SIUE students still can't smoke marijuana on campus after it's legalized

There are state laws preventing smoking and being under the influence at public colleges.

Maria Keena
September 12, 2019 - 9:58 am
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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) — With the legalization of recreational marijuana taking effect Jan. 1, in Illinois, where does that leave colleges?

"There's a law currently that says it's illegal to smoke on a public university campus in the state of Illinois," said Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Vice-Chancellor of Administration Rich Walker.

With that law in place, Walker says SIUE is in a better position to enforce a ban on pot-smoking because smoking anything is illegal, including vaping.

"There are also laws prohibiting (students) from being under the influence of drugs and alcohol," Walker points out.

As for non-smokable forms of cannabis, Walker says they're struggling with that part.

Related: "This ain't your mother's marijuana:" U.S. Surgeon General issues warning on pot use during pregnancy, adolescence

"How do we incorporate that in our student conduct code and maintain our support for federal loans and pell grants?"

Since federal laws have not changed on marijuana, students consuming any type of cannabis would be in violation, thereby jeopardizing receiving federal grants and loans.

"I don't think you'll see us come out and saying 'it's OK, go ahead and do it,' because we would be in conflict then with federal law, but you also won't see us take any cases to the state's attorney, provided they fall within the limits set."

As far as medicinal marijuana, Walker says they still won't endorse marijuana usage, again to protect its federal funding, but ...

"If you're approved medically by a doctor, we're not going to arrest anybody for it."

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