EMU joins other Michigan universities in banning medical pot on campus

Eastern Michigan University became the latest university to formally ban medical marijuana on its campus.

Despite state laws allowing those with medical marijuana cards to smoke the drug, federal law still lists it as illegal.

That makes it necessary for universities to ban it as well, university officials said, because EMU and other higher education institutions receive federal funds.

“State law conflicts with federal laws … which prohibit all drugs on campus,” said Bernice Lindke, EMU’s vice president for student affairs.

EMU regents made no comment as they unanimously approved the measure at a board meeting Tuesday.

The University of Michigan follows federal law in order to protect its federal funding, which could be yanked if it didn’t, said spokesman Rick Fitzgerald. It’s the same at Oakland University.

The policy is slightly different at Michigan State University. The school said it “will make certain accommodations for registered patients by waiving the requirement for them to live on campus or by allowing them to end their housing contract and move off campus without penalty,” said spokesman Kent Cassella.

Wayne State University is currently reviewing its policy, said spokesman Matt Lockwood.

EMU sophomore Ted Walker said he didn’t think the ban would affect very many students.

“If they’re going to smoke it, they are just going to do it off campus,” he said.

The ban on medical marijuana hasn’t been an issue at Michigan’s campuses yet, various spokespeople said.

But the apparent conflict between federal drug laws and the Michigan law allowing use for medical purposes has been a hot topic recently.

In August, state Attorney General Bill Schuette and a collation of Republican lawmakers announced plans to tighten what they called loopholes in the law.

About 80,829 Michigan residents are certified to receive medical marijuana, according to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

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