Article: Massachusetts Daily Collegian – UMass’ relationship with marijuana

The University of Massachusetts, like any other college, is no stranger to cannabis usage. However, despite  Massachusetts’ attempts to normalize marijuana use, UMass remains a smoke-free zone.

Smoking, whether it be tobacco or marijuana, is against school regulations unless it is used for cultural or religious purposes.

Though legal for recreational use in the state of Massachusetts, UMass’s policy states: “You may not use or possess marijuana, medical marijuana, or marijuana paraphernalia in any form anywhere on University of Massachusetts Amherst property.” This includes all forms of enjoying cannabis such as edibles, blunts, joints and vape pens.

Yet with rules and policies in place, UMass campus continues to have clubs advocating marijuana usage, such as the Psychedelic Club and the UMass Cannabis Education Coalition.

According to the group’s description on the Campus PULSE, “CEC is an organization that seeks to end prohibition and stigmatization of cannabis.”

Founded in 1981, the Cannabis Education Coalition supports safe marijuana usage and spreads awareness, facts and history about cannabis.

In attempts to make marijuana usage more acceptable and inclusive in the UMass community, the Cannabis Education Coalition often stands outside of the Student Union with posters, and engages with people to discuss the health and wellness factors of marijuana.

President of the Cannabis Education Coalition Liz Mawrey, a junior English major, said their goal is to educate people on cannabis policies and creating connections. “We’re hoping to expand medical rights on campus, because at this point you cannot legally consume medical marijuana on campus.”

To bring more attention to the cause and  spread awareness, the CEC holds an annual Extravaganja festival. Extravangaja took place this year at Franklin County Fairground in Greenfield. Food vendors, cannabis farmers, dispensers and performers all attended to share love and knowledge of marijuana.

Psychedelic advocate Franktinus Stuitje, 72, who emigrated from the Netherlands at five years old to Michigan before being drafted into the Vietnam War, spoke about his advocacy.

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