As of January, dispensaries for medicinal marijuana have started opening in Columbus, but state laws legalizing the use of the drug are still at odds with federal laws.
The Medical Marijuana Control Program, which officially went into effect in September, allows those with pre-approved conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis or epilepsy, to meet with a certified doctor and become registered to legally use marijuana to treat their illness.
That law leaves Ohio State and other publicly funded universities stuck between state legislation that treats marijuana as a medicine and federal law that considers it an illegal Schedule 1 substance.
Ohio State’s policy for marijuana, which prohibits smoking it on campus, has not changed despite the opening of medical dispensaries across the state in mid-January.
Douglas Berman, law professor at Moritz College of Law and the director of the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, said Ohio State needs to continue to comply with federal law due to the funding the university receives from the federal government.
“I think the reality is that even figuring out how to get near a solution would not be easy until we get a change in federal law,” Berman said.