By Lance McFarlin –
Tarleton students are far more likely to be referred for disciplinary action than arrested for drug offenses on campus, according to the most recent annual reports.
From 2007 to 2009, the last year for which complete figures were available, a total of 35 drug related offenses were reported.
Of those, 24 were referred for disciplinary action, while 11 resulted in arrests. In 2007 there were three arrests and 10 referrals. In 2008 there were five arrests and three referrals. In 2009 there were three arrests and 11 referrals, according to figures the university disclosed under the Clery Act, a federal law which requires universities to disclose information about a variety of crimes, including drug offenses, on campusThe number of drug offenses, records show, fluctuates years to year. Thirteen drug offenses were reported in 2007, 8 in 2008 and 14 in 2009, records show. Though final figures are not available for 2010, according to the police department, only two drug related offenses have been handled by the Tarleton Police Department this year.
At Tarleton, most of the drug offenses involved marijuana, police chief Justin Williams said.
“Typically what you’re normally going to find at this university as far as drug use is going to be marijuana,” Williams said. “Drugs that are what we consider the hardcore drugs – cocaine, crack, meth, things of that nature — not so much.”
Williams said he is not aware of meth dealers on campus, but said “there are meth dealers in town. There’s now meth in this town. There’s meth all over the US right now, it’s just growing rapidly.”
“It’s a very addictive drug, a very intense high, a very short- lived high.” he said, citing lyrics from Guns N’ Roses 1987 song, “Mr. Brownstone” about meth’s addictiveness: ”I used to do a little, but a little wasn’t good, so a little got more and more.”
“That’s exactly what happens with meth,” Williams said. “You have to keep increasing your dosage to get that same high.”
Williams said anyone thinking about experimenting with meth should check out the following website that shows the effects of the drug on users: www.facesofmeth.us. The site contains photographs of the affects of methamphetamine on a person over time.
“You don’t see a whole lot of that within the campus, now the county you’re going to see more,” he said.
The city of Stephenville recently passed an ordinance banning the sale of K-2, which is billed a synthetic form of marijuana. Williams, however, said his officers have not come across any of the substance.
“I know it’s there, I know people are using it, but as far as the university, the university does fall within the city, but we’re our own city, so many of the city ordinances do not apply,” he said. “Currently, possession or use of K2 is not a violation of state law.”
A junior at Tarleton who smokes and buys marijuana and wishes not to be identified said students can buy marijuana on campus.
“I just don’t personally buy on campus, but I do know you can get it there,” he said. “There’s definitely harder stuff, but the vast majority is marijuana, and if you want something harder, you probably won’t find it on campus.”