Marijuana and smoking banned on campus

Addis Gonzalez

Sun Star


On Feb. 24, Alaska became the third state to legalize the use of marijuana. Now Alaskans over 21 can grow up to six of their own plants, carry up to an ounce (28g) of harvested marijuana and smoke in private without breaking the law.

Right outside the doors of MBS you can find people smoking during most hours of the day. - Zayn Roohi / Photo Editor

Right outside the doors of MBS you can find people smoking during most hours of the day, even though the current rules state that students must be a minimum of fifty feet away from the building. This will change with the new rule, which bans smoking completely on campus. – Zayn Roohi / Photo Editor

“The law proposed by the initiative would go into effect 90 days after certification of election results. The law would eliminate certain state criminal penalties and offenses related to marijuana and regulate the possession, distribution, use and growing of marijuana by those 21 and over in Alaska,” UAF Senior Public Information Officer Marmian Grimes said.

Although legalization is accepted statewide, it is not upheld on campus.

As a recipient of federal funds, UAF must comply with the Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Communities Act and the Drug-Free Workplace Act, which requires UAF to preserve and enforce policies prohibiting the use of illegal drugs. Failure to do so would endanger the federal funds received by the university.

The smoking ban prohibits the use of all tobacco and tobacco-related products within all university property, buildings, vehicles and events. This applies to all students, faculty, staff, vendors and contractors on campus.

According to Erik Seastedt, Chief Human Resource Officer and member of the Fresh Air Campus Challenge Committee (FACC), the FACC will decide the start date for the implementation of the smoke-free tobacco-free policy for UAF by the end of 2015.

The on-campus police department plans to continue following the policies set in place by administration in regard to implementing a completely tobacco free campus, according to Deputy Chief Steve Goetz.

In regard to how marijuana will be dealt with now that it is legal statewide, Goetz said discretion would be used based on individual circumstances since the conviction process is currently evolving.

The on-campus police department will continue to implement policies just as before.

Citations will be given to those found possessing or consuming tobacco under the age of 19. The old laws pertaining to marijuana will still apply to those under the age of 21.

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