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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

July 25, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Editorial: Tipsy penalties

There’s clearly an imbalance in the college’s drug policy — and students are hazy on the details.

Ithaca College’s current drug policy has more severe consequences for students who violate marijuana use than those who illegally use alcohol. But after a recent survey revealing students’ perception of the discrepancy, Students for a Sensible Drug Policy may help soften the penalties for marijuana.

With new support from the Student Government Association, SSDP could push for a policy change that debunks a common misconception among students. Many believe that, judicially, alcohol is safer than marijuana because of the strict penalties. After their first offense with marijuana, students are on probation. But they receive no more than a slap on the wrist with alcohol. And when society tells us “No alcohol allowed (for a few more years),” people are inherently more lenient in their reprimand for drinking abuse.

If the college wants to dispel the alcohol myth and create a safer atmosphere for its students, it should decrease the disparity between penalties for marijuana and alcohol use. It should lessen the consequences for marijuana possession, but not increase those for alcohol. Upping the ante on alcohol would contradict societal norms and may strain the seemingly open relationship between the college and its students.

The Ithacan can be reached at ithacan@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @IthacanOnline