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Marijuana and CMU FAQ

What the legalization of recreational marijuana means for students, faculty and staff

Contact: Erick Fredendall


In November, ​Michigan voters approved Proposal 1, making Michigan the first state in the Midwest to legalize the possession and use of marijuana for individuals 21 years and older.

With changes in the state law, students, faculty and staff may be wondering how the new state law will impact Central Michigan University. Read on to learn more about what the statewide legalization of marijuana means for the CMU community.

     >> President Davies: A message about marijuana

What was Proposal 1, exactly?

Statewide Ballot Proposal 18-1, known as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act, amends state and local law to allow the personal possession and use of marijuana by individuals 21 years and older. It also permits the taxation of revenue from commercial marijuana and industrial hemp facilities and creates the framework for how the government will administer and enforce the legislation.

The Michigan Legislature will have to create laws for marijuana use, driving, traveling, growing and more before the product becomes commercially available.

Will marijuana use be permitted on CMU's campus now that Proposal 1 has passed?

No. The use of recreational or medicinal marijuana in any form, including edibles and extracts, remains prohibited by university policy and federal law. CMU policies have not changed since the law took effect.

CMU must comply with federal laws regarding the possession, distribution and consumption of marijuana, which is still a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substance Act of 1970. In addition, CMU is obligated to follow the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 and prevent the illicit use of drugs and abuse of alcohol by students and employees on CMU property or university events.

Do CMU policies prohibiting marijuana use apply to faculty, staff and visitors to campus?

Yes. CMU policies and federal law prohibit anyone from using, possessing or distributing marijuana on CMU property or at any CMU events, including CMU travel.  

As a recipient of federal funding, CMU is required to take measures to combat the illicit use of drugs and abuse of alcohol on campus. Faculty and staff must abide by CMU's Drug-Free Workplace policy.

Can CMU prohibit me from engaging in conduct that is permissible under state law?

Yes. Like alcohol, tobacco and other controlled substances that may be permissible under state law but are restricted by CMU policies, CMU will not permit the use of marijuana on university property. CMU, as a higher education institution and property owner, has the authority to regulate the drug on campus grounds and at university events.

How do federal laws that prohibit marijuana use interact with the drug's legality on a state level?

Federal law prohibiting marijuana pre-empts state laws attempting to legalize the drug. The possession, use, distribution, etc. of marijuana is still subject to prosecution under federal law, regardless of what state laws permit.

Can I use medical marijuana on campus?

No. CMU does not allow students to possess marijuana under any circumstance, regardless of medicinal status in the state of Michigan. If you are sick or suffering from an illness, consult your physician or visit CMU's Student Health Services to discuss appropriate medical treatments.

For information on how marijuana can alter brain chemistry and other associated risks, read the CMU News article published in collaboration with CMU Health.


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