Most marijuana enforcement policies on campus remain unchanged

Published: Nov. 15, 2012

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett announced that his office will dismiss all pending criminal cases of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana for those who are at least 21 years old. There have been questions about how Amendment 64 and this latest decision will affect marijuana enforcement on the CU-Boulder campus.

1. Will the Boulder County District Attorney's decision to dismiss all pending criminal cases of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana affect marijuana enforcement at CU?
Only for people who are at least 21 years old and possessing less than 1 ounce of marijuana. Smoking or consuming marijuana in public is still against the law for everyone. Therefore, CU Police will continue to issue summonses for smoking or consuming marijuana in public, and to those who possess more than 1 ounce of marijuana. Also, the same criminal laws apply for those under the age of 21 who possess marijuana.
2. Will CU relax marijuana enforcement as a result of Amendment 64?
No. The law’s provisions will be implemented over the next several months, but we fully anticipate that marijuana will remain a banned substance for all CU students under 21, all CU students living in residence halls, and all Division I student-athletes under NCAA’s prohibited substances provisions. The passage of the law does NOT permit use of marijuana on university grounds, in university buildings, facilities, or public areas, and the law itself proscribes careful parameters for personal use and cultivation with which people should familiarize themselves.
3. Does Amendment 64 mean I can use marijuana in my residence hall on campus or elsewhere on campus if I’m at least 21?
No. Residence halls, by contractual arrangement with residents, are smoke-free environments. Cultivation or use of marijuana in CU residence halls is prohibited as a basic condition of signing a housing contract.
4. Why won’t the university simply follow state law and legalize marijuana everywhere on campus? 
While Amendment 64 allows those 21 and older to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana for personal use, that provision conflicts with federal law, which still makes marijuana a controlled substance. CU has an obligation to comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, which require the University, as a recipient of federal funds, to take measures to combat the use of drugs and alcohol.