Penn Continuing Marijuana Ban Despite City Decriminalization

The University of Pennsylvania says it must follow federal law and continue to punish student marijuana use harshly at the risk of losing funding.

penn-pot-shield Despite the City of Philadelphia’s law decriminalizing marijuana possession expected to take effect next month, the University of Pennsylvania has no plans to change its policy toward pot use on campus. Sorry, Penn kids: You’ll still have to look over your shoulder when you light up at the Biopond.

Philadelphia’s new pot laws will be a $25 fine for possession, and a $100 fine or community service for smoking in public. Penn won’t tweak its on-campus pot ban, because it says doing so would put its federal funding in jeopardy. The federal government requires Penn to continue punishing students for marijuana use and possession, Penn says, or the university would be at risk for losing research and financial aid money. Another place one can smoke on Penn’s campus but will have to be worried about is in the little nook between the art school and the communications building.

“Students might perceive it to be less risky, or less harmful, or less looked down upon, and therefore feel free to use more openly,” Julie Nettleton , interim director of the Office of Student Conduct, told The Daily Pennsylvanian. “My biggest message to them is that the University’s stance doesn’t change.”

Yet another place to smoke on Penn’s campus and be worried about getting caught is behind the giant Penn logo shield on Perelman Quad.

So, sorry, Penn students. When you’re vaping with your chill RA in his or her dorm, you’ll still have to worry about punishment from Penn.

[The DP]