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Student Rights and Responsibilities

FAQ: Marijuana at Lewis & Clark

July 06, 2015

In November 2014, Oregon voters passed Measure 91, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana (cannabis) by adults 21 and older within the state.  However, in keeping with our obligations as a recipient of federal funding and our commitment to fostering healthy and engaging learning environments, Lewis & Clark continues to follow federal laws that prohibit marijuana.


Has Lewis & Clark changed marijuana enforcement as a result of the state’s legalization?

No. The state’s legalization of recreational marijuana conflicts with federal laws, including the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 that designate marijuana as a Schedule One controlled substance. To ensure the health and safety of our students and to maintain federal funding, Lewis & Clark has an obligation to combat the illegal use and abuse of drugs and alcohol. The College will also continue to involve local law enforcement in all drug violations that rise to the level of a felony crime, including marijuana.  

Additionally, student-athletes continue to be subject to the NCAA banned substance list, which includes marijuana and a host of other legal and illegal drugs and supplements. 

Does the state’s legalization of recreational marijuana mean I can use or possess marijuana off campus if I am at least 21?

No. Marijuana is still illegal according to federal law and its use by students remains prohibited by Lewis & Clark policy, regardless of age.

What about edibles, extracts, flowers, oil, wax, or dabbing? Are those acceptable?  

Nope. These are all still forms of marijuana, and the college prohibits the unlawful use, possession, cultivation, manufacture, promotion, or distribution of any form of marijuana.  Feel free to read more about it in our Drugs Policy.

Does Lewis & Clark have the right to prohibit its students over the age of 21 from engaging in conduct that is legal under state law?

Yes. The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, among other federal and state provisions, allow Lewis & Clark to define for its students and employees what is permissible conduct concerning drugs and alcohol.

What happens if I have marijuana on campus?

A college official, most likely an Resident Advisor or a Campus Safety Officer, will create a report that documents those who were involved and describes the circumstances of the situation.  They will also seize and dispose of any marijuana or paraphernalia according to departmental procedures. The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities will follow up with involved students to resolve this report. You can find out more about resolution pathways and possible outcomes for violations of the Drugs Policy on the Student Rights and Responsibilities webpage at

What does this mean for Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) involvement with Lewis & Clark?

OLCC and Lewis & Clark have an existing relationship focused on the safety and security of the Lewis & Clark community, both on campus and off. Oregon law has tasked OLCC with developing, implementing, and managing the rules of the state’s adult-use program. This means that OLCC will issue Minor in Possession (MIP) citations for marijuana, as well as for alcohol. OLCC will also enforce regulations for commercial sales outlets in the state.

Is Lewis & Clark taking a similar stance on marijuana as other colleges?

Yes. Check out Reed College and Colorado College, both of whom continue to prohibit marijuana, despite recent changes in state laws.

When will Lewis & Clark allow marijuana?

Despite the state’s legalization, federal law still prohibits the use of marijuana. Lewis & Clark abides by federal law and will continue to do so.


Feel free to email if you have any more questions.

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