Many are comparing the struggle over marijuana legalization in the United States to that of the Prohibition era banning alcohol from 1920 to 1933.
Today it is difficult to imagine a country that does not permit the sale of alcohol. Although there are tall cans of beer and bottles of liquor legally being sold on nearly every street corner, it is disconcerting to see someone walking down the street or on a school campus casually enjoying an alcoholic beverage.
The majority of people would view such a sight as inappropriate and most definitely out of place causing some form of legal action to be taken.
The same logic applies to smoking marijuana in public, or walking around with the smell of “skunk” emanating from your backpack.
There is a time and place for such an activity, as there is with drinking alcohol responsibly.
While statewide laws allow for medical marijuana license holders to use and carry a certain amount of the drug, the use or possession of marijuana, regardless of personal legality, is strictly forbidden on the Citrus campus.
The reason behind this rule is that Citrus College is a public, federally funded institution and federal law supersedes state law. Admittedly, the federal law classification of marijuana is a touch outdated. Marijuana was classified in 1970 as a “schedule one” drug, which means that it was found to have no medical benefits.
Fast forward to today and 23 out of 50 states including California, have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. However the federal classification still stands.
With that being said students who are smoking on campus are putting the rest of the student body (particularly those receiving financial aid) in jeopardy of losing the funding that students rely on and much more.
Citrus College has also partnered with the Glendora Police Department and have created a “No Marijuana on Campus” campaign that must be upheld or risk the loss of this much needed partnership as well as government backing.
The issue at hand is not the lack of sensitivity for the need of such a drug as per state law.
Pain and nausea caused by certain medical alignments such as arthritis, cancer, or mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, are a few of the reasons why a licensed physician can recommend a medical marijuana license to a patient.
With nearly 13,000 students enrolled here at Citrus College and over 572,000 medical marijuana licenses in California alone there is a good possibility that a percentage of students are licensed to legally use marijuana for their own benefit.
It would be naïve to think that medical marijuana doesn’t in fact aid and improve certain aspects of students’ every day lives.
However, the federal laws pertaining to this controlled substance currently define its use and possession as illegal (as outdated as these facts about the drug may be).
With a total of 25 documented drug related situations here on Citrus College campus last semester alone, it is an issue that needs to be defined and made clear to the student population.
It is not a “lack of sensitivity” issue if a licensed user of the drug is confronted by campus official and asked to put the joint out or smoke it elsewhere.
It is simply an act of law enforcement that Citrus College follows considering the laws that federal government of the United States has put forth that must be followed being a federally funded facility.
It is understood that every student on this campus is allowed the freedom of their personal lives and issues, and that is what they do on their own time is their business.
Citrus simply asks, as well as enforces, students to light up elsewhere if there is a need to do so.
For 100 years Citrus College has been providing not just quality education, but a gateway towards a more for fulfilling life to students.
So please, respect your school, which is providing you with a better opportunity for the future by following its rules.
If getting high allows you to be better prepared for your educational experience, then “wake and bake” in the morning before school but then simply leave it in your sock drawer.