In our last post, we talked about the legality, purpose, and use of medical marijuana, both in general and by students who are attending college or university. Now, it's time to discover how this can violate a post-secondary institution's Code of Conduct, and what to do if you are accused.
Why Cannabis is Contraband on College Campuses
So why are these schools prohibiting the use of marijuana in situations where it's perfectly legal to do so? It's Uncle Sam again. You see, universities and colleges rely heavily on the funding they receive from the U.S. government. In order to ensure that those funds keep flowing, schools must comply with federal law—namely, the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) of 1989.
Despite the fact that marijuana is legal for medical use in 37 states, it remains illegal at the federal level. Therefore, U.S. universities and colleges are obliged to stay in compliance with DFSCA, in order to maintain the steady stream of federal money into its coffers. They do that by forbidding students from using or possessing drugs or drug paraphernalia on campus, including in the dormitories. Some schools actually prohibit marijuana use by their students off-campus, as well.
Getting Caught with Marijuana on Campus, Even If It's Medical
What does all this boil down to? It essentially means that if you're caught consuming any type of cannabis at school, producing your medical marijuana card won't get you off the hook. Rather, you'll be called in front of the conduct board, first for an initial discussion, then several weeks later, for a formal hearing. In the intervening time, you will want to do as much research and preparation as possible, with an eye toward achieving the best possible outcome you can.
The repercussions of violating your school's Code of Conduct can be significant. Be sure to read the sections of that document relating to your alleged offense for specifics, but know that violations could result in:
- Being placed on administrative hold
- Mandatory education program participation
- A notation on your transcript
- Revocation of financial aid or work-study eligibility
- The loss of on-campus housing
- Athletic participation ineligibility
Naturally, the severity of the allegations and the potential punishment varies widely, depending on the situation. But none of these consequences should be taken lightly. They can derail your college career and even your professional dreams.
Legal Assistance Is Available
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Student Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm are highly experienced and highly skilled in helping students accused of violating their school's Code of Conduct. They can investigate the situation, gather additional evidence, talk to people who might be able to provide valuable information, review any documentation to make sure it's on the up and up, and formulate the very best possible defense for students facing disciplinary proceedings.
You may be allowed to have an attorney accompany you to the hearing—it varies from school to school—but even if not, Attorney Lento and his expert team will ensure you're as prepared as possible going through those doors. They have unparalleled negotiation skills and are ready to accompany you on this journey until you, your family, and your school have reached an agreement that works for everyone.
Call 888-535-3686 today, or fill out this form to get the ball rolling. We look forward to helping you!