On Jan. 17 the university sent an email, reminding students that cannabis use on campus is still forbidden because Bradley is a recipient of federal funding and thus subject to the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. The act prohibits the possession, use and distribution of all federally-controlled substances, including cannabis, even with the new state law.
“We are pretty much doing what every other school is doing because of the federal [law], it still being a schedule one federally banned drug. So even in Colorado and California they still have similar policies as us to dealing with cannabis and it not being allowed on campus or in the residence halls,” Ryan Bair, executive director of residential living and student conduct, said.
What Bair wants students to be aware of is that even if a student is 21 or older and can use cannabis they should be careful and cautious, as the city of Peoria has not clarified what can be considered public use when using it.
“To be cautious I wouldn’t tell students to be using even on their properties in the front yard or the backyard,” Bair said. “You will probably be considered in public at
that point. There’s still some of that that still needs to be worked out with the city and things. And how are they going to enforce that?”
Currently, the university is in the early stages of producing resources, that will hopefully give students a better grasp on the new cannabis law. Currently, they have been evaluating a website at prevention.org titled, “Let’s talk about Cannabis” as a possible resource.
“We are trying to find a site that is comprehensive and talks about or agreed upon information about wellness, the law and then we’ll always have to add in our rules on campus,” Bair said. “Hopefully, soon we’ll be putting some messaging on campus and things as well.”
Additionally, staff wants to see what students are feeling and thinking before they make any assumptions.
Nathan Thomas, vice president for student affairs, foresees that educational efforts are going to evolve.
“But going into this, we have taken the approach, a little bit of ‘We need to see what the students are expecting and what some of those pieces are’ so we can provide that information as opposed to us making our own determinations as to what we think is the best way to handle this too.” Thomas said.
In the near future, Bair hopes that they will be able to have presentations about cannabis as they currently do about alcohol where they can explain to students how to use it in a healthy manner.
“A part of that is that it’s still a schedule one drug and it hasn’t opened up a lot of good research in the United States about things. So that makes it hard for the university to put it’s stamp on, ‘Here’s the best way or most healthy way to use this,’ like we would with alcohol,” Bair said.
Bair and others hope that they get to a place soon that they can have educational presentations about cannabis that mirror the presentations the university does for alcohol use.
Overall, the University feels that its students will take initiative to do the right thing, as well as following the university’s policy and utilize resources to learn more about the law.
“I think above all else is [to be] respectful of our policies to campus which so far is very much what we have seen,” Thomas said. I think the second part is probably on the wellness component of things and really for students to utilize those resources that are now available online and other places about marijuana and if they choose to use it to use it legally.”