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Rutgers Cannabis Decriminalization Task Force Public Announcement

Continued prohibition on possession, distribution, and use of cannabis (marijuana) at Rutgers

Members of the University Community:

Earlier this year, Governor Phil Murphy enacted the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act, providing the legal framework to decriminalize the possession and recreational use of cannabis (marijuana) for individuals 21 years of age and over in the State of New Jersey. The legislation further standardized penalties for underage possession of cannabis and alcohol.  

To determine the impact the new state law would have on our day-to-day operations, President Jonathan Holloway convened a Cannabis Decriminalization Impact Task Force with university-wide representation. Members collectively considered the implications for employees, students, and campus visitors as well as the requirements of federal law. The findings and recommendations of the task force are outlined in a final report submitted to President Holloway in early June with implementation currently under way in anticipation of the start of the fall 2021 semester.

In summary, while cannabis has been decriminalized in New Jersey, it remains illegal and subject to prosecution under federal law. For Rutgers and other public universities, receipt of federal funds in the form of student loans, grants, and research support is explicitly conditioned on our compliance with federal drug laws. The new state law has not changed our federal law requirements to maintain drug-free campuses and workplaces. Accordingly, the possession, distribution, and use of cannabis—recreational or medicinal—on Rutgers property and in campus facilities remains prohibited. This prohibition applies to students, employees, and visitors while on Rutgers property and at university events.

University community members may seek additional information, answers to frequently asked questions, and links to updated policies pertaining to cannabis use and possession at rutgers.edu/cannabisinfo

We take this opportunity to extend our sincere personal thanks to the task force members for their service and for the excellent progress made towards operationalizing the policy and procedural changes necessary to minimize confusion as we begin to repopulate our on-campus community. 

Antonio M. Calcado
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

Prabhas V. Moghe
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Distinguished Professo