Medical marijuana is still illegal to smoke on campus


Philip Frields and Phillip Frields

I’ll admit that I’ve partaken in smoking marijuana from time to time before my conscious calls me a complete hypocrite for writing this editorial. This isn’t about what goes on after hours at Casa de Felipe, though; this is about stoners firing their chronic up on American River College’s prestigious campus.

Sure, you’re reuniting after the summer break with old friends who still want to be the Michael Kelso to your Eric Foreman. You might be catching up with new buddies you made last semester after you realized you shared that particular interest and the “cigar” wraps only cost a dollar at any convenience store.

Maybe you get a kick out of bending the rules or you just need to take a hit so math class will be more entertaining. What you do on your own time is your prerogative; however, you’re smoking more than yourselves out when you start hitting your pipes and passing your blunts on school campus. So, are you going to chief the herb? Toke the ganja? It doesn’t matter what you call it, you should stop smoking pot on campus or I’ll be forced to tell your mother.

Obviously you weren’t listening when Mr. Mackey taught us “drugs are bad, m’kay.”

Before class, after class, or sometimes even a “bathroom break” to go light up may sound appetizing to your senses, but beware. There may be more than a peace officer giving you a dirty look when you walk into class with squinting red eyes, smelling like Snoop Dogg. Marijuana is still considered an illegal substance on campus regardless to whether or not you smoke for a medical purpose or own a cannabis card. This is about the fact that you’re placing more than yourselves into compromising positions when you sneak behind a building or walk one of the dirt paths to strike up.

Take it from English literature major Cindy Polaski, 31, who feels weed is better left off campus. “There’s no way they learn anything,” says Polaski, who has a cannabis card but keeps her purse bud-free while in attendance here. “They stink, they’re disruptive. It’s inconsiderate and rude. I don’t understand why they can’t leave it at home.”

There is no cut-and-dry disciplinary action for smoking marijuana on school campus. There are several guidelines that, as mandated in the ARC Guide to Student Rights and Responsibilities, campus police will follow, including but not limited to disciplinary probation, suspension from campus for up to ten days, and even permanent termination throughout the entire Los Rios District, which includes Folsom Lake, Sacramento City and Consumnes River Colleges.

If the voice of a fellow student doesn’t help, maybe the Dean of Student Development, Manuel Perez, may change your mind. “One of the more common confusions with students is that, as long as you have a [cannabis] card, you can smoke it and bring it onto campus, but that’s not a federal guideline,” says Perez, who reassures anyone who asks that the state-mandated card is invalid on campus. “We try to do more of a restorative justice rather than a regulation driven process where like if you did this then this is what is going to happen. Instead, we do if you did this; this is how this harmed the community. How can you help me restore that harm? Let’s work it out and then figure where that falls in the (guide to Student Rights).”

Campus police are entitled to monitor and question you even if you smoked off campus, so the moral of the story here is to put education on the forefront.

And bring the grass to my house.