The ACU Police Department responded to a call reporting the odor of marijuana in a men’s residence hall early last week, though no arrests were made.
At 11:57 a.m. Oct. 19, a member of Residence Life suspected two students were smoking marijuana in their dorm room in Mabee Hall. ACU Police officers arrived on the scene, conducted a full investigation of the dorm room and interviewed both students involved.
“It was detected that the students had been smoking prior to the call, but were no longer in possession once officers arrived,” said ACU police chief Jimmy Ellison.
No arrests were made because the two students were no longer in possession. However, Student Life is following up on the case from a conduct standpoint, Ellison said.
Though ACU Police does not deal with drug-related calls on a regular basis, they are not uncommon.
“We deal with these kinds of calls from time to time,” Ellison said. “We always take an aggressive stance when it comes to drugs, making arrests and then referring to Student Life for conduct.”
Ellison said ACU Police was disappointed with this kind of behavior from students but were happy with the way it was handled.
“An alert staff member called us right away which is how it should work,” Ellison said.
Consequences for drug possession on campus can have both legal and disciplinary consequences. ACU’s “zero-tolerance” policy, in keeping with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, dictates that possession or use of illegal drugs constitutes an investigation by ACU Police and the possible filing of criminal charges. Violations of ACU’s policy could also result in suspension or dismissal from the university.
According to Ellison, the most common charge for possession of drugs on campus is a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable under Texas law by a fine of up to $2000 and six months in jail. In addition to criminal charges, the university makes the final decision regarding financial aid and standing with the university.
“Understand that if you are smoking on campus, you will get caught,” Ellison said.