If we learned anything from those D.A.R.E programs in elementary school, it’s that when it comes to drugs, we should just say no. Upon entering college however, the game changes. Alcohol and drugs are often readily available and they’re sometimes hard to resist. However, some universities have such strict drugs and alcohol policies that it is virtually impossible to even have the option of experimenting during your college years. Let’s review the universities that are most strict on their students when it comes to marijuana use or any drug possession for that matter. Let’s just say these schools haven’t a clue that today is 4/20:
1.) Biola University
This Evangelical Christian university in suburban La Mirada, Calif., boasts an “an alcohol-and-drug-free environment” on its website and states that the possession of any controlled substance is strictly prohibited for any student on or off campus regardless of age. If a student violates the school’s drug policy, the university often calls in local police to handle the situation even if it’s an alcohol abuse situation. Students can be in violation of the policy for simply hanging out with another Biola student that is using alcohol, tobacco or other substances. The policy goes one step further to ban non-alcoholic beers. And you can forget about that Absolute poster, your favorite bottlecap from your 21st birthday or anything else that may advertise alcohol or other substances – they’re all forbidden. Biola students might as well kick their bad habits before applying because smoking cigarettes on OR off campusis also (shocker) not allowed.
2.) Liberty University
Liberty University is an inexpensive private school in Lynchburg, Va., that according to its website trains “champions for Christ.” The evangelical, conservative university outlines ten “Liberty distinctives” that set it apart from other Christian schools. Number five on the list strictly forbids drug, alcohol and tobacco use. “Liberty has an extremely strict no drug policy,” said Liberty freshman Kirsten Kessler. “If you get caught you will more than likely be expelled.” The school even takes its stance on regulating student behaviors a step further by prohibiting sexual promiscuity, co-ed residence halls and inappropriate movies and music. In 1988, the school instituted a random drug-testing program that “permits the University to test any student (hair, urine or blood as specified by the administration), irrespective of the method by which that student was selected,” according to the school’s handbook. Students who fail to comply can be immediately withdrawn from campus. However, it appears that Liberty offers special exceptions to its bans: the university reinstated football star Asa Chapman this September after he was charged with cocaine and marijuana possession by Lynchburg police last August.
3.) Linn State Technical College
Although Linn State is a young, small school it deserves a spot on CM’s ranking due to its extremely controversial drug testing policy. The two-year Missouri school is the first public college in the country to require each student to undergo drug screening. The school has had no drug-related incidents in its 50-year history, yet every student – suspicious or not – must submit drug tests in order to continue their education. Last September, the ACLU of Eastern Missouri filed a suit against the school on behalf of students who called into question the constitutionality of the drug policy. In October 2011, a federal judge ruled that the policy was unconstitutional and subsequently blocked its implementation.
4.) Indiana Wesleyan University
A university that devotes an entire section of its student handbook to the type of dancing that is appropriate on campus (no “spontaneous dancing” allowed) and bans sunbathing and movies rated above PG-13 is bound to have a strict drug policy. Indiana Wesleyen University is a private, Evangelical university with over 15,000 students that must follow the school’s strict guidelines. Smoking tobacco is banned, so that leaves little to the imagination to what happens when a student is caught with pot. Additionally, students are not allowed to consume or possess alcohol regardless of age and residence. Yes even 21-year-old students, are banned from having a glass of wine with mom and dad in their off campus houses.
5.) Harding University
Venture to the small town of Searcy, Ark., and you’ll be walking distance to a university with one of the strictest drug policies in the nation. Harding is a Christian university with around 7,000 students and stern rules on almost all aspects of its attendees’ lives. At this school, drug and alcohol use of any kind, whether on or off campus, is prohibited. The university can also conduct a polygraph drug test or urine test on any student, at any time. Even if a student is out of state or at home during winter or summer break, they are still considered a member of the Harding community and therefore must follow its alcohol rules, whether he or she is over 21 or not. “In my experiences, these policies don’t seem strict,” said Harding sophomore Blair Cochrum. “We know they are strict, but most people I’ve encountered aren’t interested in doing drugs or drinking a lot anyway, so it’s not a problem. It’s weird, I know. But Christians are weird, and we’re okay with that."
6.) BYU Idaho
Brigham Young University-Idaho is the second-largest BYU campus after its neighbor in Provo, Utah. This university, which incorporates Mormonism into everyday student life, is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Not only are alcohol and drugs prohibited on campus, students at this university aren’t even allowed their morning cup of coffee or tea, as those “substances” are banned as well. The school’s handbook even states that every year a handful of students are terminated from campus due to substance abuse. Kiss your legal beer goodbye, because BYU students who are above 21 years of age are not permitted to drink off campus. The policy must be working, because there hasn’t been a single liquor law violation by a minor at the school since 2007.
7.) University of Houston
Everything really is bigger in Texas – including their drug policies. Located in the heart of the large southern city, this university outlines a handbook to promote a drug and alcohol free environment for its students. This university was given an A+ for drug safety on College Prowler and has had no drug-related incidents in recent years. The Center for Drug and Social Policy Research at the university conducts research on substance abuse and the cultural factors of that abuse that can lead to drug addiction.
8.) West Point United States Military Academy
Any military academy should be expected to have some strict drug policies to live by. Located in upstate New York, this school is known all over the world for its outstanding academics and almost unbeatable military training. Because it’s a military school, West Point must comply with the strict United States Army drug policy. “West Point has basically a no toleration policy. They do random UAs [urinalyses] and occasionally check your room,” said West Point junior Greg Blackburn. A student could be called for drug urinalysis at any point in his or her four years at the institution and can be immediately removed from the school and military if the test is positive for certain substances. “Technically you aren’t even allowed to have expired prescriptions,” Blackburn said. “As of right now [if] you get caught you are instantly gone.”
9.) San Diego State University
Although San Diego State University doesn’t have the strictest campus drug policies, this large public university is home to the largest, most famous college drug bust of all time. In 2008, several young police officers went undercover as students for six months in a drug bust known as “Operation Sudden Fall.” They integrated themselves so well into campus life that the officers made friends with many students and attended parties where drugs and alcohol were readily available. The fake students hung out on Fraternity Row and exchanged numbers with real SDSU students. In a single day, 75 students – which included those of seven fraternities – were arrested for the possession and distribution of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and ecstasy. The arrests included a 19-year-old who was known as a model student and a graduate student who was close to completing his Master’s degree. According to senior Chelsea Daus, "Despite the lifestyle that most students probably lead here on campus, it is still illegal to possess or smoke marijuana without a medical prescription so SDSU's policy is not a shock to me.”
10.) Grand Valley State University
At this Grand Rapids, Mich., school, you could be arrested for being intoxicated – even if you are not in possession of alcohol at the time of arrest – if you are under 21. If a student appears to be under the influence of alcohol whether he is chugging a beer or not, campus security will immediately be called and local authorities are often contacted. The first event could result in up to 30 days in jail, a $100 fine and possible participation in a drug prevention program. This violation, called a Minor in Possession or M.I.P., could require the offender to call a local police station early each morning and wait for his or her number to be called in for mandatory drug testing. “From an RA standpoint, it definitely makes my job easier. I’m 21 and I still can’t bring alcohol into the dorms,” said GVSU junior Richard Grenn.
Photo: at http://www.populartechnology.net/2008/12/anti-marijuana-resource.html