Face-off: Drug policy: too harsh or not tough enough? – not tough enough

The drug policy is simple to follow: If you’re caught in your room doing drugs or have them in your possession, you immediately lose housing. I agree with the policy that drugs shouldn’t be tolerated. If you’re caught, you should be punished.
I know what you’re thinking, “Well, what does she know?”
It really is amazing how many students are willing to lose their housing privileges because they want to get high.
I’m 24 and I have seen the consequences of the use of drugs. I’ve seen death and people I care for go to jail while others spend the rest of their lives attending Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
The policy set in place works and is easy to follow. Let’s state the main facts on why you should follow it: New Jersey has yet to legalize marijuana, so smoking the plant for recreational use is a punishable offense. Rider University requires students to consent to the housing agreement in The Source, so if the agreement is broken, a hearing will determine the consequences, one of which is losing your housing privileges.
If you think losing your rights to live on campus is bad, try losing your life. Losing housing is minor compared to spending the rest of your life in jail. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a lawyer who gives you a “get out of jail” card, you could have to spend many years paying off fines and putting in community service hours.
Take note of this: If caught using drugs, not only are you losing housing privileges, you are risking being suspended — or worse — expelled.
While the drug policy is harsher than the alcohol policy, there is good reason. Alcoholic beverages are legal to those of age. Drugs, on the other hand, are illegal in the state.
That high you strive for to relax is not worth losing a warm place in the winter to sleep and study. I’ve been told that getting high is a way to socialize with your peers. Maybe I don’t understand it because I’m a commuter and sober 24/7, but this has to be, in my opinion, one of the worst ways to socialize with friends.
I advise you to think before you do drugs. Yes, you are all still young and experimenting with your life; that’s great. Just take a moment to consider the consequences of getting high.

-Jessika Mielentz
Senior secondary education major


Printed in the 2/26/14 edition.

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