Back to School: Weed-Friendly Campuses in California

Cannabis lovers will be happy to hear that California has some of the most weed-loving universities in the country—even though it’s technically against the rules on most campuses.
September 06, 2021
Category: Culture
weed friendly campuses in California

As summer comes to an end, thousands of university students will be heading back to school for the fall semester. Cannabis lovers will be happy to hear that California has some of the most weed-loving universities in the country—even though it’s technically against the rules on most campuses.

If you’ve enjoyed a smokey summer and you’re wondering whether this has to change once you’re back on campus, here is our guide to Cali campuses for cannabis enthusiasts.

Is it Legal to Smoke Cannabis on Campus?

Cannabis is legal for recreational use in California, but sadly this doesn’t mean you’re free to light up on campus. There are two important points to remember here: 

  1. Cannabis use is only legal if you’re over the age of 21. This counts out many college freshmen, sophomores, and even some juniors. If you can’t legally drink alcohol yet, you can’t legally smoke either. 
  2. Campuses have the right to make their own rules, which aren’t always the same as state law. Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, and according to Forbes, colleges and universities have to align their rules with federal law or risk losing millions of dollars in funding.

That’s why most institutions have a policy that bans cannabis from campus, even in states like California where it’s legal under state law. 

You probably wouldn’t get arrested for smoking on campus, but you might face penalties from your university’s disciplinary system if it goes against their rules, which could result in suspension or even expulsion.

Do Students Smoke Anyway?

Yes! In reality, while smoking up on campus may be against the rules, many college students still find ways to enjoy cannabis as part of their university experience and social life. 

There are plenty of ways to relax and indulge in some Mary Jane while keeping it completely safe and legal.

We recommend simply ordering a delivery of flower to an off-campus location, and you’re ready to rock and roll. Make it even easier by ordering a pre-roll instead of straight flower. Then, keep it legal by lighting up in a private location before you head out to explore. 

You definitely won’t be alone: A survey of college students by The Princeton Review found that two of the most weed-friendly universities in the country are right here in Cali, despite it being against the campus rules.

Which Campuses are the Most Weed-Friendly?

A sunny image of the Santa barbara skyline, red buildings, palm trees,

Voted one of America’s top weed friendly campuses by students – the University of California, Santa Barbara campus.

Pitzer College

This college in Claremont, CA, is officially the second-most canna-friendly campus in the country, as voted by the 140 000 students interviewed by The Princeton Review. The students were asked, “How widely is marijuana used at your school?” and Pitzer came out second only to Skidmore College in New York. 

Pitzer’s place near the top of Princeton’s reefer rankings clearly shows that cannabis use on campus is widespread despite the college’s rules, which say that smoking of any kind is prohibited on all university property.

University of California, Santa Barbara 

UC Santa Barbara also has rules banning the use of cannabis anywhere on university property or at university events, but that didn’t stop it from claiming the #14 spot on Princeton’s list for most widespread cannabis use at schools.

Which Campuses Are Cannabis No-Go Zones?

Two institutions in Cali were among the least canna-friendly campuses in the country, according to the Princeton Review: Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula and Pepperdine University in Malibu.

If you’re heading to classes at a campus that isn’t weed-friendly and you’d rather leave your flower at home, remember to store it properly so it stays fresh and tasty in the meantime. 

The majority of universities in California have policies banning cannabis on campus, including in student dorms. This includes Stanford University, the University of Southern California (USC), California State University (CSU), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and all UC campuses.

But this doesn’t mean students aren’t enjoying cannabis during their studies—it’s still perfectly legal to light up at an off-campus location, and cannabis culture is thriving in student communities.

Take CSU Long Beach or UC Irvine campuses as an example. Bud might be banned on campus, but Long Beach is just down the road and it’s a playground for cannabis lovers. Check out our guide to having a dope time in Long Beach.

Studying Cannabis at College

California also boasts some of the best places to get an education in cannabis, though these aren’t always through accredited universities or colleges. 

Oaksterdam University situated in Oakland is one of the oldest, offering cannabis business and cultivation courses. Cannabis Training University is another education option for studying both the growing and the business sides. The Growology School focuses on horticulture and offers classes in San Marcos, Palm Springs, and San Diego. 

Smoking Cannabis on Cali Campuses

California is one of the best places in the country to live and study if you’re a cannabis enthusiast. Most universities have rules against smoking on campus, but it’s easy to keep things above board by using cannabis at an off-campus location.


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