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VP959
29th Apr 2018, 15:31
Buckingham University aims to be UK's 'first drug-free campus' - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-43940834)

Apparently, the way that this uni is going to achieve this is to:

.......... ask students to sign contracts promising not to take drugs on its property in a bid to become Britain's first drug-free campus

I rather think they are having a laugh, as the chances of stopping all it's students from having the odd toke now and again has to be near-zero.

Octane
30th Apr 2018, 01:54
What about the academics!
My Organic Chemistry Professor did time after being caught out manufacturing illegal drugs in his research lab!:}

Mechta
30th Apr 2018, 07:46
What possesses an organisation to set themselves up for failure and ridicule in this way? If Singapore is not 100% drug free, what hope has a British university? What sanction does the university plan to use? Instant expulsion? Are all lecturers and other staff to have on the spot drugs tests? I can really see that working...

DaveReidUK
30th Apr 2018, 08:11
What possesses an organisation to set themselves up for failure and ridicule in this way? If Singapore is not 100% drug free, what hope has a British university? What sanction does the university plan to use? Instant expulsion?

Buckingham is a small, private, independent university (only around 2,500 students), so comparisons with most UK universities aren't necessarily valid.

And yes, its rules already render any student found to be in possession of illegal drugs liable to expulsion.

https://www.buckingham.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/5.8-University-Policy-on-Drugs-and-Alcohol.doc

ShotOne
30th Apr 2018, 08:32
To he fair, the headline “this is going to work” could equally be applied to national drug policy. Buckingham are at least trying something different. We need to make the difficult call: legalise or fully enforce. The present half-baked mixture of tolerance with selective localised bouts of strict enforcement has demonstrably failed.

VP959
30th Apr 2018, 09:18
There's a lot of evidence to suggest that a fair percentage of the population took drugs in one form or another when teenagers or at uni. I believe even some of our politicians that went to some of the more prominent schools and universities have owned up to having smoked the odd spliff or two in their youth. I know I certainly did around that stage of my life, and pretty much all of my peers did the same (I can't actually remember anyone that didn't).

I doubt that getting students to sign some form of contract is going to change that, especially as there is no way the university can do any real checks to prove whether any student has or has not partaken. I doubt they have the legal powers to conduct random drug tests, and also doubt that they have any powers to search students either. All they could possibly do is call the police if the suspected any student was under the influence of drugs, and TBH, unless they had a lot of evidence to suggest that someone was dealing, I doubt the police would even bother to turn up.

From what I can gather, cannabis is still illegal here, but unless the police find someone in possession of a quantity of the stuff that they believe is more than warranted for "personal use", or the person involved is suspected of some more serious offence, they tend to just turn a blind eye to it.

As @ShotOne rightly says, we need to stop sitting on the fence and either legalise or fully enforce. I've long felt that legalising the "natural" strains of cannabis, i.e. not the crazy "skunk" that's been selectively bred in recent times to have many times the tetrahydrocannabinol content of the stuff that was around when I was a student, would remove a pretty big burden from the police, would allow the government to license growers and retailers, may well attract significant tax revenue from legal sales (even if it's just VAT) and allow a degree of regulation which just isn't there in the unlawful marketplace.

Mr Optimistic
30th Apr 2018, 09:33
Isn't this just another example of the conceit and hubris of the modern PC community? They think they can alter behaviours they regard as 'inappropriate' or ' unacceptable' by artificial forms of language restraint or contrived interpersonal mechanisms. Presumably in their eyes the result justifies the means. Perhaps we need a modern Cnut to promote a bit more humility in the self righteous believers.

DaveReidUK
30th Apr 2018, 12:24
I doubt that getting students to sign some form of contract is going to change that, especially as there is no way the university can do any real checks to prove whether any student has or has not partaken. I doubt they have the legal powers to conduct random drug tests, and also doubt that they have any powers to search students either. All they could possibly do is call the police if the suspected any student was under the influence of drugs, and TBH, unless they had a lot of evidence to suggest that someone was dealing, I doubt the police would even bother to turn up.

From the link I posted earlier:

"The University will exercise its right to inspect student accommodation at any time. Drug use will be reported. Any evidence of drug use or dealing may be given to the police. Students’ clothing and/or bags may also be subject to search if there is reason to believe evidence of drug use or possession may be found."

Seems to cover everything short of intimate body searches. :O

ShotOne
30th Apr 2018, 13:13
I don’t necessarily say it’s correct, Mr Optimistic but that doesn’t make it conceited or hubric. Right or wrong, they at least have a coherent policy. Other forms of behaviour HAVE been successfully restrained by social pressure and enforcement - drink driving for instance; formerly tolerated, now empathetically not.

G-CPTN
30th Apr 2018, 14:47
drink driving for instance; formerly tolerated, now empathetically not.
Yet people still do it.

Mr Optimistic
30th Apr 2018, 17:20
True, but not at the expense of language. Control what words people can say and you control how they think perhaps. The contract business, seen this elsewhere. It is not there to emphasise the right behaviour, let alone make voluntary obedience more likely, its there to give justification to the measures enacted against transgression. To the extent that it might make behaviour different, this effect is through fear.

We need to allow people to make mistakes and act in ways we don't condone. The alternative is totalitarian. Still, perhaps we will get a benevolent dictator, initials PC.

clareprop
30th Apr 2018, 17:22
Presumably, this Utopian concept includes shutting the student bar so the drug alcohol may not taken?

