Thursday, November 02, 2006

UMD Resolution Fails in RHA

The UMD SSDP chapter is hard at work again. This time helping to bring a resolution to reduce marijuana penalties on campus. Unfortunately the resolution was not passed but I can't see how that would slow down this SSDP chapter.
Under the current policy, first-time offenders are hit with an automatic suspension, loss of on-campus housing and a mandatory two-year enrollment in a substance-abuse prevention program.

Under the RHA's proposed changes, authored by RHA Vice President Sumner Handy, these students would have only received a citation and a warning. Additionally, Resident Assistants would no longer be trained to call police in the event that they suspected use or possession of the drug.

Lockwood said despite the results of last spring's referendum - a public opinion poll in which 65 percent of 4,376 participants voted in favor of reducing discipline imposed on marijuana users - the RHA lacked credible evidence to show student support of the resolution.

The SSDP proposal, which will appear before the University Senate before the end of the semester, aims to change the wording in the Code of Student Conduct where the first-time possession of the drug is currently listed as an "aggravated offense," lumping it with other penalties that include hate crimes, arson and sexual assault.
Possession of marijuana is an "aggravated offense?" Thats news to me. Whats aggravating is that students are unfairly punished and have their academics negatively impacted in a way that marijuana use alone could never achieve. Stacia Cosner and friends rock.

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