Marijuana possession rises on campus

Crime statistics show an increase in drug violations at Biola as well as other Christian universities.

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Marijuana possession rises on campus

Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES

Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES

Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES

Katie Evensen/THE CHIMES

Sarah Pineda, Writer

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While various Christian college campuses see rising and falling instances of drug possession, cases of marijuana possesion are steadily increasing at Biola.

Biola’s 2014 annual security report shows an increase in on-campus drug violations over the past three years. During the winter interterm, cases of possession of marijuana appeared more frequently, and Campus Safety investigated them and offending students received the necessary disciplinary actions by Student Development.

Other private Christian universities who implement a student contract similar to Biola’s, such as Point Loma Nazarene University, Azusa Pacific University and Vanguard University, have also seen fluctuating drug violations occur on their campuses.

Point Loma Nazarene University’s 2014 annual security report showed five cases of drug violations on-campus in 2013, seven cases in 2012 and five cases in 2011, all resulting in disciplinary referrals.

“The majority of drug cases on campus involve marijuana,” said Kaz Trypuc, supervisor of public safety at Point Loma Nazarene University.

According to Point Loma’s student conduct policies, students requiring assistance in drug and alcohol dependency are encouraged to reach out to the university’s Wellness Center, which provides prevention, referral and supportive resources, including counseling and health services.

Possession of marijuana on-campus at Point Loma may result in expulsion. In order to prevent drug violations, Point Loma works with many of their departments to enforce the student policy.

“We work collaboratively across ResLife, Wellness, Spiritual Development and other academic departments to do educational and informational programming around marijuana,” said Jeff Bolster, dean of the students at Point Loma.

Following the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Azusa Pacific University requires students to maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

Azusa Pacific University’s 2014 annual security report displayed 19 cases of drug violations occurred on-campus in 2013, 11 cases in 2012 and five cases in 2011, all resulting in disciplinary action.

Vanguard University provides all students, the parents of minor students, and employees with a copy of the university’s drug and alcohol policy each year to avoid drug violations.

Vanguard University’s 2014 annual security report also uncovered seven cases of drug violations occurred on-campus in 2013, zero cases in 2012 and 17 cases in 2011, all resulting in disciplinary action as well.

Biola’s alcohol, tobacco and drug policy specifically mentions that the use of marijuana is strictly prohibited.

According to Biola’s 2014 annual security report, 19 cases of drug violations occurred on-campus in 2013, 16 in 2012 and 10 in 2011 resulting in disciplinary action from student development.

“It’s typically marijuana that we are dealing with. Just as it becomes more accessible and socially acceptable as it’s legalized in more states, and people having medical marijuana cards. Students have access to it more and more and don’t consider it in the same vein as using other illegal drugs, even though it’s still illegal in California,” said Katie Powell, director of Student Care.

The Addiction Awareness Weeks Biola holds each year help begin the conversation about drug addiction, alcohol addiction, sexual addiction and other addictions for Biola students, Powell said.