Cannabis on campus prohibited

For nearly 14 years, marijuana use for medical purposes has been legal in Colorado and on Nov. 6, 2012, Colorado made history by legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use.

Yet, as of August 2014 marijuana remains an illegal substance on Colorado State University grounds.

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Amendment 64 allows adults 21 or older to smoke and possess limited quantities of cannabis. There are now three recreational marijuana shops open in Fort Collins, but the ruling also states that universities and employers may set their own rules when it comes to cannabis.

Earlier this year, the University announced their guidelines regarding Amendment 64 and marijuana on campus.

According to the release, all students and CSU employees are prohibited from “possessing, using or selling marijuana … on campus and during University activities.”

Colorado State receives federal funding and must abide by federal laws, including the Drug-Free Workplace Act, the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and the Controlled Substances Act. The CSA defines marijuana as an illicit drug, and as a controlled substance, it is prohibited by the University’s Student Conduct Code.

The announcement stated, “The Colorado State University Police Department will continue to enforce the campus-wide prohibition of marijuana.”

If the University were to permit the possession of marijuana on campus, the school’s federal funding could be revoked.

Regardless of one’s stance on marijuana use, the fact remains: it stinks. If a resident’s neighbors and roommates can smell it, chances are, so can the resident assistant.

Second year RA Elle Billman, a human development & family studies student, said when RA’s smell marijuana in the residence halls they immediately call CSUPD.

“A lot of the time we just walk around, literally sniffing around corners trying to figure out what room it’s coming from,” Billman said.

While free student legal services exist on this campus for a reason, taking a toke in the dorms is simply not worth the risk of being fined or losing one’s housing privileges, according to Lisa Longenecker, a business administration student and Parmelee Hall RA.

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“If you’re caught with it in your room, you are breaking your housing contract,” Longenecker said.

Under federal law, CSU is not required to allow exceptions for medical marijuana patients. The substance is banned across the entire campus, indoors and out, medical and recreational.

“I don’t want to see it, I don’t want to smell it and I don’t want to have to write you up for it,” Longenecker said. “I don’t want to be the bad guy, but it’s my job.”

According to Billman, students cited for the use or possession of marijuana must meet with the assistant resident director of the building where the violation took place to discuss the incident as well as disciplinary measures.

Billman said most violators are fined and referenced to the Drugs, Alcohol & You program and are required to attend and pay for a $90 class.

Her advice to incoming freshman looking to consume some cannabis: “Go off campus.”

“No one cares if you do it,” Billman said. “Just please treat the dorms like a safe place to come home to. Go off campus and get f***** up – I don’t care – just don’t do it here.”

Longenecker summed it up.

“Be smart,” Longenecker said. “You’re in college, you’re an intelligent person now.”

Collegian Staff Reporter Erick Plattner can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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