Petition to Change CSUMB Policy on Cannabis Use
This is a petition to change the unfair policy towards responsible cannabis currently in place at California State University Monterey Bay. Cannabis users pose far less of a threat to the well-being of the university community than alcohol users; yet, the penalties for cannabis use are more severe due to the illegal nature of the drug.
The policy regarding medical cannabis is also misguided and denies patients the right to use their medicine without undue burden.
In the Residential Life Community Standards manual, the policy of the University with regards to medicinal cannabis is written:
"The use or possession of marijuana in any form, including medicinal use, is prohibited. The California Compassionate Use Act does not apply to administrative cases involving use and/or possession of marijuana that violate CSU Student Conduct Code, the Housing License Agreement, or these Community Standards."
“The use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of illegal drugs or drug-related paraphernalia, (except as expressly permitted by law and university regulations) or the misuse of legal pharmaceutical drugs will not be tolerated on university property and will result in conduct action."
These statements are an unfair contradiction. The California Compassionate Us Act provides patients and their caregivers with protection from criminal laws that deal with marijuana. It solely deals with the medicinal use of marijuana, so patients are not breaking State or Federal law by using their medicine. The University's "Drug Free Zone" policy only applies to drugs that are illegal under state or federal law. By using broad definitions and failing to add exceptions that reflect the legality of the CCA, the CSU is creating its own interpretation of California state law.
For what reason does CSUMB maintain this policy? Is it to conform with the other CSU campuses? Is there federal money at stake? Or is it to maintain the illusion that cannabis is a dangerous substance that must be restricted more than alcohol, even while it provides relief to thousands of ill people - legally - under state law? The school does have a right to prohibit indoor smoking and enforce drug laws, but shouldn't there be policies that reflect the realities of college life and health risks?
This contradiction can only be negotiated one way: Amend the CSUMB Student Conduct Code, Housing Agreement, and Community Standards to allow the private, discrete use of medicinal marijuana by qualified patients. By limiting patients' right to use their medicine, the university is putting an unnecessary burden on their health and academics and thus discriminating against medical cannabis users. An alternative solution is to reduce enforcement of responsible outdoor cannabis use or provide a location on campus for patients to medicate.
The CSU policy towards cannabis users, both recreational and medicinal, serves no purpose, and does obvious harm by wasting law enforcement efforts and denying medical relief to qualified patients. Sign on to this petition if you want CSUMB to review and revise its cannabis policies to promote responsible use and patients' rights!