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Patients at MSU Denied the Right to Use Medical Marijuana

Patients at MSU Denied the Right to Use Medical Marijuana

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 11/17/2010 in Medical Marijuana News

In 2008, Michigan voters passed the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, which specifically prohibits anyone from being denied the same rights and privileges as any other citizen based on the fact that he or she is a registered medical marijuana user. But this apparently means nothing to the Michigan State University. The university’s policies have made it clear that anyone on campus in possession of marijuana—even if that person is registered with the state’s legal medical marijuana program—will face disciplinary action, including arrest.

MSU has a page on its website called Frequently Asked Questions about the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, which outlines the policy as follows:

3. Does the Act change University policy regarding drug use or possession on campus?
No, University policies have not changed. Students and employees may not use or possess marihuana on campus. This is true whether the marihuana is smoked or ingested through other means. Michigan State University is subject to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989. Consistent with those laws, the MSU Drug and Alcohol Policy prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of controlled substances, illicit drugs, and alcohol on any property governed by the Board of Trustees and at any site where work is performed by individuals on behalf of the University. The Alcohol and Controlled Substances Policy also applies to employees performing safety-sensitive functions and whose position responsibilities require they obtain a commercial driver’s license.

Employees and students who violate University policy prohibiting the use or possession of illegal drugs on campus are subject to disciplinary action through the appropriate disciplinary process.

Michigan State University’s medical marijuana policy is in direct violation of Michigan’s medical marijuana law. University officials have argued that federal law overrides state law, but given President Obama’s policy of respecting state medical marijuana laws, there is no reason to believe MSU would be punished in any way simply for following state law. Furthermore, if any student who is a legal patient in Michigan is arrested for possession of marijuana on campus, a state court would be completely unable to charge that student under state law. The end result, it seems, is that MSU is attempting to strip their students and faculty of a right granted to them by the state of Michigan.

The university has apparently set up policies medical marijuana patients at MSU that waive the requirement for freshmen to live on campus, and allow those students to move off campus without penalty. However, in regards to whether the university would seek prosecution of students or faculty who had possession of marijuana, Kent Cassella, a spokesman for the University, has been quoted as saying: “Anyone who is on MSU’s campus and is suspected of committing a crime or violating university policy is subject to disciplinary action.”

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