As of Jan. 1, the recreational use of marijuana for people over the age of 21 is legal. College of DuPage President Brian Caputo sent an email to the entire student body explaining the college’s cannabis policy saying, “College of DuPage policy prohibits students, employees and members of the general public from possessing, using or distributing cannabis/marijuana in any form anywhere within the college’s campuses or facilities.”
Despite the change to the state law, College of DuPage follows federal law, meaning the campus rules have not changed. The school follows federal laws because of the federal funding it receives. In 2018, the college was given over $25 million from the federal government. According to the Interim Dean of Students Nathania Montes, “even with the legalization of marijuana, our policy of a drug-free campus has remained the same.”
The website www.criminaldefenselawyer.com states that “Any marijuana possession, cultivation, or use is a federal crime, subjecting a defendant to fines, prison time, or both.” Illinois’ new state law did not impact marijuana’s illegal drug status at the federal level.
On COD’s campus, the “violation of a board policy, such as our drug-free campus policy, is also a violation of the code of student conduct,” which would leave students “subject to sanctions up to and including expulsion,” according to Montes and Jennifer Duda, COD’s News Bureau manager.
This law includes any use or possession of marijuana for medical reasons, according to Montes and Duda, who further stressed the campus’s zero tolerance drug policy.
COD student Raymond Woods said he thinks the college’s policy goes too far.
“I can see why they don’t want to mess with federal money, but if it’s at the expense of someone’s well being, I don’t know if that’s the best policy,” Woods said.
Out of six students asked, only two have read Caputo’s email and know the current COD cannabis policy. If students have any questions regarding the school’s policy, they can contact the Dean of Students at email@example.com.