Will it be a wild weekend on Michigan college campuses?

What do new state marijuana laws mean for schools, students?

By Keith Dunlap - Graham Media Group
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If you're a parent with a son or daughter who's in college right now, perhaps you're wondering what this weekend will look like.

Recreational marijuana was made legal in November, and the law went into effect on Thursday in the state of Michigan.

The combination of this weekend marking the first since the new state law went into effect and the time period -- with end-of-semester cramming and exams -- doesn't appear to be a good mix, but overall, life on campuses likely won't be much different, university spokespeople said.

There won't be an increased police presence this weekend at Oakland University or Central Michigan University, we learned after communicating with Brian Bierley, the director of media relations at Oakland, and Lt. Cameron Wassman, from the CMU Police Department.

Ever since recreational marijuana was legalized by Michigan voters on Election Day, universities and colleges around the state have made statements saying that recreational marijuana is still prohibited on their campuses and while conducting university business outside of campuses. 

The same penalties for students caught with marijuana will be in effect that were in place before the state law was passed.

"As the law just took effect (Thursday), it is still very early to tell if there will be an increase in offenses or not," Wassman said. "We, of course, are hopeful that our students will keep compliant. We will continue to respond to the residence halls/campus property when we receive calls of marijuana usage. From there, we will determine if state law has been violated, and/or if there is a university policy violation as well."  

Despite the state law, universities and colleges still need to comply with federal legislation, such as the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988, the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1991 and the Controlled Substances Act.

Any deviation from the federal legislation could lead to a loss in grants and funding from federal sources.

"The new state law will not change University of Michigan policy or federal law, both of which prohibit the possession and use of marijuana on university premises, and in the conduct of university business away from campus," said Kim Broekhuizen, a U of M spokesperson.

We reached out to university officials at Michigan State University as well, but have not yet heard back.

Graham Media Group 2018