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OU Official Asks Student Senate For Preference On New Pot Protocols

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Fallen Cannabis Warrior
Ohio University's vice president of student affairs last Wednesday asked Student Senate to recommend one of two proposed "protocols" for judicial sanctioning of common B-6 marijuana offenses on campus.

VP Kent Smith reported that since the implementation of a stricter alcohol policy last year, the number of students receiving alcohol violations has dropped significantly, while drug and marijuana busts have increased by 50 percent.

Smith told Senate that there is a 98 percent chance he will go with the marijuana protocol they favor.

Student Senate is expected this week to choose between "Protocol A" and "Protocol B," which were both proposed by the OU Review and Standards Committee.

"Right now there is just a policy with a lot of leeway, and the new protocol makes it clear to students what will happen," Smith told The NEWS.

Protocol A, with support from four faculty members in the standards committee, calls for compounded sentences for marijuana and alcohol offenses. For example, if a student is caught drinking and receives his first offense, a later marijuana offense would be considered a second offense and warrant harsher punishment such as suspension or extended probation. Currently, alcohol and drug offenses generally are dealt with on separate penalty tracks.

The three students on the standards committee supported Protocol B, which treats marijuana and alcohol violations as separate offenses. Under Protocol B, a student found guilty of using pot would not receive the harsher, compounded penalty if later found guilty of using alcohol, and that alcohol offense would be considered the first offense in the alcohol category.

Protocol B would also allow for different intervention programs for marijuana and alcohol offenders.

No senators supported Protocol A during a show of hands Wednesday night, and 21 expressed their support for Protocol B.

"The reason people abuse alcohol and marijuana are very different," argued Drew Goland, Student Senate's external chief of staff. "If we're serious about making a difference in peoples lives with these intervention programs, they need to be detailed to what happened. I think if you're putting alcohol and marijuana in the same category, you're giving them a lot of information that doesn't apply to them."

Goland also raised concerns about punishing drug and alcohol offenders with expulsion and suspension, which can occur after multiple offenses. He claimed that kicking students out of school could increase the likelihood that they abuse drugs and alcohol.

Smith told Senate that the university is responsible for striking a balance between helping individuals and protecting the campus community.

"Are we trying to help them? Absolutely," Smith said. "But we have to look out for the greater good of our community."

This summer The Athens NEWS reported that some resident assistants ( RA ) and students believe that alcohol and marijuana use has not significantly decreased or increased at OU. They theorized that the decrease in alcohol offenses following the stricter alcohol policy is due to a combination of students being more careful not to get caught, and Residence Life staff being reluctant to expose a fellow student to possible suspension for a relatively minor repeat offense.

Students also said that marijuana is a common and carelessly used soft drug at OU.

Smith, however, disputed the idea that Residence Life staffers are complicit with student drinkers in the dorms.

"I had a meeting with the Residence Life team, and they assured me that's not the case," Smith told The NEWS after the Senate meeting.

Student Senate will vote on a resolution endorsing one of the protocols during its meeting at Walter Hall this Wednesday.

Source: Athens News The (OH)
Copyright: 2007, Athens News
Contact: news@athensnews.com
Website: The Athens NEWS: Athens' Only Locally Owned Newspaper


New Member
well this is comming from a past student at ou and alcohol is definatly a much larger problem than marijuana and any other drug use. I think alcohol should be dealt with differently because of how big the problem is and they need to stick to that. Marijuana use there is pretty tolerated though and I don't understand why now it's such an issue just because more people found love for cannabis over alcohol? Hey atleast it keeps the peace and there are less out of control and rediculous parties going on everyday of the week :allgood:
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