University campuses in NM are still no-high zones - Albuquerque Journal

University campuses in NM are still no-high zones

The University of New Mexico main campus in Albuquerque. (Liam DeBonis/for the Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

Recreational cannabis may now be on sale in New Mexico, but using, possessing and distributing its products are still no-gos on campus, several universities said Friday.

Despite Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham legalizing the use and sale of recreational cannabis last year, remaining drug-free on school property is a matter of federal law, the University of New Mexico said in a Thursday news release.

The university cited two acts, including the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, saying it could lose federal funding for research and financial aid if found to be in violation of the act.

“Although New Mexico regulates cannabis within the state, federal law restricts marijuana possession, sale and trafficking through the Controlled Substance Act,” the university added in the release.

“Our policy hasn’t changed, we (maintain) a no-drug policy on campus,” communications specialist Marissa Lucero said.

Las Cruces-based New Mexico State University echoed that sentiment in a statement. It also cited the Drug-Free Schools and Community Act, and added that its police department would “continue to enforce the system-wide prohibition of marijuana” on all branch campuses and sites within the NMSU system.

NMSU said its prohibition included open areas and such buildings as residence halls.

Eastern New Mexico University in Portales and Western New Mexico University in Silver City also said their campuses would remain drug-free, with the latter adding that its student handbook prohibits the use of cannabis, even for those with medical-use cards.

WNMU Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Isaac Brundage added the university has “not historically seen many instances of marijuana use and does not anticipate a rise.”

Cannabis is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, the Drug Enforcement Administration said in a drug fact sheet available online.

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