Marajuana not allowed on campus after legalization

Madeline S. ScharfNews Editor

As of July 1, in the state of Connecticut, marijuana was legalized for recreational use. This makes CT the 19th state to allow cannabis for recreational use.  

I was, personally, unsurprised by this ruling. Taxation of marijuana would bring far more revenue in for the state. This is exactly what has begun to occur with gambling, where it has become legalized for states to put taxes on an untapped source of revenue. It is also the first steps taken towards de-criminalization, which I figured was a long time coming.  

Despite state legislation allowing those 21 and older to possess and use marijuana, the university is not expected to make any adjustments to its current policy on weed. This I was also unsurprised with, if not slightly disappointed for students who recreationally smoke. But why not change, if it is now legal in Connecticut?  

Christopher Piscitelli is the director of student conduct and civic responsibility and has commented about why Southern will not be changing any policy. “Nothing has or will change. All institutions in the CSCU district will still be holding true to federal policy to receive federal funding,” said Piscitelli. 

The University is a school which receives Title IX funding. According to Piscitelli, “80% of students have Title IX funding.”  

Title IX is a federal law which “requires colleges receiving federal funding to combat gender-based violence and harassment and respond to survivors’ needs in order to ensure that all students have equal access to education,” according to Ventura college.  

Robert DeMezzo, director of Residence Life, explains via email why receiving federal funding prevents the school from allowing cannabis on campus. “Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and, as an institution which receives federal financial aid funds, we must be in compliance with these regulations.” 

DeMezzo also explains what would happen if a student were to be caught with marijuana on campus. “Students found in possession of marijuana will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Civic Responsibility.  Additionally, University Police will be notified for marijuana incidents involving students under the age of 21, as this remains illegal under state law.”  

For students under the age of 21, this is both an infringement of state law and University policy. For students over the age of 21, it is a university policy violation. According to INSIDE Southern under Housing Protocol, “Students must comply with all university regulations; otherwise, they will be subjected to appropriate penalties up to and including expulsion from the university.” 

Is this a fair policy? For now, I believe so. If we receive federal funding, it makes sense we have to follow their guidelines, and not just the laws of the state. If federal law pertaining to the possession and consumption of marijuana changed, however, I think the CSCU schools should rethink their policy, something like alcohol on campus.  

For now, smoking weed is not allowed on campus or in the dorm halls. If, someday, the federal laws change, we here on campus might just see a change. For now, though, any THC must be dabbled well outside of the university’s parameters.  

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