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Morgan moves to review Alcohol and Drug policy amid marijuana legalization in Maryland

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Nia Lillard, Staff Writer with The MSU Spokesman

Maryland voted to legalize recreational marijuana use Tuesday which will allow the recreational use of the plant for adults 21 or older.

In a recent article by Washington Post, this new law will take effect on July 1, 2023, permitting a personal possession of 1.5 ounces of marijuana for someone who is of age.

Any possession of marijuana that is more than 1.5 ounces but less than 2.5 ounces will be punishable by a $250 fine. Possession of marijuana that is more than 2.5 ounces is punishable by up to six months in jail or a $1000 fine.

Additionally, selling marijuana without proper licensing will remain illegal, and punishable by up to three years or a fine of up to $5000.

Though Maryland is moving closer to legalizing weed, many at Morgan State University feel that the campus should remain smoke-free.

Many students like Jared Still feel students and visitors smoking weed on campus may diminish Morgan’s reputation.

“Students have to realize that just because it’s legalized now, it doesn’t mean that it’s still appropriate to smoke on campus or at campus activities,” said Still, a senior multi-platform production major. “People have already always smoked on campus even before it was legalized.”

Naashon Williamson, a senior computer science major, echoed Still’s beliefs and said the use of weed on campus could be damaging because of the stigma around people who smoke.

“[HBCUs] already get a bad rep,” he says. “The older generation still sees weed as a harmful drug and they’re really scared of change. There are certain thoughts towards people who smoke, that they’re lazy, average, slower, and can’t get their work done.”

Larry Jones, assistant vice president of the Office of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, said that the university is still in the process of deciding how Maryland’s legalization of weed will affect university policy.

He said that the university plans to reexamine its policy on alcohol and drugs over the next several months and will continue to educate its community about the “misuse and abuse of” marijuana.

In compliance with Morgan State University’s Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, as well as the Code of Student Conduct, smoking of any kind by students, faculty, or staff is still prohibited.

Students that are in violation are subject to losing their housing or expulsion from the University.