State Capitol News
8:56 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Bill Would Deny Medical Marijuana to College Students on Campus

The 2010 voter-approved medical marijuana law allows those with a doctor's recommendation to obtain up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana every two weeks. While the measure bars use of the drug on public school campuses, there is no such ban at colleges and universities.

Rep. Amanda Reeve wants to change that, saying the move is necessary so schools comply with federal laws that tie financial aid to having a policy banning illegal drugs on campus. And marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Reeve acknowledged there are students who have legitimate recommendations to use the drug. But she said there's a greater good in limiting their rights.

"Do we punish all the students so that a few can have their ability to do this?" she asked. "It's a tough question. But I think the answer on that one is why should all the students suffer because they're going to lose financial aid or student loan assistance if we aren't able to make sure we're compliant with these acts."

But Joe Yuhas of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Association said the move is unfair and that Representative Reeve is overreacting. He said it's not like universities are being asked to dispense the drug to students.

"This is an attack on patients, patients who are abiding by state law," he charged. 

And Yuhas said the move violates a state constitutional provision precluding lawmakers from tinkering with voter-approved measures unless it furthers the underlying purpose of the law.