Cannabis use remains prohibited on campus

Dear Cornell Community,

As many of you may know, this week New York state legalized the recreational use of cannabis for adults over the age of 21. However, Cornell University is subject to federal laws that expressly prohibit the possession, use or distribution of cannabis on university property or as part of university-sponsored events.

The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and the Drug Free Workplace Act both condition Cornell’s receipt of all federal funding — including support for research and student financial aid — on the university’s implementation of programs and policies to prohibit the use of any illegal drug. Cannabis remains an illegal drug under federal law, and therefore cannot be permitted on campus for recreational or medical purposes. The only exception is for research use authorized under applicable Drug Enforcement Agency licenses.

Accordingly, university policies (e.g., Policy 4.8: Alcohol and Other Drugs; Code of Conduct) that prohibit the possession, use or distribution of cannabis on university-owned property or as part of any university sponsored event or activity, remain in full force and effect.


Joanne DeStefano
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer