Skip to main content

Monday, April 12, 2021

From the Vice President for Student Affairs

Posted: Monday, April 12, 2021

Federal Law Prohibits Marijuana Use, Possession on Campus

The following message was sent to all students on April 9:


As you may know, the State of New York recently passed legislation legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Although this is state law, it is important to understand that there are federal restrictions when it comes to SUNY and other college campuses, and that this state legislation does not change the fact that marijuana and other drugs are still not permitted on the Buffalo State College campus.  
Chancellor Malatras recently shared information with campuses regarding marijuana use and SUNY policies, which included the following: 

  • While New York state law authorizing adult use of cannabis by those age 21 and older became effective immediately, SUNY remains bound by its federal requirements under the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and the Drug-Free Workplace Act.  

  • Pursuant to federal requirements and existing SUNY policy, the use, possession, cultivation, or sale of cannabis in any form remain prohibited on SUNY campuses and subject to code of conduct or disciplinary actions. This prohibition covers all SUNY property in public or in dorms or offices, including university-owned and leased buildings, housing, and parking lots and at all SUNY events or while conducting university business, except for approved academic research. 

Of special note is that marijuana cannot be possessed or used on campus, regardless of recreational or medical use. As noted above, this is because the campus is bound by regulations through the federal government’s Drug-Free Schools and Drug-Free Workplace acts (PDF, 134 KB). Students who are found in possession or using marijuana will still be subject to charges under the campus code of conduct

It is also important to remember that there are safety considerations for the campus community and that impairment while engaging in various activities can put you or others at risk. Should a student be found impaired when reporting to a campus job or participating in campus functions, classes, etc., it may be a violation of employment or conduct policy; however, should you be in a situation where you or someone you are with is in danger because of drug use, you can call for assistance and be considered exempt under the Amnesty Policy.  

The campus will share updates on this matter as information becomes available. In the meantime, I encourage you to use the various health and wellness resources located on our Weigel Wellness website and continue to learn the facts about marijuana use. 

I hope you are continuing to find ways to keep yourself well, and please remember to reach out to us if you need assistance in any way. I know it has not been an easy academic year, but as President Conway-Turner recently announced, we are hopeful that our campus community will be able to come together in person for fall 2021. 

Be well, Bengals, and best wishes as you move toward the end of the spring semester.