Starting this fall semester, Ithaca College will punish both marijuana and alcohol violations the same. Over the past year, Ithaca College’s chapter of SSDP has worked with the Student Government Association and the administration on the details of the new “equalization policy”, which was included with other recommendations from the Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention (AOD) Team that would change the judicial protocol for sanctioning students caught in possession of minor amounts of marijuana.
Although we still are working with the AOD Team on changing the enforcement side of the protocol to allow RA’s to handle suspected marijuana use instead of calling public safety officers, as they can with alcohol, this new policy will go a long way towards changing the culture on campus to one that doesn’t treat either marijuana or alcohol as more or less acceptable as the other.
Ithaca College administrators should be commended for enacting this sensible policy change, as it marks a rational approach to dealing with marijuana possession on college campuses. Earlier this year, the University of Connecticut adopted a similar policy change, and hopefully more schools will take note of the changing tide when it comes to disciplining students for possessing small amounts of marijuana.