About Us

Pot initiative’s approval will not affect college, new tobacco policy


The college's policies banning drug use, including the new tobacco policy set to go into effect Jan. 1, do not change with the initiative.

Washington voters approved Initiative 502 with 55 percent of the vote last week, but that will not change the way Green River does business. The college's policies banning drug use, including the new tobacco policy set to go into effect Jan. 1, do not change with the initiative. Initiative 502 allows anyone 21 years old and over to possess an ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form or 72 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form.

Marijuana remains a class one controlled substance under federal law. Since the college receives funding from the federal government, it must comply with federal regulations. In addition, the college's rule on Other Punishable Acts in the Washington Administrative Code states that students may not commit an act considered a crime under federal law.

Green River's new tobacco policy also addresses smoking marijuana while on college property. The policy bans the inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying of any lighted smoking materials on college property, language that includes marijuana.

Voters in Washington and Colorado passed similar marijuana measures on Nov. 6. These laws are the first in the country to allow for recreational marijuana use. Washington voters approved marijuana for medicinal use by initiative in 1998. It remains unclear how the federal government will respond to the states' initiatives. I-502 is set to go into effect Dec. 6.

Green River is going tobacco free Jan. 1. Students, employees and volunteers will no longer be allowed to smoke or use tobacco products on any of the college's campuses. This includes all sidewalks, parking lots, landscaped and recreational areas and buildings on Green River property and in any college owned, rented or leased vehicles. For more information about the policy, visit the GA-02 Tobacco Use page.

To get involved, email policycomment@greenriver.edu.