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Medical marijuana in college

Discussion in 'Education Law, School System' started by Lexinton, Dec 7, 2019.

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  1. Lexinton

    Lexinton Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Pennsylvania
    My student handbook reads "the presence of any substance revealed by a urinalysis screen that has not been prescribed by a doctor will be cause for immediate action".
    The consumer information guide states "drug free schools and communities acts amendments of 1989, part 86 requires that as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under and federal program, an institution of higher education must certify that it has adopted and implemented a program "to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees" both in the institution's premise and as part of its activities.

    My question is if I am prescribed medical marijuana by a doctor. Will I be okay according to the schools policies ?
    I live in Pennsylvania
     
  2. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    What did school officials say when you asked them your question?
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I'm guessing not. It's still illegal under federal law so the school would have every right to prohibit it to protect its federal funds.
     
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  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I agree your best answer will come from the school administration.
    As it is written above it seems that if it is prescribed it could be allowed, but it would be wise to find that out ahead of time rather than be caught in violation.
     
  5. Lexinton

    Lexinton Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Does this apply to using marijuana only off of the schools premises ?
     
  6. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Ask the school since it is the school's policy you are asking about. However, understand a key thing here: a doctor cannot "prescribe" marijuana because under federal law it is not a drug that may be prescribed. For that reason you cannot take a prescription for marijuana to a pharmacy have the pharmacy fill it. A doctor may recommend marijuana for medical use, but you have to find the marijuana on your own.
     
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  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Depends on the school policies.
     
  8. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    This is a very good question and a difficult one to answer.

    I recall first reading about Coats v Dish Network in the employment context, where an employee using cannabis based products being prescribed medical marijuana was terminated under federal law. In that 2015 case, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled against Coats, who was a "registered medical marijuana user, accessing the product in a manner consistent with state constitutional guarantees and state statute."

    But since then there have been other decisions regarding the use of medical marijuana and the conflicts of federal and state law as they apply to employment law.
    Arizona Revised Statutes Section 36-2813. Discrimination prohibited
    (B) Unless a failure to do so would cause an employer to lose a monetary or licensing related benefit under federal law or regulations, an employer may not discriminate against a person in hiring, termination or imposing any term or condition of employment or otherwise penalize a person based upon either:
    (2) A registered qualifying patient's positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites, unless the patient used, possessed or was impaired by marijuana on the premises of the place of employment or during the hours of employment.
    The answer may be different from state to state. Getting an answer from the school might be the best way and, if you receive one, you're best to get the answer on its policy in some written form.
     
  9. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    Arizona law has no bearing on this. There are a number of provisions in Pennsylvania's medical marijauna act.

    First, it does indeed bar the state agencies from taking action on licenses just because you are a medical marijuana user. It bans employers from taking employment action just because the employee has a medical marijuana card.

    It does bar those with marijuana in their system from certain hazardous activities and allows employers to refuse to let those users to perform acts that endanger themselves or others or that result in a public safety or health risk. So, my comment stands. If you're going to be a nurse, you're running a big risk to your job and certification if you show up under the influence.

    While the statute doesn't address colleges, it does require primary and secondary school to adopt a position on medical marijuana use by students and employees. It does NOT, however, say that this position has to ALLOW it. A quick review of the larger school systems bans employees and school volunteers from being under the influence (medical use or otherwise). On the other hand, student use (under strict conditions) even for athletes is permissible.
     

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