Daily 49er

High crimes

Courtesy of Mateusz Atroszko | sxc.hu

Matt Brown & Lila Han, Contributing Writers

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The number of marijuana citations have been on the rise at the CSULB dorms this semester, according to University Police.

In 2007, between January and March, there were only two complaints , followed by six in the same time period in 2008. There have been eight confirmed reports in that time period this year, with two unconfirmed cases reported on April 9 and 10.

On March 10, five students and one guest, from ages 18 to 19, were issued citations for possession of marijuana in Los Cerritos Hall. The citations occurred after police received a call from a resident coordinator.

Just before midnight, a strong odor was detected from the second floor of Los Cerritos Hall. An officer was able to identify the source of the odor and discovered that everyone inside was smoking marijuana.

In dealing with those who receive citations, police try “to emphasize education and prevention,” according to University Police Chief Stan Skipworth.

Cal State Long Beach has a program called Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) which aims to “educate students about the potential negative consequences of drug and alcohol use and/or abuse … and serves to create a harm-free environment in which students can achieve their academic goals and acquire skills necessary for lifelong success,”  according to the ATOD website.

Students caught with marijuana or alcohol on campus are required to attend a mandatory set of classes based on how many times they have been cited.

First offenders go through a three-hour class that discusses responsible decision-making, the negative consequences of alcohol and drug use, and compliance with campus policy and regulations.

Those that receive a second violation are required to have a counselor examine the their behavior and explain to them the threats associated with drug and alcohol use.

Those who receive a third violation are referred to the CSULB Office of Judicial Affairs, where students go before an officer. The third violation results in eviction from the residential halls.

“I think these are good policies,” said Ashley Morris, a sophomore psychology major and resident assistant. “It doesn’t get the dorms too wild or out of control. I guess it’s not really fair for students [who can legally drink], but they are the rules.”

According to the Housing and Residential Life Rules and Regulations Handbook, “residents in company of someone consuming alcohol or in possession of full or empty alcohol bottles in student rooms are also subject to judicial action.”

Not all students agree with this part of the rule.

“People in the room who weren’t participating shouldn’t get written up as well,” said Alyssa Martinez, a freshman fashion merchandising major. “Also, if the bottles are empty, there shouldn’t be anything they could do with it because they can’t prove you drank it and write you up.”

Tommy Layton, an Australian study abroad student majoring in criminal justice, agrees with Martinez. Layton has received two write-ups for drinking in the dorms and finds it hard to adjust to dealing with these policies.

“They’re trying to enforce the law and there’s nothing you can do,” Layton said. “It’s difficult and different from Australia, where it’s more lenient. Here, it’s intense and annoying because of all the processes.”

Other students feel the rules are good for the campus.

“I think the policies are pretty lenient considering what can happen if you get caught with alcohol or marijuana off campus by the cops — it’s less harsh here,” said Heather McLernon, a freshman psychology major. “I mean, the rules are set in place for a reason and people need to follow it; it’s not that hard.”

Michelle Gamboa, a freshman kinesiology major, agrees with McLernon, “There’s a reason why they have these rules and I think students should just follow them.”


4 Responses to “High crimes”

  1. Old 49er on April 14th, 2009 10:26 am

    Children, grow up and obey the law. If you do not like the rules, change them or move. Being an adult means acting responsibly by obeying rules.

  2. Your name on April 14th, 2009 11:26 am

    I lived in the dorms for years. If those kids get caught with pot IN THEIR ROOM they deserve to get punished. obviously theyre not smart enough to do it outside (where there are no smoke detectors) or off campus.

    sounds like that Layton kid, with two write-ups, only needs one more before he’s kicked out of the dorms, maybe sent back down under. however, most kids get away with drinking in the dorms. i know i did…most of the time

  3. snoop on April 14th, 2009 2:21 pm

    smoke weed everyday

  4. Jesus Malverde on April 14th, 2009 3:12 pm

    When someone gets cited at CSULB for smoking weed, do they also get charged in a court of law? The article makes it sound like it never goes past the administration at CSULB. While I agree that we need rules, saddling an 18 or 19 year-old with a lifetime misdemeanor criminal conviction is not a good idea.

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