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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA continues marijuana ban

UA continues marijuana ban

Even though voters passed a law permitting use of medical marijuana in Arizona last November, UA students and faculty will still be prohibited from possessing the drug on campus.

Because of federal obligations, the university will continue to prohibit marijuana use and possession on UA campus, despite the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, said Allison M. Vaillancourt, UA vice president of human resources, in a statement issued Wednesday.

Two federal laws, the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, mandate the UA to enforce the prohibition of marijuana, Vaillancourt said.

According to federal drug and alcohol abuse prevention law, “”no institution of higher education shall be eligible to receive funds or any other form of financial assistance under any federal program, including participation in any federally funded or guaranteed student loan program, unless it has adopted and has implemented a program to prevent the use of illicit drugs and abuse of alcohol by students and employees.””

The UA will not be approaching the issue of marijuana enforcement any different than it has in the past, said Johnny Cruz, UA assistant vice president of communications.

Police also will still approach enforcement the same way they always have, said Jose Bermudez, an officer with the University of Arizona Police Department.

“”Remember, the UA is a drug-free zone,”” Bermudez said.

Students who possess marijuana, even with an Arizona medical marijuana permit, will still be referred to the Dean of Students Office for disciplinary action.

The student would not be cited for marijuana possession, although students could still be cited for possession of drug paraphernalia, Bermudez said.

Currently, a student can be arrested for possession, use or production of marijuana. It is up to the officer whether or not to cite and release the student or actually book the student into custody, Bermudez said.

The courts then decide the penalty, whether it is a fine, community service or a more severe punishment.

These penalties will still apply to those who use or possess marijuana without a permit, Bermudez said.

We continue to prohibit the use and possession of marijuana for any purpose,”” Bermudez said.

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