Arizona veterans are pushing back against a university prohibition on medical marijuana.
A petition on change.org backed by a veterans group warns that the University of Arizona Police Department will “lock up” medical marijuana users.
“People really don’t understand us. They don’t understand why we don’t want pills,” said Dan Schmink, an Army veteran of Iraq.
His business, Southwest Healing Group, helps other veterans adjust to life outside the military. He said, for a lot of people medical marijuana is a lifeline.
“Why should a university, which is supposed to be the progressive center of tomorrow, say ‘No’? It doesn’t make sense to me,” Schmink said.
Arizona voters legalized medical marijuana in 2010. But two years after, medical marijuana was banned by the State Legislature on university campuses. Possession of weed is a felony.
Marijuana remains to be illegal under federal law. Universities are concerned they could jeopardize federal funding by discounting that law.
“I do know there are veterans that rely on cannabis each day to get through their classes so they can get that degree,” Schmink said.
There’s a chance the courts will throw out the campus prohibition on medical marijuana.
An ASU student who’s a medical marijuana cardholder was convicted of possessing marijuana in 2015.
He has appealed the verdict as unconstitutional, due to the 2010 vote that legalized medical marijuana.
A University of Arizona official said the campus prohibition was based on state law. A university poster on campus, however, mentions federal regulations for the medical marijuana prohibition.
This statement was issued by Arizona State University’s Police Department:
Marijuana on campus is prohibited by state law and by federal law. Students who commit violations of the Student Code of Conduct that involve marijuana are guided to substance abuse resources. They may be subject to disciplinary action, ranging from probation to expulsion.