Market Date:24 February, 2020

Students disciplined for using medical marijuana are suing colleges

Faculties are getting to be a battleground in the struggle between national and state marijuana laws as pupils using medical pot struggle decades-old campus medication coverages.

In states where medical marijuana is legal, pupils disciplined for using they’re carrying their colleges to court. College officials assert they could lose federal funds for failing to follow federal legislation that labels cannabis a illegal drug with no accepted medical use.

Sheida Assar stated she had been expelled from GateWay Community College in Phoenix last month for violating the school’s drug coverage after she tested positive for marijuana, which she uses to deal with chronic pain from polycystic ovary syndrome.

She had been analyzing diagnostic medical sonography, Assar stated, and a teacher had told her she would not have some problems if she introduced her Arizona medical marijuana . She generally uses marijuana to help her sleep and hadn’t been under the effect in course, she said.

“They yanked me out of class in the middle of the school day,” stated Assar, 31, of Chandler, Arizona. “They escorted me to the administration like I was a … criminal. It’s discrimination, and it also violates my rights under the Arizona medical marijuana law.”

The legal challenges are coming from students studying nursing and other medical specialties that, under faculty policies, should undergo drug testing.

Assar along with other pupils say they obtained consent to make use of medical marijuana from faculty employees who serve pupils with medical requirements — just to face discipline from higher-ranking school officials.

Assar stated she plans to sue GateWay to reclaim the $2,000 she spent on tuition and other instructional expenditures and find more money in settlement. Her attorney already has been connected with the faculty, she explained.

A GateWay spokeswoman, Christine Lambrakis, stated that she couldn’t affirm Assar’s status in the school and the faculty continues to prohibit marijuana usage.

whined about an Arizona Supreme Court ruling last year that enrolls a 2012 state legislation which made ownership or use of marijuana on school campuses a offense, Lambrakis reported the faculty is in the process of reviewing its own policies and are not going to alter them in the meantime.

Thirty-three nations and Washington, D.C., permit medical marijuana, and 11 nations and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana, producing clashes with national law which have been playing out in courts, largely in employment cases which have experienced mixed consequences for medical pot.

There do not seem to be attempts by recreational marijuana users to battle school drug coverages, observers say. That is probably because nations limit recreational usage to individuals 21 and elderly, excluding many college students, also since there have not been effective legal barriers to campus alcohol policies although state laws make it possible for individuals 21 and more than to drinkthey state.

States with medical marijuana legislation permit use by individuals 18 years or older having a physician’s recommendation, in addition to by minors when their parents accept.

Connecticut nursing student Kathryn Magner sued Sacred Heart University a month after she tested positive for marijuana and has been banned from attending mandatory clinical medical specifications, according to her suit. She’d started using marijuana legally in her home state of Massachusetts on the summer to take care of ailments which weren’t revealed in legal records.

Connecticut law permits medical marijuana and prohibits private and public schools from discriminating against pupils using it. A judge mentioned the nation’s legislation in ordering which Magner, 22, from Marlborough, Massachusetts, be permitted to come back to the medical specifications. The litigation was settled under undisclosed terms.

Ahead of the settlement, she stopped using marijuana, passed a drug screening and got consent to utilize medical pot from the Fairfield institution’s Office of Student Accessibility to attempt to salvage her nursing profession, her lawsuit stated. But nursing college officials would not budge, her suit stated.

“Many schools disability services offices are not universally listened to by the university,” stated Michael Thad Allen, a lawyer for Magner. “It just shows that these kinds of issues will become more common if employers and schools don’t abide by the law.”

Sacred Heart requires pupils to “obey the law at all times,” but it treats medical marijuana such as other disability-related asks and “seeks to provide reasonable accommodation under the law,” college officials said in a statement.

At Florida, Kaitlin McKeon, of Naples, is suing Nova Southeastern University for expelling her out of the nursing program in Fort Myers last year after she tested positive for marijuana. She’s a condition medical marijuana card to choose the medication for many ailments.

McKeon also said school officials told her that there would not be a issue with her use of medical marijuana under the conditions of law.

However after she failed the drug test in January 2018, higher-ranking officials proceeded to reestablish her, saying she violated the institution’s drug coverage, her lawsuit states.

“It’s really sad that Nova Southeastern … took this stance on this issue and is really preventing a really good, caring person from entering the nursing field and living out her dream because she chose a medication that’s legal in Florida but not one that they recognize,” said her attorney, Michael Minardi.

Nova Southeastern officials stated that they can’t comment on pending litigation.

The suits have the potential to put legal precedents on using medical marijuana at schools.

In the meantime, advocates say, universities may lighten penalties so pupils don’t face expulsion or suspension for lawfully using medical marijuana.

“Universities can effectively decriminalize it, de-punish it and make it not something they focus on,” stated Jared Moffat, campaigns coordinator for its Marijuana Policy Project, an advocacy group for pro-marijuana legislation.