Fort Lewis College students want pot penalty same as booze
DURANGO, Colo. (AP) – Students at Fort Lewis College want the penalty for smoking pot to be the same as the punishment for underage drinking.
A student group at the Durango school is asking for a change to policies about marijuana. Students who violate alcohol policies now are given “three strikes” before they’re suspended or kicked out of housing. But there is no “three strikes” analogy for students caught using pot illegally.
“We believe marijuana is safer than alcohol and should be treated that way,” said senior Marissa Williams, president of a pro-marijuana group called SAFER.
College spokesman Mitch Davis said marijuana offenses are handled on a case-by-case basis but are generally considered more serious than alcohol violations. That’s because marijuana is illegal for people without medical clearance to use it.
Now that Colorado allows medical marijuana for certain conditions, Fort Lewis College does allow some to use pot on campus.
Davis said students with medical marijuana licenses are allowed to smoke on campus but not in dorms. He compared the policy to smoking cigarettes, which is also banned in residence halls.
At the University of Colorado in Boulder, school officials said even card-carrying pot patients aren’t allowed to use the drug on campus.
“We’ve made the determination we don’t want marijuana in our residence halls or on our campus,” University of Colorado spokesman Bronson Hilliard told The Durango Herald.
At Fort Lewis, Williams said school officials are shortsighted by considering marijuana more serious than alcohol. Students are being hurt by the pot policy, she said.
“I have met a lot of freshmen who have been kicked out for a first-time offense with marijuana,” Williams said.
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