Medical Marijuana Should Be Allowed on Connecticut’s Campuses

In less than a week, Connecticut’s medical marijuana program will take effect. Starting on Monday, Oct. 1, people who meet the requirements under the new law will be able to meet with their doctors and get a temporary registration certificate, allowing them to legally possess and consume marijuana for medical purposes.

Chances are, some of those who register will be college students. Like the vast majority of their fellow students, many of those patients will live on college campuses. Yet while state law will allow these people to possess and consume marijuana to help treat a chronic illness, they will be forbidden from consuming their medicine in their own homes or anywhere near them. The law passed this year states that the laws allowing the use of medical marijuana do “not apply to … the ingestion of marijuana on any school grounds or any public or private school, dormitory, college or university property.” This is ridiculous. The law should be amended to allow qualifying patients to consume their medicine on college and university property.

As the program has not yet begun, it is impossible to tell just how many students will qualify as medical marijuana patients. The new law allows marijuana to be recommended for a wide variety of conditions, specifically including “cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, cachexia, wasting syndrome, Crohn’s disease, [and]posttraumatic stress disorder.” It also allows for more conditions to be added by the Department of Consumer Protection. While nowhere near as expansive as laws in states like California, Connecticut’s law includes enough conditions to allow for a large number of people to qualify as patients.

The reason for the ban on medical marijuana consumption on university property may have its roots in the stereotype of the college stoner. But Connecticut’s law is strict enough to ensure that no recreational users are making up bogus conditions in order to get their hands on legal marijuana. College students in the program are more likely to include veterans returning from war with PTSD and wanting to re-integrate into civilian life, older students who are trying to go back to school despite their health problems. Some of these students may appear to be healthy young people at first glance, but have been silently battling terrible conditions, such as cancer or Crohn’s, for many years. There are many students who are in legitimate need of medical marijuana, and denying them medicine because of an unfair stereotype is offensive and insensitive to the suffering they have endured.

– Read the entire article at The UConn Daily Campus.