WSU prohibits possession of cannabis on campus; WSU PD finds drop in cannabis use in residences during pandemic
In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, WSU banned the use, possession, manufacture or distribution of cannabis on campus to maintain federal scholarship and research funding.
Jill Creighton, dean of students and associate vice president of student affairs, said offering financial assistance to students and faculty is why WSU complies with federal law.
“We want to be able to provide federal student financial aid, and our researchers really need access to federal funds to fund research,” Creighton said. “These two things are essential for the institution’s mission and for the perseverance of our students. Without politics, both of these things would be in jeopardy.
On campus, students under 21 can be reported for being in the same room with drugs, even if they haven’t used the substance, according to WSU Alcohol and Drug Policy.
Creighton said students should take responsibility, leave the situation and follow university rules for a safe learning environment.
The WSU Police Department has seen a drop in cannabis-related cases in residences during the pandemic, Deputy Chief Steve Hansen said. In the past two months, there have been six reports of alcohol or drug DUI cases, according to the police department. Law Total Incident Reports.
Before the pandemic, Hansen said officers responded to about four cases of cannabis use on campus per week.
“They were doing their rounds and smelling cannabis in the hallway,” he said. “It was pretty typical: catching people smoking in their cars and sometimes even in public under trees.”
Hansen said officers respond to each case on an individual basis and typically request search warrants if the student is a repeat offender.
If students violate community standards, they can receive penalties, such as writing an educational paper or attending a Prevention Through Action Enhancement course with a $100 course fee, depending on the USM Manual.
Creighton said the penalties are designed to be educational rather than to punish students. Sanctions are tailored to each individual case.
“Sometimes we may come across a student who is using a substance to deal with a very difficult element of what is going on in their life, so the punishment for them may feel really different than for someone who is obviously unresponsive. disregard politics because it does not. like that,” Creighton said.
Medical cannabis is also prohibited on campus, but students can contact the Center for Community Standards for special accommodations. Although doctors can recommend cannabis for certain chronic conditions, Creighton said cannabis prescriptions are illegal at the federal level.
“If there are students who need accommodations to manage their health issues, we can work with them to see if we can find living arrangements that work for them.hem,” she says.