College Students Suffer as Government Refuses to Move Forward

Californians view on marijuana laws.

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Students believe rights are being taken away–causing backlash on college campuses across the country.

 

Well over half of the states in our country have legalized cannabis for medical use. In recent years many states have been following suit by allowing recreational use for adults 21 years of age and older. Federally however, cannabis is still illegal, and many colleges receive funding from the government making the topic of cannabis a touchy one.

Students who suffer from ailments such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders use medical cannabis to treat their symptoms. In states where it is legal for medical or recreational use, students believe they have the right to smoke and possess the plant on campus.

Students of our current generation come face to face with many different realities on a day-to-day basis. Overloading themselves with class credits, searching for income, internships, and scholarships, all while worrying about finding the time to socialize with their fellow classmates. They too feel the stresses of the undeniably chaotic world we live in. Students who have suffered and moved forward through the tragedies of our modern era are fighting for their right to possess. To use medicine of their choice on college campuses in states where their legislation has decriminalized it’s possession and use.

In modern America it’s not uncommon to see movies based around fraternities. The college life style is often romanticized by the younger generations. The aroma of early 20 somethings in a house full of co-eds, flashing lights, and smoke. Friends hanging from the chandelier. Unrealistic as it may seem, these things happen, and it’s usually under the influence of alcohol.

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that each year 97,000 students between the ages of 18-24 report experiences of alcohol related date rape or sexual assaults. Of these numbers an estimated 1,825 students within the same age group die from unintentional injuries sustained while drunk or drinking. If these statistics weren’t somber enough, students openly admit to performing worse because of alcohol. One out of every four students reported consequences in their academic life including failed classes, exams, or lowering grades across the board, due to alcohol.

So why the fight over cannabis?? The majority of schools are federally funded, so most campuses want nothing to do with the plant. Since it is federally illegal, some are going as far as having legislation changes. Thus allowing the prosecution of students possessing a medical cannabis card.

Mark Brnovich, Arizona Attorney General, asked the State Supreme Court in June to reevaluate an appeals-court ruling that eliminated a ban on medical cannabis on college campuses. If successful, students who use medical cannabis while on campus are at risk. Even holding a valid card, they can be arrested and prosecuted for possessing the most minuet amount of cannabis. Felonies do not look good on a resume. So for those who use cannabis on a daily basis, this is unsettling. State given rights and federal law can be a can of worms. When your government outlaws a plant, and your state of residence decides that it is legal, what do you do?

Recently California legislators urged congress to further discuss cannabis and it’s classification. If cannabis becomes reclassified it could mean extreme expansion within the business industry and banking industries. Much needed research would finally be allowed, giving an educated glimpse into the medicinal benefits of the plant.

Students like Andre Maestas wouldn’t need to worry about facing consequences because of their medical treatment of choice. In 2014 Andre, a student at Arizona State University, was approached by officers. In his wallet, Andre had his medical cannabis card. After telling the officers that he had cannabis in his door room, he was searched, and arrested on felony charges for possessing .3 grams. Regardless of its contradiction to the Arizona law allowing medical patients to possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable product.

With the upcoming potential of 2018 and the legalization of recreational cannabis in California, things within our state may change.  However, in states like Colorado and Oregon, cannabis is still banned on college campuses.

Originally posted 2017-10-23 16:20:26.