In recent years, Citrus College has had an increase in cases of possession of marijuana. According to the Citrus incident reports, the number of reported cases of marijuana possession have more than tripled from the 2010-12 calendar year.
Currently, the 2013 winter and spring semesters have already had seven reported drug law violations—and it’s not even May.
“The increase from 13 to 17 incidents in one year is unfortunate, but I do not think that it could be classified as a major problem,” said Arvid Spor, vice president of student services. “It is more likely that students need to be informed every semester that the use and possession of marijuana, even for medicinal purposes, is not allowed on campus.”
Many Citrus students have legally obtained medical marijuana cards. However, according to Citrus policy, any unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs on the campus are prohibited and are in violation of policy.
Any student caught with the drug will face the same consequences regardless of whether or not they have a card.
Prop 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, allows Californians to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes when prescribed by an attending physician.
In order for a person to qualify for a medical marijuana card, a physician would have to determine that the patient would benefit from its use as in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, depression, migraines or any other illness in which marijuana could provide relief.
Marijuana is illegal under federal law. There is no such thing as “medical” marijuana, regardless of state laws to the contrary, says the Controlled Substance Act. The CSA lists marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance because it meets the standard of being considered to have a high potential for abuse.
Citrus College follows the federal law and the school’s policy states that appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any student that is caught violating the drug law on campus.
The California Health and Safety Code, section 11357, “Possession of Marijuana,” states for everyone except as authorized by law, “every person who possess any concentrated cannabis shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than one year or by a fine of not more than $500.”
The code also status that those who posses no more than 28.5 grams of marijuana (other than concentrated marijuana) can be punished by a fine of no more than $100. In 2010, three on-campus incidents classified as H&S 11357 occurred. Each required the involvement of the Glendora Police Department, yet none led to an arrest.
James Woolum, former Glendora police officer and professor of administrative of justice, said “Although possession of marijuana less than one ounce without a medical card is a misdemeanor, the law requires handling the case as an infraction would be handled—a citation unless certain exceptions are present.”
“This does not apply to larger quantities, possession for sales, or possession by a minor,” Woolum said.
In 2011, the number of marijuana incidents more than tripled to 13 in which students were caught in possession of the drug on campus. The Glendora Police Department was called 10 times. However, no arrests were made that year either.
“The officer has discretion to handle the case without a citation, but that would be the manner in which enforcement is conducted,” Woolum.
The record for the 2012 calendar year shows 17 cases of marijuana possession. None of these resulted in arrests, but the Glendora Police Department dealt with 16 of the reports.
For students who are found to be in violation of board policy and drug laws, the student conduct process calls for the student to receive a letter from the dean of students as well as have an administrative hearing.
Anyone determined to be in violation may then face the following penalties: reprimand, disciplinary action or disciplinary suspension. The Student Discipline Procedures state that a student may be expelled if the Board of Trustees feels there is “good cause.”
An interpretation may mean that other means of correction have failed to bring about appropriate conduct or if the presence of the student is believed to be a danger to others. A request will then be made to the Student Affairs administrator for a formal hearing.