The Oracle

Letter to the Editor: Clarification on campus policy toward cannabis use


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In response to the article “Calls to Legalize Medicinal Cannabis”, with special regard to the subtitle, “Hamline allows Cannabis be used for medicinal purpose on campus.” I wish to clarify a number of claims from the featured article in the 13 February 2019 edition of the Oracle, on behalf of Hamline Public Safety.

At Public Safety, our primary focus is student health and safety on campus. However, in keeping with University policy and federal law, the fact of the matter is that marijuana is not allowed on campus. It is not to be used, sold, traded or stored on campus regardless of the user’s medicinal permissions. Title IV -which is referenced in the aforementioned article as a primary ‘roadblock’ preventing approval of medicinal marijuana use on campus- does not only mean that Hamline cannot “take an official stance” allowing conditional consumption of a Schedule 1 substance. More specifically, it strictly prohibits the use, possession or sale of illegal substances at a federally funded University. It should also be noted that MN medical marijuana laws apply only to cannabis provided in liquid, pill, topical or vaporized delivery method that does not require the use of dried leaves or plant form. In accordance with this as well as other policies in place to maintain student health and safety, marijuana can and will be confiscated regardless of a medical marijuana card, if it is reported and handed over or found during a search conducted by Public Safety. On behalf of the department, I encourage readers and writers of the Oracle alike to refer to Hamline University policies when questions arise.

Because safety and health of students is our first and foremost concern on campus, Hamline Public Safety aims to be as transparent about the issue as possible.  While we wish to respect the medical needs of students, we are also required to act in accordance with law and University Policy. This means that any illegal substances will be confiscated by Public Safety if found on campus. In keeping with transparency, it is also important to note that the confiscation in and of itself is not a punishment- particularly when it comes to those items intended for medicinal purposes. After confiscation, handling of the case and student needs is passed on to Conduct, where the specific circumstances and unique details of the incident will be reviewed. Further guidance and alternative options will be offered to the student at that time.

We ask that students respect and comply with policies of the University, and not consume, keep, sell or trade marijuana regardless of medicinal status as well as Hamline’s Tobacco Free policy that restricts the use of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, chew, and all other forms of tobacco on campus.

Melinda Heikkinen Director, Hamline Public Safety

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Letter to the Editor: Clarification on campus policy toward cannabis use