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Medical marijuana prohibited on college campuses

STILLWATER Okla. - The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University have notified students and staff that medical marijuana will not be allowed on campus or at off-campus events.

"Honestly, I think that's a little bit ridiculous," said student Dalton Crabb, referring to Thursday's campus-wide email. "I think they're coming out on some very conservative point of views saying there's no reason or no way for it to be implemented into any kind of lifestyle on campus."

The letters both site federal laws as the reasons why they must say no to medical marijuana.

"The state permitted that you should at least be able to have it on your person, at least inside your dorm room," Crabb said.

Despite the new state law and Oklahoma voters asking for medical cannabis, the universities said it's because they receive federal funding.

"Schools just have to be careful with this because, on research at a federal level, the government can still always retract funding because the schools doing something illegal, so we have to watch out for that," said Blake Kruse, a third-year student who agrees with the policy. "I agree with the stance seeing as how the state law would treat medical marijuana the same way tobacco is treated. Public places an deny use."

Medical marijuana will join a list of others campuses prohibit.

"Oklahoma States policy is no tobacco, no alcohol so, following that logic, I think that it's right for them to also deny medical marijuana," Kruse said.

OU and OSU receive federal funds, and the two institutions are legally bound to comply with the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, which mandates the implementation of drug prevention programs and prohibits the use of illegal drugs on campus or at university-sponsored events and activities. The universities must also comply with the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act, which describes the drug-free policies required at workplaces with certain federal contracts.

Furthermore, the two universities must also comply with the Federal Controlled Substances Act, which criminalizes the growth and use of marijuana.

Despite the recent passage of State Question 788, the DFSCA requires OSU and OU to adopt and adhere to policies prohibiting the unlawful use, possession or distribution of illegal drugs, including marijuana. Moving forward, OU and OSU will adhere to federal law prohibiting the use, possession, distribution or cultivation of marijuana for any reason at their campuses across the state.

Additionally, federal law also prohibits the use and distribution of marijuana for any reason at events authorized or supervised by OSU and OU. Even with the evolving state law permitting marijuana use for medical reasons, it is important for students and employees to know they cannot consume, smoke or possess marijuana on campus even though they might have a card or prescription permitting them to do so.