MIT will continue to ban marijuana despite passage of question 4

On-campus and institute-sponsored events must abide by federal regulations

MIT will continue to ban the use of marijuana on campus or at institute-sponsored events, despite the passage of the Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative last week.

The initiative, also known as Question 4, was supported by 53.57 percent of voters who answered the question on the Massachusetts election ballot.

The new law permits residents over 21 to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana in their homes and up to one ounce in public. The law also allows residents to grow up to six marijuana plants in their home. The law will take effect Dec. 15.

MIT, however, “must adhere to federal statutes — the Drug-Free Workplace Act and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act,” Suzy Nelson, vice president of student life, wrote in a statement to The Tech.

The Division of Student Life is “working with the Committee on Student Life and the Mind and Hand Book Policy Review Committee to determine if any clarifications to our current policies are necessary in light of last week’s passage of question four in Massachusetts,” she added.

This article was updated Dec. 20 to include the following.

After the law went into effect Dec. 15, Nelson wrote in an email to the student body that “there is no change to MIT’s prohibition against students using, selling, manufacturing, distributing, possessing, or facilitating the use of marijuana—including medical marijuana—on campus, including in FSILGs, or as part of any MIT-sponsored activities.” 

One change to MIT policy did result from the new law, however. Nelson wrote that “MIT no longer restricts the lawful off-campus possession or use of marijuana by students who are age 21 and over, so long as the usage is not part of any MIT-sponsored activity.”