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EMU bans medical marijuana on campus

freep.com

Eastern Michigan University became the latest Michigan university to formally ban medical marijuana from its campus today.

Despite state laws allowing those with medical marijuana cards to smoke the drug, federal law still lists it as illegal. That makes it necessary for universities to ban it as well.

Federal law requires higher education institutions to follow federal law if they receive federal funding.

That the case at EMU, said Bernice Lindke, the university’s vice president for student affairs.

“State law conflicts with federal laws … which prohibit all drugs on campus,” she said.

EMU sophomore Ted Walker said he didn’t think the ban would affect very many students.

“If they’re going to smoke it, they are just going to do it off campus,” he said. “I think anyone who is smoking it on-campus doesn’t have a medical card anyway, so I don’t think it will be a big deal.”

EMU regents made no comment as they unanimously approved the measure.

It’s also the case at Michigan’s other universities. The University of Michigan follows federal law in order to protect its federal funding, which could be yanked if they didn’t, said spokesman Rick Fitzgerald. That’s the same at Oakland University.

The policy is slightly different at Michigan State University.

“MSU’s policies have not changed,” said spokesman Kent Cassella. “Students and employees may not use or possess marijuana on campus. However, MSU will make certain accommodations for registered patients by waiving the requirement for them to live on campus or by allowing them to end their housing contract and move off campus without penalty.”

Wayne State University is currently reviewing its policy, said spokesman Matt Lockwood.

The ban on medical marijuana hasn’t been an issue at Michigan’s campuses yet, various spokesmen said.

The interaction of federal drug laws and the Michigan law allowing use for medical purposes has been a hot topic recently.

In August, state Attorney General Bill Schuette and a collation of Republican lawmakers announced plans to try to tighten what they called loopholes in the law.

Some 80,829 Michigan residents are certified to receive medical marijuana, according the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

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