Marijuana decriminalization arrived in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, after a law passed by the D.C. Council in March took effect at midnight, but the university’s marijuana policy will see no change.

Under the new stipulation, possession and private use of less than one ounce of marijuana will now be considered a civil offense carrying a fine of $25, while public use can result in a jail sentence of up to 60 days. Previously, marijuana possession and use constituted a criminal offense that could result in up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The law, which does not decriminalize amounts exceeding one ounce, also states that police officers cannot stop or search individuals because of the smell of marijuana or possession of less than one ounce of the substance.

Despite the law’s implementation across D.C., the Georgetown administration stated that the university’s policy on marijuana use and possession would not change. The Code of Student Conduct forbids possession, use, transfer, or sale of controlled substances. Violation of the policy leaves students and employees at the risk of sanctions from the university, including suspension, expulsion, or referral for prosecution.

“Georgetown University complies with local and federal laws,” Rachel Pugh, the university’s Director of Media Relations, wrote in an email. “Federal law prohibits possession, manufacturing, [and] use of marijuana. We do not have any plans to change the student code of conduct.”

Georgetown University Police Department Chief Jay Gruber declined to comment.


  1. Absurd.

    • Agreed. Although, expected. Progress is progress. The administration can’t go against federal law, after all

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