by Susan Sharon, Maine Public Broadcasting Network
Medical marijuana is legal in 16 states, and that number is expected to grow. But these state laws put colleges in a bind. That’s because under federal law, marijuana is still illegal. So colleges that let students make use of their pot prescription pot on campus risk losing their federal funding.
For 25-year-old University of Maine junior Robyn Smith, this situation has led to a new kind of “reefer madness”: Even though he has his doctor’s authorization to use medical marijuana, when he self-medicates, Smith either goes home or retreats to his SUV, which he parks across the street from the university so that he doesn’t violate school policies on smoking and drug use on campus.
Smith’s an Army veteran who spent 15 months in Afghanistan; he’s been diagnosed with anxiety and a joint disorder. He also suffers from severe and frequent migraines. He’s been prescribed a half-dozen painkillers and other drugs to ease his symptoms — and he’s free to bring those on campus. But Smith says he doesn’t like the way they make him feel. He also worries about becoming dependent on them. Instead, he prefers medical marijuana.
“I was told to use a very small dose,” he says. “So I took two or three hits, and I have to say that it made me feel quite a bit better than the painkillers or the migraine medication or the muscle relaxers.”
University administrators say they sympathize but they can’t afford to violate the Drug Free Schools
Article source: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/features/npr.php?id=153525631