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Zero-tolerance drug policy revoked

By admin | October 13, 2009

MUN has adopted more lenient punishments for residence students in possession of illegal drugs (Photo: Adam Dietrich)

Last month, Newfoundland’s Memorial University reviewed and revoked its zero-tolerance policy on drugs because many students found the policy unfair, according to the MUN student union.

Last winter, while walking down the stairs of one of the 14 residences on the MUN campus, a female student who was active in the Memorial community and respected by her peers dropped a marijuana joint that she was planning to smoke off-campus. This joint was worth approximately $4.

Under MUN’s zero-tolerance policy for drugs, this girl was kicked out of residence.

The residence handbooks state “students are not permitted to possess illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia, and/or consume illegal drugs or other illegal substances.”

The girl with her $4 joint was in possession of an illegal substance and consequently in violation of the residence rules.

Cameron Campbell, director of external relations, communications and research for MUN’s student union said the girl was told she had three days to move out of her residence room.

Campbell said the MUN student union and most of the student body found the zero-tolerance policy unfair.

“If caught by police [off campus], they treat it like underage drinking in this day and age,” Campbell said.

For this reason, the zero-tolerance policy was reviewed over the last few months and has now been disbanded. The policy now follows a premise of fines and warnings, much like the drug regulations of other university residence contracts. These new regulations have taken effect over the last week of September.

“This is your home,” Cameron said. “It’s not as though you could go and keep your weed somewhere else.”

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