More and more college campuses are creating anti-medical marijuana rules for their students and staff. This last week, the University of Montana (Missoula) banned medical marijuana on campus (click here). Like other universities that have created similar rules, they are claiming that they ‘are just adhering to federal regulations that prohibit the use of marijuana.’
Here is the excuse provided by the University. "We're not unsympathetic to the medical conditions of these people, but we don't have the authority to do anything about it," said David Aronofsky, UM chief legal counsel. I always point out the fact that the Obama memo doesn’t cover ‘medicine for profit’ enterprises. However, it CLEARLY protects patients that want to use their medicine. To quote the memo “For example, prosecution of individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law, or those caregivers in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state law who provide such individuals with marijuana, is unlikely to be an efficient use of limited federal resources.” (click here).
I’m not sure how the UM attorney can read the memo, and interpret it as ‘the feds are going to take away our funding if a student has their state approved medicine in their backpack.’ To me, it seems pretty straight forward that patients are protected under the new federal guidelines. The University of Montana is not completely ruthless though. They used to have a rule that freshman had to live on campus. However, now they will grant a waiver if the freshman is a medical marijuana patient.
Some universities are even more emphatic about their anti-medical marijuana crusade. Colorado State University ordered their ‘Extension Service’ employees to refrain from providing advice or opinions to medical marijuana growers (click here). Apparently, the University is catering to a minority of employees that don’t like the idea of medical marijuana. "Some of the agents didn't want anything to do with it. The bottom line is that under federal law it's still illegal." said Brad Bohlander, CSU spokesperson. The extension service provides gardening and yard maintenance advice to the public, and has offices in almost every county in Colorado.
I think it is ridiculous to forbid gardeners from giving out advice to legal patients about their legal plants; it should be up to the individual. It’s not like the employees are growing marijuana on campus, or consuming the medicine with the patient. They are simply giving their opinion and advice…I thought that’s what colleges were all about?? I thought they were supposed to be places were ideas flowed freely, but I guess not at CSU! I wonder if these universities are worried about losing state funding because they are discriminating against a state program. Or if they are worried about losing alumni donations from donors that are either medical marijuana patients themselves, or know someone that is? Just a thought.