The University of Maryland, Baltimore, cancels classes on medical marijuana

By Jacqueline Zegler

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy announced last week that it will be canceling classes on the growth of medical marijuana.  The school cited concerns about what actions the Trump Administration will take regarding the Schedule I drug after receiving advice from the Maryland Attorney General’s office.

In a statement to the Baltimore Sun, spokesperson for the University of Maryland at Baltimore Alex Likowski said, “If there’s any question of the law, they are often consulted.  Regarding medical cannabis, even though Maryland and many other states have approved it, it’s still illegal under U.S. law.”

Marijuana is decriminalized and legal for medical use in the state of Maryland. While no special certification is required, those wishing to grow or distribute medical marijuana on the state or local level must first go through training.  Now that classes have been cancelled they must find other means of obtaining this training. Very few colleges or universities in the United States have classes or programs regarding medical marijuana.

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has made it clear since July that it does not endorse the use of marijuana for medical purposes because it has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Throughout his campaign President Donald Trump stated that he wanted the legalization of marijuana to be an issue left up to the states. Recently, his stance on the drug has been unclear.  

In a February 2017 press briefing, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, “There is still a federal law we need to abide by in terms of when it comes to recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature.  I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement.”

Then in May, Trump signed a federal appropriations bill to keep the government funded through September 2017. In a later agreement with Democratic leaders, it was extended through Dec. 15, 2017 with an amendment preventing the Department of Justice from using federal funds to take action against medical marijuana in states where it has been legal since 2014.  But on Sept. 7, Congress blocked a vote to keep the amendment on the budget for the 2018 fiscal year.  

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been trying to remove the rider from future bills in order to crack down on marijuana use, which directly conflicts with President Trump’s campaign promise.

uIt is unclear when or if the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy will resume classes.  The school could not be reached immediately for comment.

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