Marijuana banned on Pacific campus

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While Pacific University students might have spent their summer lounging on the beach, working around the clock at a new job, or traveling, a policy change was enacted that affects every individual on campus.

On May 31, 2015, all of Pacific campuses became smoke-free.

The policy prohibits smoking anywhere on campus grounds, including the area surrounding campus housing, parking lots and inside vehicles parked on the premises.

Students and staff members “have responded positively to Pacific’s shift for a healthier campus,” Kathleen Converse, campus wellness coordinator said.

Whether it be a cigarette, chewing tobacco, cigar, pipe, hookah, or e-cigarette, be sure to think twice before using it on campus. Pacific does not have any designated smoking areas, however the sidewalks around the campus are part of the city where smoking is allowed. But the rules are not strictly reserved to tobacco; similar rules apply for controlled substances such as marijuana.

Despite a successful vote to legalize marijuana for people over 21 in the state of Oregon, it remained illegal on Pacific’s campus.

Converse said since Pacific receives federal funding, the school is under the Drug-Free Schools Act, which recognizes marijuana as an illegal substance.

Even if an individual possesses a prescription for medical use, they cannot have cannabis on them or smoke it on school grounds.

As for enforcing the smoke-free policy, Campus Public Safety Officer Stephen Shores said if they see someone smoking on campus grounds they visually take action and “educate people on the policy.”

Shores recommended the same approach for students who see individuals smoking a substance on campus grounds.

“We encourage students to inform he or she that this is a smoke-free campus, but if they are not comfortable approaching them to alert CPS,” Shores said.

He also said the consequences vary from situation to situation, but they will first give a verbal warning.


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