UI cannabis policies1

University of Illinois sophomore economics and political science major Andrew Prozorovsky works on an assignment Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, at the Illini Union in Urbana.

Listen to this article

URBANA — Students are back on campus for the first time since the legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois. And, for the most part, things haven’t changed at the University of Illinois.

On Tuesday, University Housing reminded students via email that though recreational use has been legalized for those 21 and older, “the possession or use of marijuana in any form still remains a crime under federal law.”

Therefore, “the possession, use or distribution of marijuana in any form, recreational or medical, will continue to be prohibited on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including University Housing residence halls and apartments.”

The email went on to state that even students in the presence of others smoking marijuana, on or off campus, can be found responsible for violating the Student Code of Conduct, should the odor on them cause a disturbance.

The UI Police Department echoed that statement with one of its own, reminding the campus community that “federal prohibitions on marijuana remain in effect for all colleges and universities that receive federal funding” and that the ban covers all campus property, including “all property owned, leased, occupied, operated or controlled by the university,” such as classrooms, libraries, outdoor spaces, sidewalks, even roads.

Will everyone follow the rules?

“There’s gonna be more legal ways to get it, but the same thing is gonna keep happening on campus. People are gonna try to hide it so they stay out of trouble,” said Jordan Pierce, a sophomore majoring in kinesiology. “In the long run, it’s a good way for the country to make money. That’s why I think they’re gonna give into it.

“They don’t really care about who does what in their free time, it’s all about money.”

Elena Grantcharski, a junior majoring in history and psychology, remains indifferent to the new law and its impact on campus.

“I don’t really care that much. I honestly don’t think it’ll make a huge difference,” she said. “It’s always been a part of the culture on campus, so I feel like it’ll just stay that way.”

Sophomore economics and political science major Andrew Prozorovsky believes the new law will be beneficial.

“I’ve always found it incredibly misguiding as far as the government classifying it as a (Schedule) 1 drug with heroin and stuff. I have zero complaints, I’m glad it’s legal,” he said. “I heard that in a lot of areas where there’s a concentration of young people, once weed is legal, they tend to supplement some of their drinking habits with smoking habits.”

Rebecca Wiltfong, a staff member with the Department of Physics, has children in high school and is most concerned with educating users.

“I hope that even though it’s more readily available for people, that they are aware of what the risks are,” she said. “I hope everybody is responsible and makes good decisions.”