there is a blatant outburst in a class,” Director of Student Judicial Affairs, Jessica Boynton, said.

So yes, it is against school policy to come on campus under the influence of marijuana, but it is just difficult to pick out when that happens, unless someone is impeding on classroom learning.

If a student were to be caught using marijuana on campus there would be several different punishment options.

Although Boynton believes each case is different and punishment depends on the circumstance, the typical first offence punishment consists of probation, a $60 fine or an educational drug class.

“Sometimes I like to have the student read a chapter out of the drug book on campus and then report back to me on what they learned from it,” Boynton said.

Even the use of medical marijuana is not allowed on the university campus. In the case that a student has a prescription and needs to use marijuana for a health issue, they can request to wave living requirements on campus.

In addition, the marijuana policy also applies to all school-funded trips as well. If the university sets up a ski and snowboard trip to a nearby resort, it is still against the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act to use marijuana.