By William Deitz ~ Guest Writer
The University of Lynchburg has a drug policy that lines up with federal law. The policy prohibits possession, use, manufacture, cultivation, and distribution of any controlled substance prohibited by federal, state, and local laws. Interestingly, this creates a situation where certain drugs may be legal under state law but still against school policy.
Of course, in Virginia, where marijuana was determined to be legal in certain quantities, there is no legal reason to have a moratorium on marijuana on the basis of purely state law. Federal law, however, still prohibits marijuana despite many states legalizing the substance which is the schools official reason for not allowing it.
Most schools in states with legal marjiuana maintain a ban on the substance. However, the new legal status of marijuana in Virginia should be considered when making school policy. The punishments for marjiuana possession on school property are just as severe as they were before the substance was decriminalized, and thus it would make more sense to consider the use of this drug as more similar to alcohol or tobacco use.
In many cases, students use both alcohol and marijuana in ways that would be certainly considered against school policy, despite the ramifications of being caught. This is not true for student athletes, who are subject to routine drug testing.
The consensus among several student athletes is that students wait for federal legalization before openly opposing university policy.