Saturday, February 4, 2023

UM Reminds Employees, Students that Marijuana is Considered Illegal, Regardless of Medical Card Possession

As the state of Mississippi continues to put the final touches on the new Mississippi Medical Cannabis Program, the University of Mississippi reminded students and faculty about federal laws against marijuana.

In an email sent out Friday morning to faculty, students and staff, the University said that federal laws and regulations take priority regarding the handling or use of marijuana on campus.

“As such, employees and students cannot manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, use or sell marijuana on university property, even if they are a registered qualifying patient under the Mississippi law,” the email stated.

Violations of the university’s policies may be grounds for discipline or corrective action, including treatment program participation or dismissal.

The email explained that since the University receives federal funding for financial aid, grants and contracts for research, the university is subject to federal laws that require drug-free workplaces and prohibit the use of illegal drugs on campus or at university-related events and activities.

“In addition, the university must comply with the federal law that criminalizes the possession and distribution of controlled substances, including marijuana,” the email states.

Regardless of any state statutory provisions, the University of Mississippi policy prohibits marijuana manufacturing, distribution, dispensing, possession, use or sale on all university property and at all university events, except for approved academic research. 

If a student or employee receives a medical marijuana card, they can be drug tested if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the employee was impaired from marijuana while at work.

“Employees who violate the drug-free workplace policy remain subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment,” the email stated.

Staff report