As of January 1, 2021, Montana state law allows certain marijuana-related activities, such as limited recreational use and possession. However, the newly passed law expressly prohibits the “possession or consumption of marijuana or possession of marijuana paraphernalia” … “on the grounds of any property owned or leased by a school district, a public or private preschool, school, or post-secondary school as defined in 20-5-402.” See § 16(1)(g)(i), MCA.

As an educational institution that receives federal funds, Montana Tech must comply with the federal Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and the Drug-Free Workplace Act. Compliance with these federal acts requires us to prohibit the use, possession, and distribution of all federally controlled substances, including marijuana. Consequently, such activity will remain prohibited by university policy and the Montana Tech Code of Student Conduct. Montana Tech policy prohibits students, employees, and visitors from possessing, using, or distributing marijuana in any form on either campus or any facilities, including in the residence halls and during any on or off-campus university activity. 

These policies can be found in the Montana Technological University Student Handbook, Faculty/Staff Handbook, and Residence Life Handbook. If you have any questions about the new laws in Montana or any other topic as it relates to Montana Tech’s alcohol and drug policy, please do not hesitate to email me at

MTU students and employees should understand that possessing, using or selling marijuana in any form is prohibited on campus and during University activities. I-190 legalizes certain activities related to marijuana under Montana law, yet I-190 specifically authorizes the University – as a school and an employer – to prohibit the possession and use of marijuana on University property.

In addition, although I-190 passed in Montana, the possession and use of marijuana is still prohibited under federal law. As a federally controlled substance, the use and possession of marijuana on campus is prohibited by MTU policy and the MTU Student Conduct Code.

Use and Possession of Marijuana is Prohibited on Campus

Montana law may allow certain marijuana related activities, such as limited medical marijuana use and other recreational use and possession. However, using and possessing marijuana in any form remains a crime under federal law. At the federal level, the Controlled Substances Act criminalizes the growing and use of marijuana, and it is well settled that federal enforcement agencies can prosecute users and growers of marijuana. As a controlled substance, use and possession of marijuana is also prohibited by the Student Conduct Code and is not permitted on campus. In addition to being a federal offense under the act, the use of medical marijuana in the workplace and on campus is restricted by federal laws, such as the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act and the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. Those federal laws require the University to prohibit the use of marijuana on campus.

MTU Students

Using or possessing marijuana in any form, including without limitation tinctures, edibles and topicals, is prohibited by the MTU Student Conduct Code, and students who use or possess marijuana are subject to discipline. Marijuana use or possession is prohibited across the entire campus, including all open areas and buildings, such as the residence and dining halls. MTU is not required to allow – and in fact is subject to affirmative obligations to prohibit — the medical or recreational use of marijuana in the residence halls or on campus, because marijuana is illegal under federal law. The Montana Technological University will continue to enforce the campus-wide prohibition of marijuana.

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