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University of Washington Pot Policy

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  1. From: Office of the Vice President for Student Life
  2. Subject: Update on Initiative 502 - Use and Possession of Marijuana
  4. Dear Students:
  6. As most of you I presume already know, State Initiative 502 (I-502) - legalizing, under state law, the possession of a small quantity of marijuana -- was adopted in the November 2012 general election and takes effect December 6, 2012.  I-502 revised state law regarding the regulation, taxation and criminal and civil penalties for the production, distribution and possession of marijuana. While I-502 decriminalized the possession and use of small quantities of marijuana for those 21 and over, it is important to note that under federal law, the possession and use of even small amounts of marijuana remain a federal crime.  Though voters in the state passed the Initiative, possessing and using marijuana on or in any University facilities will remain against the law.
  8. As a recipient of federal funds, such as financial aid and federal grants and contracts, the University of Washington must comply with the Safe & Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and the Drug-Free Workplace Act.  Compliance requires maintaining a drug-free campus.  If the University does not comply with federal laws and regulations on marijuana possession and use on campus, it risks losing federal funds. Accordingly the passage of I-502 will not change current University of Washington policies prohibiting production, distribution, possession or use of marijuana on University property or during University-sponsored activities.  (see:   A violation of these policies may lead to sanctions under the student conduct code, the general code of conduct or the University rules applicable to faculty and staff.
  10. It is also important to note that even I-502 continues to make it unlawful for anyone, whatever their age, to open a package containing marijuana or consume marijuana in a public place. And I want to emphasize to you that policies and procedures prohibiting the use of marijuana at the University will not change as a result of I-502. For students who feel marijuana is causing problems for themselves or their friends, feel free to contact:
  12. On campus:
  13.   * Hall Health Mental Health
  14.   * Counseling Center
  15.   * Psychological Services and Training Center
  16.   * Health & Wellness
  18. Off campus:
  19.   * Washington Recovery Help Line, a 24-hour service at 866.789.1511 or
  21. Eric S. Godfrey
  22. Vice President and Vice Provost for Student Life
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