Marijuana Still Banned on Campus Despite Legalization of Recreational Marijuana
THE SANTA CLARA
January 11, 2017
Despite California voters’ recent decision to legalize recreational marijuana statewide, Broncos still will not be allowed to toke up on campus property.
In a Dec. 20 campus-wide email from Jeanne Rosenberger, the vice provost of student life, she reiterated the university’s policy that, “use and possession of marijuana on campus or in association with any university-sponsored or affiliated activity or program is prohibited.”
In the email, Rosenberger wrote that it is necessary to abide by federal law, which prohibits the use of marijuana, in order to ensure the availability of nationally funded university programs such as grants and certain student programs.
But campus culture surrounding marijuana use may be unaffected as many students have not felt a significant change since the November legalization.
“I think the laws in place before the legalization of marijuana were pretty lax to begin with, so I honestly don’t think this is a drastic change for the state of California or its inhabitants,” said a Santa Clara student who is an occasional marijuana user and wished to remain anonymous.
In the spring of 2015, Santa Clara Law School was one of the first universities in the country to implement a marijuana policy course. The course, Drug Policy Practicum, focused on the then-upcoming marijuana legalization ballot measure and how to ensure that the passage would include with proper taxation and safety measures.
Proposition 64 legalizes the carry, consumption and purchase of marijuana for individuals aged 21 and older. But on the Santa Clara campus, the new statute does not hold any water. Individuals in possession of marijuana can still face the same disciplinary actions as before the legalization.
Although carrying up to an ounce of flower is currently legal for those 21-years-old and over, recreational retail sale of marijuana will not take place until January 2018. Additionally, the penalties for marijuana use for those under 21 will continue to carry penalties including fines and drug education programs.
Also worth noting is that with legalization comes taxation. There is a $9.25 per ounce tax on marijuana cultivation and a 15 percent retail tax paid at the time of sale by the consumer. While the legal retail purchase of marijuana could be safer and provide more convincing proof of strong product, some users feel reticent to paying the future up-charge.
“Most people who smoke weed are teenagers (and) have been smoking for a while so they will just stick to their familiar dealers,” said sophomore Marina Schmitz. “It’s all about quantity or quality.”
Few students seem concerned about the school’s disciplinary policy regarding marijuana and some even voice support for its adherence to federal regulations to ensure certain university funding pools stay filled.
“Well I hope that weed becomes more accessible,” said a student who uses marijuana daily and wished to remain anonymous. “I’m from Seattle, Washington and it can be rather convenient to have it legal.”
For the university, it seems to come down to a necessity for federal funding, which, as one student appropriately remarked, “include(s) money for financial aid, and since the tuition for this University is extremely pricey that is important to a lot students on campus.”
Contact John Lambert at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.