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UAlbany Administration Updates Campus On Marijuana Policy

By Hannah Joseph and Fiona Hernandez | April 20, 2021

Despite the recent legalization of recreational cannabis, smoking is still prohibited on all UAlbany campuses.

In an email sent out to the UAlbany community, Clarence McNeill, Dean of Students and Assistant VP for Student Affairs, outlined the campus policy regarding marijuana stating that, “State University of New York campuses are bound by the federal requirements under the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.”

He also reminded students that “smoking or vaping marijuana on campus remains prohibited under UAlbany’s Tobacco-and-Smoke-Free Campus Policy.”

On March 31, 2021 Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he signed legislation allowing the use of recreational cannabis for those 21 years and older, making New York the 15th state in the U.S. to do so.

UAlbany’s UPD reassured that they will take action against any student on campus who is caught in possession of or smoking marijuana.

“While some marijuana use and possession has been legalized in N.Y., several laws and policies exist that will continue to prohibit it on campus,” said Jennifer Baldwin, Inspector for New York State University Police at Albany. “The University has provided guidance to faculty, staff and students emphasizing that marijuana is prohibited in all SUNY owned property in public as well as campus residence halls, University apartments, offices, University-owned and leased buildings...and all SUNY events.”

Students are also being encouraged to attend educational programs focused on marijuana by the Center for Behavioral Health Promotion and Applied Research.

The Center for Behavioral Health Promotion and Applied Research will hold events during the week of April 20 to discuss the benefits of medical marijuana and some of the problems with marijuana.

“The programs will go over the information that we know based on science regarding a number of negative effects of cannabis and marijuana, including effects on sleep, emotions, driving while under the influence, and many other areas,” said Dolores Cimini, Director of Center for Behavioral Health Promotion and Applied Research. “We encourage students to join all the educational programs so they can be as informed as possible about cannabis and marijuana in light of the new legalization in New York.”

“According to the University’s Spring 2020 Student Well Being Anonymous Survey, 65% of UAlbany Students choose not to use marijuana,” Baldwin said. “We hope that UAlbany students will continue to choose not to consume marijuana regardless of the changes in legislation.”


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