Campus marijuana policy differs from state law


By Eric Long, News Writer

Federal act prevents marijuana use on campus


With the recent legalization of marijuana in Washington state, there may be some confusion about the policy on campus.

According to EWU’s media relations director David Meany, Eastern is subject to the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. In order to get federal dollars, Eastern must prohibit the possession and distribution of marijuana and other illicit drugs.

“We simply can’t violate that federal provision. We have a drug-free campus and culture,” said Meany.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act is part of former President George Bush’s No Student Left Behind Act, which was signed into law in 2002.

The main purpose of the act is to support programs that prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs. It also supports programs that put a stop to violence in and around schools and programs that coordinate with schools, the state and the federal efforts to promote safe and a drug-free learning environments.

According to Deputy Chief Gary Gasseling of campus police, being on a college campus has a different set of regulations because of federal grants.

This includes student loans, scholarship funding and federal funding.

“While state law has changed, the enforcement has not changed on campus. Marijuana is not allowed on campus. Subjects choosing to use marijuana on campus will be subject to arrest and confiscation of the drug as well as being directed to [the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities],” said Gasseling.

Dean of Students Amy Johnson agrees with the federal rules for marijuana.

“Because of these federal rules, regardless of state laws, the use, possession and distribution of marijuana on our campus remains prohibited. Additionally, being under the influence of marijuana while on property owned or operated by EWU is prohibited,” said Johnson.

Information about student conduct code can be found in detail on the Eastern website. Students can also find the process for filing complaints, review what will happen in the event of a violation, as well as find the list of sanctions.