Colleges say no and face lawsuits


HARTFORD, Conn. — Colleges are becoming a battleground in the conflict among federal and state marijuana laws as students who use healthcare pot challenge decades-old campus drug policies.

In states exactly where healthcare marijuana is legal, students disciplined for making use of it are taking their schools to court. College officials argue they could shed federal funding for failing to stick to federal law that labels cannabis an illegal drug with no accepted healthcare use.

Sheida Assar mentioned she was expelled from GateWay Neighborhood College in Phoenix final month for violating the school’s drug policy following she tested good for marijuana, which she utilizes to treat chronic discomfort from polycystic ovary syndrome.

Ross D. Franklin, The Connected Press

In this Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 photo, college student, Sheida Assar, poses for a photo in Chandler, Ariz.

She was studying diagnostic healthcare sonography, Assar mentioned, and an instructor had told her she wouldn’t have any difficulties if she presented her Arizona healthcare marijuana card. She commonly utilizes marijuana to aid her sleep and had never ever been beneath the influence in class, she mentioned.

“They yanked me out of class in the middle of the college day,” mentioned Assar, 31, of Chandler, Arizona. “They escorted me to the administration like I was a … criminal. It is discrimination, and it also violates my rights beneath the Arizona healthcare marijuana law.”

The legal challenges are coming from students studying nursing and other healthcare specialties who, beneath college policies, ought to undergo drug testing.

Assar and other students say they received approval to use healthcare marijuana from college workers who serve students with wellness-associated demands — only to face discipline from greater-ranking college officials.

Assar mentioned she intends to sue GateWay to recoup the $two,000 she spent on tuition and other educational costs and seek far more funds in damages. Her lawyer currently has been in speak to with the college, she mentioned.

A GateWay spokeswoman, Christine Lambrakis, mentioned that she could not confirm Assar’s status at the college and that the college continues to prohibit marijuana use.

Asked about an Arizona Supreme Court ruling final year that overturned a 2012 state law that produced possession or use of marijuana on college campuses a crime, Lambrakis mentioned the college is in the procedure of reviewing its policies and will not modify them in the meantime.


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