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Letter: You Can’t Blame Campus Safety

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Jillian Foerster

The opinion article written by Josh Goldsmith in the most recent issue of the Brackety-Ack is poorly reasoned.  I actually agree with his underlying argument that marijuana should be legalized.  However, questioning Campus Safety’s (not “Security,” a mistake appearing fifteen times) tactics for enforcing a federally mandated law is not the correct method of tackling this issue, especially considering the fact that their tactics are not unusual. 

You write that Tom Turner “agrees that his own officers are jeopardizing the safety of RC students.”  I highly doubt that Mr. Turner actually agrees with this statement. A better argument would not misquote the Director of Campus Safety, but publish why this agreement with Salem PD exists, why it is unsafe, and more specifically why this agreement is a bad thing.  Is criminalization a major trend on other college campuses?  What schools have better models?

I am writing as an RA who has had to confront this in a very traumatic way. Part of my job is to enforce college policy and that means reporting marijuana use.  Would you disagree with my actions as well, even though the expectations of an RA (and you for your conduct) are clearly written?  Again, Campus Safety is not the culprit, Resident Advisors aren’t the culprit and nor is the Commonwealth of Virginia.  My advice to my freshman friend is this: If you want the freedom to smoke marijuana and not fear incrimination, lobby Washington or even join SSDP, don’t publish a poorly written article in the school paper.