Legalization of marijuana: Administrator shares federal rules on campus

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On the Nov. 4 statewide ballot, Oregonians will vote on the Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative, also known as Measure 91.  This vote will determine whether or not it will be legal for people 21 and older to use marijuana recreationally.

Although some cities such as Hillsboro have made preparations for the passing of this initiative, it is still up in the air.

If marijuana is legalized in Oregon, according to Vice President of Student Affairs Will Perkins there will most likely be no change in policies on the Forest Grove campus.

“I realize that may sound strange initially, but state law and federal law aren’t always in sync,” said Perkins. “Especially because universities receive federal funds and there are some federal funds that are specific to universities.”

Even though the state law may allow the consumption of marijuana, the federal law will still remain the same saying that marijuana is still an illegal substance.

The main reason why there would be no allowance of smoking marijuana on campus is due to the federal funding that Pacific University receives.

“Federal funding isn’t just research grants, that’s federal student aid,” said Perkins. “So obviously we don’t want to do anything to jeopardize our federal funding.”

On top of wanting to avoid having students’ federal funding taken away, it was previously decided that the Forest Grove campus will go smoke-free in the spring of 2015. Smoke-free will include cigarettes, e-cigarettes and marijuana smoking.

The city of Forest Grove has also passed a law saying that parks, city-owned property and city-sponsored events will also be smoke free and anyone who is caught smoking in those areas are in danger of receiving a citation.

“Students will really have to pay attention, if the law changes, to what the law says exactly specific to the laws of where they are,” said Perkins. “[Students] just have to understand what the rules are and follow the rules.”


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