In the Weeds: Cannabis in College

Hey high schoolers and parents! Let’s talk about something that’s on a lot of minds these days: marijuana. On July 1, 2023, the State of Maryland legalized some amount of cannabis use and possession. Since it was now legalized in the state for people over 21, it’s easy to think that college campuses are all chill about it. But hold up – there’s a catch!

State vs. Federal Laws

Sure, Maryland says it’s legal to use and possess some amounts, but colleges and universities have to play by federal rules. And guess what? The federal government still considers marijuana to be a Schedule I controlled substance, which means it is prohibited under federal law for medical or recreational use.

Federal Funding and Campus Rules

Colleges rely on federal funding for lots of activities, from research grants to financial aid. To keep the cash flowing, they’ve got to stick to federal laws, including the ones about drugs.

What This Means for You

If you’re heading off to college soon, remember this: most campuses still have strict no-weed policies. Getting caught could mean serious trouble, like serious disciplinary action or losing financial aid. At local universities like the University of Maryland and University of Maryland, Baltimore County , medical exemptions for medical marijuana still do not allow you to legally use it on campus. This rule also applies to all forms, which means: no vaporizers, no edibles, and no smoking.

Stay Informed

Before you start accepting college decisions and packing your bags for college, make sure you know the rules. Check out your future school’s policies on drugs and alcohol, and be informed about the harmful risks of consuming these substances. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Find Support

If you’re struggling with substance use or know someone who is, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Colleges have resources like counseling services and support groups to help students stay healthy and happy .

University of Maryland Substance Use Intervention and Treatment
UMBC Substance Related Counseling Services

Bottom Line

So, even though weed might be legal in Maryland, it’s not a free pass to light up on campus. Keep it off school grounds, stay informed about the rules, and focus on making the most out of your college experience – without the need for weed.

Submitted anonymously by a college student from Howard County.

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