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Protest Campus Police State Policies

Drug Reform Coordination Network
(DRCNet) Rapid Response Team

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In a flawed public-relations maneuver intended to bolster flagging enrollment, the administration of California State University at Chico has decided to "get tough" on 10 ordinary students to create a false impression that they are doing something useful about drugs.

On November 14, ten CSU Chico students were taken into custody by the campus police department on drug dealing charges. The university released a statement to the press later that day, naming the students and claiming that the action would create a safer, more positive environment on the campus.

According to campus activists, the students were ordinary users who had merely procured small amounts of drugs for a friend who turned out to be an undercover narcotics agent. Reportedly, the agent bought underage students alcohol, and engaged in sexual relations with several others while living in the dorm.

The most unusual aspect of the case, however, is that it was instigated and subsequently publicized by the university's housing department. Usually schools will cooperate with drug investigations but don't initiate them; and they usually consider them to be negative publicity rather than positive.

The most basic issue is whether schools should play the role of police. There is a growing sentiment among academicians that they are not police, and that being forced to act as such undermines their role as educators. The action at UC Chico will undoubtedly sow mistrust among students, making the ailing institution even less popular, not more. And, as is the case with all drug enforcement, will fail to reduce drug abuse and the harms associated with it. The Chico administration need to wake up and stop participating in the drug war so enthusiastically.

The CSU Chico Cannabis Coalition has taken the lead on campus in organizing demonstrations and pressuring the administration to modify its drug policy. Please support CCC's efforts and call the following officials before the end of this week:


Please be polite on the phone when calling. Ask to speak to the person directly, and leave your message with the receptionist if they "are not available." If you are a affiliated with an academic institution, please identify yourself by school and name, and express your condemnation for the school's police-state tactics. If you get a busy signal, that is a good sign, so keep trying. Tell them that society needs to move to a more rational drug policy based on public health principles, and that schools should be leading the way, not towing the party line. Tell them that the drug war is antithetical to health, safety, and to education. If they respond that drugs are antithetical to these concerns, tell them that whatever harm drugs do, their policy makes things worse.

For further information, contact the Chico Cannabis Coalition, (916) 894-7044, [email protected].

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