Arizona Legislation Would Make Pot Use Illegal on College Campuses

Even in light of the latest court decision requiring the that state’s voter-supported medicinal marijuana law take effect, Arizona legislators seek to ban such use on college and university campuses. House Bill 2349, sponsored by State Representative Reeve (R-Phoenix) would make it illegal to use (and even to possess) marijuana on any public or private post-secondary institution. The law would also extend to state run universities and community colleges as well as various private schools that offer degrees or certificates. No exception would be made for adults who lawfully use the drug as recommended by a physician.

According to a report by, Reeve is bringing the proposal so that Arizona schools can stay in compliance with federal regulations which ban the use of illegal drugs on campus. She explained that schools out of compliance may lose federal funding and financial assistance for students. Although the federal Controlled Substances Act has several exceptions for narcotics such as codeine and Vicodin, she believes that a state-based marijuana prescription would not suffice.

As such, the law would prevent students from using the drug in dorm rooms, even if the person is drinking an infusion rather than smoking a cigarette. Students could not have it for personal possession for use somewhere off campus as well.

Joe Yuhas, spokesman for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Association, explained that the proposal is simply an attempt to thwart the legal use of marijuana. He argues that said the law was intended to limit the use of the marijuana on public school campuses, but it does not preclude adults who have the legally required doctor’s recommendation from using it elsewhere.

He also believes that the perceived conflict between state and federal law is overblown, and is merely pretext to hide her true intent. He said he would challenge the law, if enacted, because it would violate a 1998 constitutional amendment that prevents legislators from altering voter-backed initiatives unless it furthered the general purpose of the law.

The bill will be debated in the House Committee on Higher Education. If it survives the committee, it will move to the House floor for further consideration.