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April 06, 1990 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-04-06
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

" &' "

0 0

ell, it's 1990.
Possession of
marijuana in Ann
Arbor is now a
$25
misdemeanor and a University
task force, made up of students,
staff and faculty, is trying to
determine if there is a drug
problem on campus.
"It depends what you mean by
a problem," said Dr. Frederick
Glaser, Director of both the
University Substance Abuse
Center and the University
Alcohol Program. "In a sense, any
use of marijuana, for instance, is a
problem because it is in illegal
drug."
Glaser, who is also a member of
the task force steering committee,
added that "the evidence we have
so far suggests there is a drug
problem on campus. The
principle problem among
students, staff, and faculty, as
with the rest of the country, is
alcohol. The excessive use of
alcohol has for a long time been
part of the culture of this
University."
Coordinator of the Faculty and
Staff Assistance Program Keith
Bruhnsen (also a
member of the
'g steering committee)
, as with explained the task
alco0Io force was charged last
I tlaslif summer by
he culture University President
James Duderstadt
"to collect
information about
alcohol and drug abuse in the
University and at other colleges."
Bruhnsen said the task force is
using information from sources
including the Institute for Social
Research (ISR) to make policy
recommendations to the
administration. According to
congress' Schools and Colleges
Act of 1989, Bruhnsen added, the
University must have a drug
policy and prevention program
instituted by October 1 of this
year.
While the ISR has published a
national survey on alcohol and
other drug use (to be used in the
task force report) Bruhnsen said
statistics on the University are
sketchy and largely anecdotal.
"The University is no different
from any other community,"

During a scene of the 1984 film, Romancing the Stone, Michael
Douglas and Kathleen Turner take cover from a Colombian
rainstorm in the wreck of an airplane. Inside the plane, Douglas
finds several kilos of marijuana and asks Turner if she "smokes
it." Turner looks at Douglas, shrugs her shoulders sheepishly and
says, "I went to college. "
In a 1986 US Magazine article, entitled "Crack Invades Sub-
urbia," author Steven Flax spotlights Ann Arbor in his investiga-
tive report on crack use in smaller cities. "Because of years of
tolerating drug use," Flax says, referring to the $5 pot law, "Ann
Arbor has been slow to recognize the scope of its drug problems. "

Bruhnsen said. "Drugs are
everywhere, its just a question of
determining the extent of the
problem on campus so we can
institute a policy that makes
sense."
Theresa Herzog, an employee
of the University Health Service
and a member of the task force
said the "University is a place
where a lot of people try drugs for
the first time." Glaser agreed but
added "studies show that most
people who experiment with
drugs do not go on to use them
chronically."
To illustrate how student
themselves feel about drugs on
campus, Herzog pointed to a 1988
ISR survey
(separate from I
the national
survey) which Ia
judged the - P
perception of
alcohol and other drug abuse
among 567 University
undergraduates. The study states
that:
95% of those surveyed said
they thought alcohol to be a
problem on campus. 62% of those
thought alcohol to be a major
problem.
. 90% said they thought
marijuana to be a problem on
campus. 50% of those said it was a

major problem.
76% said they thought
cocaine was a problem on campus.
21% of those said it was a major
problem.
57% said crack was a problem
on campus. 11% of those said it
was a major problem.
60% of said they were at
some risk for experiencing
problems with alcohol.
40% of those surveyed
reported alcohol or other drug
problems in their family.
37% reported engaging in
unwanted sexual activity while
under the influence of alcohol or
other drugs.
34% said they used
intoxication
i is a I dIrm IS from
nited States is a alcohol or
stereotyping. other drugs
as an
excuse to
engage in sexual activities.
17% reported using coercion
or aggression to engage in sexual
activity under the influence of
alcohol or other drugs.
35% said alcohol or other
drugs interfered with their
relationships.
29% said alcohol or other
drugs interfered with their
academic performance.
Glaser pointed out that

statistics can sometimes be
misleading. "For instance, crack
does not seem to be a major
problem here. There have been
some incidents but nothing large
scale," he said.
According to the isR survey,
conducted by University
researchers Lloyd Johnson,
Patrick O'Malley and Jerald
Bachman, use of major illicit
drugs such as marijuana, cocaine,
amphetamines, tranquilizers and
crack among the nation's youth
has declined significantly over the
past fifteen years.
"That makes sense," Bruhnsen
said, "nationally people are
becoming more and more
concerned with their health"
"Yet, it is still true that a large
proportion of young people have
tried drugs," the report adds. "In
1989 some 56% of the college
students in the survey reported
having at least tried an illicit drug
use during their lifetime."
Students at the University
offered varied responses to drug
use on campus. One East Quad
resident said she smokes
marijuana about "four times a
week" and that she didn't think it
altered her lifestyle at all. Another
student who lives off campus said
he has tried a lot of drugs "from
cocaine to acid to Extasy" but
doesn't use any of them regularly.
Another student, who said he
and his housemates grow pot at
their off-campus house and then
sell it, commented that campus
marijuana use is on the decline.
"It doesn't seem like that many
people smoke (pot) anymore," he
said. "When we go to a party
people look at us funny if we light
up. Hardly anyone even has
cigarettes at parties any more."
T here are some campus
bodies that have
specifically developed
bad reputations for
their alcohol or other
drug use. East Quad, for example,
has a reputation for being a drug
dorm in which many students
smoke marijuana or experiment
with hallucinogens.
Deba Patnaik, director of East
Quad and assistant director of the
Residential College, said "to say
East Quad is a drug dorm is like
saying the United States is a drug
country, it's stereotyping."
Patnaik stressed that "drugs are
not an issue here (in East Quad).
East Quad has always been an
unconventional and liberal place,

by Mike Sobel
photo illustrations by Jose Juarez

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