Students wonder how legalized marijuana can cause trouble on campus

Picture of medical marijuana

On Jan. 1, 2020, Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill legalizing recreational and medicinal marijuana. The law has provided over $300 million dollars in revenue for the state since the law has passed, but has created a growing question for students at Quincy University.

While it is now legal in the state, QU has stated a policy that marijuana is still illegal on campus. The 2022-2023 student handbook states a violation would result in a deferred suspension or community service, and would be susceptible to random room searches.

Campus crime statistics have been released for 2021 and list what trends are happening on campus. But some students like Kennady Fleer are confused on where the line is crossed if it’s permitted elsewhere.

“I understand not wanting marijuana inside dorms because the smell can be a nuisance to other residents, but why would someone be in trouble for having it outside if it’s legal right across the street? Our campus isn’t huge so I don’t get the effect it is supposed to have,” Fleer said. 

While there is not only confusion between what’s legal on campus property and not, the new laws can also be very confusing for the athletes on campus, as the NCAA still classifies marijuana as a banned substance.  

They have reduced the punishment if caught, but athletes can still be tested before conference and national tournaments and can be suspended for a year if they fail two tests in a row, making many athletes play it safe and avoid it at all costs like Ross Huskey.

“I’m sure there are athletes here that are confused about the guidelines on weed, I don’t really have to worry about it. Weed has never been for me and my sport is too important to put that into jeopardy in the first place,” Huskey said. 

While the NCAA still rules marijuana as a drug, they have continued to minimize the punishments for athletes in recent years and continued to raise the THC content so it is harder to be deemed a positive drug test.

These recent changes have put into question what happens from this point.

Currently, 19 states have legalized marijuana and 39 states have legal medical marijuana, as states continue to push for medicinal and recreational licenses the question will soon be will private organizations like the NCAA and QU be allowed to put restrictions on a federally regulated commodity. 

Students like Ray Lingard think it could be a huge dilemma in the next decade.

“I honestly wonder what they (the school) would do when it’s all legal. If they have a medical card I feel like it would be within their right to have marijuana when they wanted it. I’m sure many organizations fear the day it becomes federally legal,” Lingard said.

While many questions seem to still be unanswered, currently it is not allowed to possess marijuana on campus and not safe if you’re an athlete, but in a few short years there could be much bigger proposals to discuss. 

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