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Drug Policy Could Be Revamped By Fall Quarter


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As the number of judicial cases involving drugs other than alcohol increases, Ohio University could have a new drug policy in place by Fall Quarter.

The evaluation of the current policy was prompted by University Judiciaries statistics comparing drug and alcohol-related cases from Fall Quarter 2006 and Winter Quarter 2007 to previous years. While cases involving alcohol decreased this past fall, the percentage of cases involving other drugs doubled.

The Review and Standards Committee is discussing possible changes to the drug policy and will send a report to Kent Smith, vice president for Student Affairs, by the end of the school year.

Smith said that any changes would be implemented by the beginning of Fall Quarter.

The current drug policy consists of two sections in the Student Code of Conduct. The more severe, A-level offense is for "manufacture, distribution, sale, offer for sale, possession, or misuse of drugs or narcotics." The use or possession of marijuana for personal use is a B-level offense, which cannot be punished with suspension.

After being approached by Smith, Student Senate passed a resolution to suggest possible changes to the current policy. The suggestions included defining possession of 100 grams of marijuana as the legal limit to be considered for personal use and lowering the misuse of legal drugs to a B-level offense.

Student Senate's proposal also states that a student could not be eligible for suspension even if he or she received another marijuana charge while on probation. A student charged with an A-13 offense could receive a variety of sanctions, from career probation to expulsion.

Stephanie Pleli, director of Students Defending Students and one of the sponsors of the resolution, said she hopes a new drug policy will not be fine-based, as is the current alcohol policy. Students should instead be asked to pay fees for the class they will be forced to take, she said.

"With a fine-based system, the people paying into the system won't necessarily be receiving the benefits," Pleli said.

"This is not an attempt on my part to create a side policy of the alcohol policy," Smith said. "It's very possible that the drug policy could mirror that policy in some regards. It's also possible that it could be different in other regards."

The review committee, headed by Rich Carpinelli, associate vice president for Budget and Operations, comprises both students and faculty. They are attempting to compromise and come up with a unified plan to present to Smith.

"It will be interesting to see how their recommendation compares to the students,'" Smith said. He said he plans to refrain from making any decisions about changes until he sees the final recommendation.

Pleli agreed with Smith that such changes might not be necessary.

"I feel that it's too soon to make a change before we even realize if we have a problem," she said.

Newshawk: CoZmO - 420Magazine.com
Source: The Post Online (OH)
Author: Anne Elliott
Contact: ae259306@ohiou.edu
Copyright: 2006 The Post
Website: The Post Online


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not bad. nice to see that they are making changes at my old college because after all the majority of students at OU do smoke :allgood:
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