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Campuses are obviously a huge role in the day-to-day lives of college students as they work towards their degrees. With everything you have to look at not only state laws and local ordinances, but federal law as well. Possession of marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and colleges and universities have to be very aware of the potential consequences, including the of loss of funding, if they go against federal law.
Since recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado a few years ago, I’m frequently asked where it’s legal to possess marijuana. First, if you do not have either a medical card (a red card) or you are not 21 years old, the answer is “No, you cannot possess marijuana” and you do not need to read this blog any further. You can get a red card once you turn 18, as long as you have a qualifying condition. Second, you cannot use marijuana in public, whether it’s smoking or consuming edibles. That does not change even if you have a red card. So assuming you’re 21 or have a red card, let’s discuss whether you can now possess marijuana on a college campus.
The first part is unfortunately very easy, even though Amendment 64 legalized recreational possess for people over the age of 21, you still cannot possess marijuana on a college campus in Colorado. The only exception to this is if someone has a medical card, but that still fully answer the question.
The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, which was passed by Congress nearly 30 years, requires local institutions or places of academics that receives federal funds must make an effort to fight illegal drugs. So as mentioned before, even though Colorado (and nearly half the country) has legalized marijuana to some degree- possessing, selling, or consuming it is still a violation of federal law regardless of state law.
What does this mean for university or college students in Colorado? Since federal law prohibits the use or distribution of marijuana, college administrators must continue to disallow marijuana use on their campuses, period. Realistically the question then becomes what will they do if someone uses or possesses marijuana on their campus? Like I already said, public usage is still illegal under Colorado law, so if you’re going to use don’t use (and 100% don’t endanger the community by driving). If you’re caught possessing in a way that would not be illegal if you were off campus (over 21 and it’s less than an ounce, have a red card, etc.), you’re not going to be criminally prosecuted. However that does not mean that the school cannot or will not take administrative actions against you. Rationally speaking, if a student is caught with less than an ounce of marijuana, they will not face criminal charges for possession.
If you think this doesn’t sound fair, you are not the only one. But everyone still needs to remember, despite the clear movement statewide to legalize marijuana possession and use, we’re still not there yet with the Federal government. Schools must take this into account when developing their policies, especially if they’d like to continue to receive federal funding. Andrew understands the frustration that stands within our local Colorado Springs young adults and is here to defend such peculiar rules for you.
Each school in the state has the ability to create their own specific rules, guidelines, and punishments for their own campuses. Look at some of the rules not related to marijuana that some colleges have put in place. Colorado College is a smoke-free campus, so people aren’t even allowed to smoke cigarettes, items that are 100% legal to possess and even use in public once someone turns 18.
CC students are even still bound by the school’s code of conduct when they’re off campus. The code states: “Colorado College students studying in off-campus contexts or participating in college-sponsored programs remain responsible to uphold the Colorado College Student Code of Conduct and the laws relevant to their location. It also applies to conduct from the date of admission to the school and during winter break, spring break, and summer break.
While there are plenty of smoke-free cannabis options, the same rules still apply. You can’t have them on campus. Make sure you know the rules of your school. Don’t get caught doing something stupid on campus, that could affect your future.
If you were recently charged with possession or caught smoking marijuana or weed on your Colorado Springs campus, give Andrew Bryant a call today. He can utilize his professional background in criminal drug crimes to help get you our of deep trouble. Let him clean up your record and change the path of your future that one small indiscretion can cause. Andrew is here for you!
Contact The Law Office of Andrew Bryant today for a free consultation concerning your criminal or family law case. You are just a click away from a top-rated and respected team with the experience and tenacity to ensure you get the best legal services offered in Colorado Springs – call or email now.