In states where medical marijuana is legal, students disciplined for using it are taking their schools to court. College officials argue they could lose federal funding for failing to follow federal law that labels cannabis an illegal drug with no accepted medical use.
Sheida Assar said she was expelled from GateWay Community College in Phoenix last month for violating the school’s drug policy after she tested positive for marijuana, which she uses to treat chronic pain from polycystic ovary syndrome.
She was studying diagnostic medical sonography, Assar said, and an instructor had told her she wouldn’t have any problems if she presented her Arizona medical marijuana card. She typically uses marijuana to help her sleep and had never been under the influence in class, she said.
“They yanked me out of class in the middle of the school day,” said Assar, 31, of Chandler, Arizona. “They escorted me to the administration like I was a … criminal. It’s discrimination, and it also violates my rights under the Arizona medical marijuana law.”