Arizona Court Overturns Law Making it Illegal to Use Medical Cannabis on College Campuses

An Arizona court has overturned a law making it illegal to use medical cannabis on college campuses.

According to the Associated Press, an appellate court ruled Thursday that lawmakers can’t make it illegal to use medical cannabis on Arizona college campuses. The court did rule, however, that colleges have the right to prohibit it themselves; this means that a student who’s a medical cannabis patient could be punished by the school (such as by suspension or expulsion) for using their medicine on campus, but can’t be charged with a crime for it.

The medical marijuana law approved by Arizona voters in 2010 allowed cardholders to possess small amounts of marijuana but it prohibited possession in prisons, schools and on school buses. The ruling Thursday struck down a 2012 decision by the Legislature to expand the off-limits list by adding college and university campuses.

According to Judge Peter Swann, expanding the list of places where medical marijuana is prohibited doesn’t “further the purpose” of the voter-approved medical marijuana law and even “eliminates some of its protections”.

The decision overturned a medical marijuana cardholder’s 2015 conviction for possession of a small quantity of pot in his Arizona State University dorm room.

ASU police found the man’s pot card in his wallet and got a warrant to search his room after the man was arrested while sitting on a campus street. Authorities say the man told an officer he had cannabis in his room.

Spokesman Ryan Anderson said the Arizona attorney general’s office was disappointed by the ruling Thursday but hadn’t decided whether to appeal it to the state Supreme Court.

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