Pot Law and Pot Brownies at U. of Colorado

December 10, 2012

The president of the University of Colorado System and a member of Congress had an unusually public fight over the implications of the recent vote by Colorado residents to decriminalize the use of marijuana. And two students at the Boulder campus are alleged to have served pot-laced brownies to unknowing students and a professor -- an act for which they have been arrested.

The Denver Post reported that Bruce Benson, president of the university system, sent alumni an e-mail message Friday night in which he warned that the measure could cost the university $1 billion in federal funds because of the requirements of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, which requires schools and colleges to ban illegal drugs (under federal statutes) from campuses. Benson was among those who urged Colorado voters (unsuccessfully as it turned out) not to decriminalize pot. The e-mail prompted U.S. Representative Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado, to take to Twitter, where he noted that the university has said that it won't allow pot use on campus -- and that the university maintains the right to enforce such bans. Polis write that Benson's claims were "FALSE," tweeting "Nothing in Amend64 requires CU let marijuana on campus" and "CU has made great progress in improving its reputation but President Benson jeopardizes it by pushing his personal opposition to Amend 64." A spokesman told Inside Higher Ed Sunday via e-mail that the university does believe that its ban on pot use on campus means that the institution is in compliance with federal law.

But even if Colorado decriminalizes marijuana, it is still illegal to serve pot-infused food to those who aren't aware of what they are eating. The University of Colorado at Boulder police department announced Sunday that two students there have been arrested for admitting that they served pot-laced brownies to a class on "bring food day" -- without telling the class what they were doing. The professor called police shortly after the class, complaining of dizziness and going in and out of consciousness. Two other students unaware of what they ate were hospitalized, one after an anxiety attack and the other after feeling like she was about to black out. The students who baked the brownies confirmed that they put marijuana in their batch, and they have been charged with four felonies each: assault in the second degree, inducing consumption of controlled substances by fraudulent means, conspiracy to commit assault in the second degree, and conspiracy to commit inducing consumption of controlled substances by fraudulent means.


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