Colleges And Universities Are Saying "No" To Marijuana



In just a few hours, Initiative-502 will go into effect, and the use of up to an ounce of marijuana will be legalized in the state of Washington for those 21 and over.

However, colleges and universities are not changing their on campus rules regarding the drug.

We met with 21 year old Shayna Murphy, a senior at Central Washington University.

Murphy says when she found out her school will still maintain its ban against the drug once it becomes legal in the state tomorrow,  she was not surprised.

"I think that it makes sense," said Murphy,  "It wasn't so much that they banned it, it's just they didn't change their laws along with the state. Which makes sense, because that's where they get their money; is from the federal government. So they kind of have to comply with those laws."

CWU, much like all the other schools in the state, says it won't amend it's policies towards the drug.

According to the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, universities receiving federal funds must adopt a program that prohibits the unlawful use and possession of drugs and alcohol by students and employees.

That includes marijuana, which is still prohibited by federal law.

The university tells us if it were to disregard the laws regarding marijuana usage on campus, then it runs the risk of losing up to 93 million dollars in federal funds; 16 million of which goes towards student pell grants.

"We want to make sure we don't put any of that at risk," said CWU Public Affairs Director, Linda Schactler, "And we might not anyway, because we're really trying to create an environment that supports student health and academic success."

Shayna Murphy says the school can continue to prohibit marijuana usage on it's own grounds, but that won't stop students from leaving campus to smoke.

"People that live in the dorms, even the minors that would be doing it illegally, know somebody who lives off campus, that's how they're able to drink, and that's gonna be how they're gonna be able to continue smoking weed," said Murphy.

If you'd like to read up on CWU's policies regarding drug and alcohol usage, click here.