Q&A: Cannabis Possession or Use at Reed

Q: May students, faculty, or staff possess or use cannabis on the Reed Campus?

The possession or use of cannabis on the Reed campus is not permitted. Although Oregon state law permits the use and possession of cannabis within certain restrictions for those who are 21 and over, the state law prohibits use in public spaces and specifically lists schools as defined public places. Moreover, cannabis possession and use is illegal under federal law and permitting its use at Reed College would violate the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.

If Reed College fails to comply with the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, it risks becoming ineligible for federal funding and student financial aid programs, such as National Science Foundation grants, Pell grants, and other forms of federal financial aid.

Q: Does Reed College have the right to prohibit its students from engaging in conduct that is permissible under state law?

Yes. As an institution of higher education, a private-property owner, and an employer, Reed College has the right to define what is permissible conduct on the campus and workplace. So, yes, Reed has that right. But it also has an obligation to follow both the state law and the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.

Q: May students, faculty, or staff possess, use, or grow cannabis off-campus?

The onus is on individuals to know and to act in accordance with the laws of the jurisdictions they inhabit.

Particular to students, federal laws that prohibit growing cannabis or the possession and use of cannabis trump state laws. So a conviction for growing, possession, or drug-use under federal law may result in a student becoming ineligible for federal financial aid, in addition to whatever criminal penalty applies.

Q: Does Reed College’s policy prohibiting cannabis use and possession apply to faculty, staff, guests, and visitors to campus?

Yes. The college’s policy prohibits faculty, staff, guests, and visitors from using and possessing cannabis while on campus or during college activities.

(Page last modified: April 4, 2018)