March 1, 2024

At a recent security meeting held on campus, Interim Dean of Students Casey Gill expressed concern that the prevalence of drug abuse on campus has risen in previous years.
Locally, this has not been the trend. According to the most recent report provided by the Springfield Police Department, the number of yearly drug arrests made in Springfield has decreased erratically yet steadily over the last few years. In 2003, 309 arrests were made for drug abuse and possession while only 149 such arrests were reported in 2010. Nearly a 9 percent decrease in drug related arrests was reported from 2009-2010. However, the Springfield Police Department has not yet published statistics for the years following 2010.
The Annual Wittenberg Campus Security Report released last October tells a different story. According to the report, Wittenberg Police made only 4 judicial referrals for drug violations on campus in both the years 2010 and 2011. In 2012, this number climbed to 16. The number of public arrests and referrals for drug violations on public property was also significantly higher in 2012 than in the previous years.
However, the Annual Security Report also shows a sharp decrease in drug law violations on non-campus properties such as student houses. In both 2010 and 2011, 10 referrals were made for drug law violations on non-campus properties. In 2012, that number fell to zero. Meanwhile, arrests and referrals for liquor law violations were much higher than those of drug violations across all three years.
“I don’t think drugs are a serious problem here,” said one sophomore student, “they’re definitely easy enough to find but it’s much worse at other larger campuses that I’ve visited”
The concern over drugs on campus follows the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington. The Washington Post reported that over a hundred licensed retailers in Colorado began selling marijuana with the start of the new year with the same expected to happen in Washington in the next couple of months. NBC reports that the drive to legalize Cannabis in California is also gaining momentum.
Many Wittenberg students are unconvinced that this may be the underlying cause of drug prevalence on campus. “Weed has always been popular on college campuses across the country,” said one junior, “I don’t see how its legalization in Colorado could have made it more popular.”

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