Though medical marijuana has been legalized within the state, Oklahoma campuses haven't caught up. graphic by Raven Fawcett

Medical marijuana belongs on campus

Despite its history of misuse, marijuana should be legally available to those in need of its medicinal properties on campus.

Marijuana possession is legal in most public places, including college campuses located in Oklahoma, and is also the most commonly abused illegal substance in the world. The many attempts to legalize medical marijuana in the United States remain in a deep controversy due to its history of misuse.

To some, marijuana is bad and ruins lives, but to others, properties of this plant make their lives more bearable by relieving pain to those who suffer from chronic pain, cancer and even severe migraines. Because many people deal with these conditions, including college students, marijuana should be accessible to students who have a reasonable motive.

Two months before classes commenced on Oklahoma college campuses, voters approved State Question 788 to allow controlled use of medical marijuana in the state of Oklahoma. This makes Oklahoma the 30th state to implement a medical marijuana plan.

However, most college campuses, including our home at TU, banned the use of the drug on campus because the campuses are under the Controlled Substances Act and violates federal law. This ultimately means it is legal under Oklahoma law but not federal law. If the school breaks the rules under the bill, then the school loses essential funding from the federal government.

When interviewed, TU students voiced their opinions this week expressing their concerns and thoughts of the policy saying, that it is unfair to those in dire need of the plant but also skeptical to the outcomes if it was not banned.

Freshman Andrew Thorre makes a good point and asks, “How serious does the issue of needing medical marijuana need to become before it can overlap the majority.” He believes that people who require the substance to help manage their circumstances should be able to use it, adding, “If you can use it, then do it.”

His statement brings up the question, why are cigarettes allowed on campus, but not marijuana? Cigarettes cause numerous health problems that affect the user and people around them. Why is medical marijuana not allowed on campus while recreational nicotine is?

If people want to use the substance to help them cope with chronic pain, then let them. Before they can even apply to the program to obtain their card to legally purchase cannabis, they have to acquire multiple doctor referrals and background checks.

Freshman Emma Dawson voiced her thought on the subject saying that, “It might be good to have the ban because some people tend to abuse the plant, but it is sad that people’s immaturity takes away from those who medically need it.”

It is disheartening to know that because of people’s ignorance and selfishness, people who need cannabis to function lose this opportunity. People’s dumb actions should not affect other’s lives, which is happening all around the country when it comes to medical marijuana use in public.

Instead of completely banning the use of marijuana on campus, there could be alternative ways to give the opportunity to those who need the plant. Such changes could be as simple as having designated smoking areas for marijuana users like the ones for people who smoke cigarettes.

Because of the controversy surrounding this bill, the ban of smoking marijuana on campus will likely be revisited at some point With any luck, maybe this will give more opportunities to those who need it and, more important, will give them hope.

Post Author: Brooke-Lyne Holland