By Frank Portillo
Posters warning students about the consequences of being under the influence of Marijuana were posted around campus by Student Services last week.
The posters feature a giant cannabis leaf being crossed out and read as followed: “legalized recreational use is not an excuse.
Marijuana use is prohibited on college campus. Using or being under the influence of marijuana on campus can lead up to: academic discipline, academic dismissal, loss of federal aid, grants and scholarships and criminal charges.
According to Dean of Student Services Sonia Lopez, the posters are meant to educate students about the matter after recreational use of the substance was made legal in California.
Being under the influence of any substance on campus is a direct violation of Los Angeles Community College District code 9803.19 of academic conduct.
It can result in negatively affecting a student’s reputation when transferring or applying for scholarships and grants.
The code reads as follows: “Any possession of controlled substances which would constitute a violation of Health and Safety Code section 11350 or Business and Professions Code section 4230, any use of controlled substances the possession of which are prohibited by same, or any possession or use of alcoholic beverages while on any property owned or used by the District or colleges of the District.
‘Controlled substance,’ as used in this section, include but are not limited to the following drugs and narcotics: opiates, opium, and opium derivatives, mescaline, hallucinogenic substances, peyote, marijuana, stimulants and depressants, cocaine.”
Although there have been no incidents reported, Lopez said educating the student body in this matter is important. “We want to make sure that students know that (the academic code) is applied on campus. We don’t want students to not know and then end up in my office for student disciplinary cases,” Lopez said.
She said that disciplinary action depends on the severity of the incident. If a student is caught, the first step is to notify them of the rules on campus.
If being under the influence leads to a student becoming disruptive or combative in class, then more serious disciplinary action will be taken.
Lopez wanted to ensure that students would be able to see the message. She said the posters will remain for the first few months of the semester.
“The last thing that I want is for a student to violate a student code of conduct unknowingly and then end up with some kind of documentation on their record. We don’t want that,” Lopez said.
If a student is caught and documented, then it could affect their possibility of transferring. The receiving schools contact East Los Angeles College to ask if a student has been formally disciplined for any issue on campus.
While officials on the campus are not allowed to disclose the details of the incident, due to privacy reasons, they are allowed to notify the receiving campus of any documentation regarding student discipline.
Lopez also said that the discipline can be more severe depending on a student’s choice of major.
“Sometimes (students) are applying for scholarships and whoever is awarding the scholarship will ask if a student has ever been disciplined for any student code of conduct. If there’s something in their record, then we would answer yes or no. I would like to say no, especially when it comes to marijuana, just because it’s legal. Just not on campus,” Lopez said.
If students have any questions about the matter, they can contact the vice president of Student Services office at (323) 265-8777.