The recent approval of a ballot measure permitting the possession and recreational use of marijuana in Massachusetts does not change marijuana policy at UMass Amherst; it is still prohibited.
The university is subject to federal laws, including the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and the Drug Free Workplace Act, that require recipients of federal funds to prohibit the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana at educational institutions, regardless of state law. These regulations apply to all members of the campus community.
In an email to students, Enku Gelaye, vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life, noted that the use, possession or cultivation of marijuana is therefore not allowed in any university housing or on any other university property.
University staff will continue to enforce current policies regarding controlled substances. Any student who violates university policy prohibiting the use or possession of illegal drugs on campus may be subject to disciplinary action.
The Code of Student Conduct, and Residential Life Community Living Standards include these policy points:
- The use, possession, or growing of marijuana is not allowed on the UMass Amherst campus, on any other university property, or at university sponsored off campus events.
- Possession of marijuana paraphernalia is not allowed on the UMass Amherst campus, on any other university property, or at university sponsored off campus events.
- Using marijuana at UMass Amherst is a sanctionable violation of the Code of Conduct. The UMass Amherst Police Department, Residential Life staff and other university officials will continue to enforce the campus-wide prohibition of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia.
Student affairs and campus life staff are developing web content, educational programs, messages to parents and training for live-in staff that will be part of an ongoing information campaign related to the issue.
“UMass Amherst is committed to maintaining the health and safety of everyone in our campus community. High-risk drinking, marijuana and illegal drug use increase the risk of negative health consequences and undermine university goals for wellness and academic success,” Gelaye wrote.
The university offers several campus resources that provide support and address concerns around alcohol, marijuana and drug use.
“As we work to affirm our core values of caring, compassion and active engagement, I ask all of you to make good decisions and encourage your friends to do the same,” she said.