ShotOne
1st May 2018, 06:53
“We need to allow people to make mistakes “ Do we? Drug abuse in university-aged people is often a life-shattering catastrophe with no way back. It’s also very costly to society, not just the individual. I agree there is a case to be made for legalisation (drugs could then be regulated and taxed and the immense profits removed from criminal gangs) but simply stating we “need” to allow it hardly makes that case.

Lascaille
1st May 2018, 09:49
Drug abuse in university-aged people is often a life-shattering catastrophe with no way back.

Can you provide some references or something connecting this statement to reality for anything apart from the edgiest of edge cases?

evansb
1st May 2018, 15:33
Who are "university-aged people"? I know (and have known) students attending university in their thirties, forties, fifties and one was in their sixties.

ShotOne
1st May 2018, 16:33
Well there were 2493 deaths directly caused by drug misuse in 2016 in England and Wales. That’s over forty 7/7 bombings for starters. Was that even a serious post?

VP959
1st May 2018, 17:49
Well there were 2493 deaths directly caused by drug misuse in 2016 in England and Wales. That’s over forty 7/7 bombings for starters. Was that even a serious post?




From the Office for National Statistics:

In 2016 there were 7,327 alcohol-specific deaths in the UK, an age-standardised rate of 11.7 deaths per 100,000 population.

That's nearly three times the number of deaths from drug misuse, and there were no recorded deaths from misuse of cannabis.

Top of the cause of death from drug misuse were opiates (Heroin, Morphine, Methadone, Tramadol, Oxycodone, Fentanyl) which accounted for 2038 of all drug misuse deaths. Antidepressant misuse was next at 460, followed by benzodiazepines at 406, cocaine at 371, paracetamol at 219, amphetamines at 160 and then a bunch of relatively small numbers of deaths from other drugs (but none from cannabis misuse).

Worth noting that the majority of people that die as a consequence of drug misuse are in the 40 to 49 year age group, which fits with opiates being the major problem.

Quite why we allow the sale of alcohol and even encourage its consumption to some degree, yet demonise someone who smokes the odd spliff is a bit beyond me.

Mr Optimistic
1st May 2018, 21:08
Do you not think, in a world where the craving for drugs (think the organised crime undermining our society, the druggies on the street), or alcohol (oh the people in shop doorways and wife batterers), or opiod pain killers (what is happening to the life expectancy statistic in red neck USA), that just maybe there is something beyond the actual substance of abuse which is driving this ?

No worries, make them sign a bit of paper.

VP959
2nd May 2018, 06:37
Do you not think, in a world where the craving for drugs (think the organised crime undermining our society, the druggies on the street), or alcohol (oh the people in shop doorways and wife batterers), or opiod pain killers (what is happening to the life expectancy statistic in red neck USA), that just maybe there is something beyond the actual substance of abuse which is driving this ?

No worries, make them sign a bit of paper.

I think it's a bit more complex than that. There's a fair bit of evidence that humans have been attracted to mind-altering substances since prehistoric times, everything from alcohol in fermented beverages, through chewing leaves, like coca, to using hallucinogens found in everything from mushrooms to cacti. It seems global, pretty much every ancient culture seems to have a long history of using alcohol or drugs.

What we don't know is whether or not we are more prone to abusing mind-altering substances than we were a thousand years or more ago, and if we are, what the cause is. I suspect our cleverness in being able to discover and manufacture very potent substances, many times more powerful in their effect than naturally derived ones, may be a part of the problem, and maybe the stresses of modern living may be another part.

TBH, I'm not convinced by the latter argument; it must have been pretty damned stressful living as hunter/gatherers, where mortality rates were very high and few lived for more than about 50 years. Even hunter/gatherers with none of the stresses of modern life seemed to use drugs and alcohol, so perhaps we're somehow predisposed to seek out stuff like this. It may even be that we've evolved an attraction for alcohol and drugs as a stress-relieving mechanism, over millennia.

Krystal n chips
2nd May 2018, 07:11
Well there were 2493 deaths directly caused by drug misuse in 2016 in England and Wales. That’s over forty 7/7 bombings for starters. Was that even a serious post?


And of those, since you offered the figure as exemplification, how many were directly attributable to University students ?

While we are on the subject, lets not forget something called the "Opium Trade " which benefited the bank balances of several erstwhile entrepreneurs in the UK's glorious Colonial past.....

Not forgetting the unquantifiable number of the UK population, off all ages, who participate in "recreational use " of various forms.

It's nigh on impossible, unless you have lived some form of JB insular life that is, not to have encountered or been in the presence of, drugs of any form in a social environment. Cannabis has a distinct aroma, so I would suggest anybody visiting Derby station when the students are on their lunch break by the Roundhouse entrance takes a deep breath before passing any groups. That's not a slur on the students by the way, people who smoke cannabis do so anywhere they feel it's safe to do so in public.

Never held any appeal to be honest, I prefer to have a social drink,

ShotOne
2nd May 2018, 07:35
“..anywhere they feel it’s safe to do so “ Not in Buckingham University though

Krystal n chips
2nd May 2018, 07:40
“..anywhere they feel it’s safe to do so “ Not in Buckingham University though

Ah, the correlation of the quoted figure is still a "work In progress " then is it?

No matter, what they do off campus is more to the point.

ShotOne
2nd May 2018, 08:09
The point is, Krystal, unlike the U.K. as a whole, they do have a coherent policy, right or wrong. VP rightly points out that there are more deaths from alcohol than drugs. That suggests legalisation is not likely to improve those figures. But at least the money you pay to enjoy your pint does not fund organised crime.

currawong
2nd May 2018, 12:32
Given that such an establishment will take its tuition fees in advance one would think there is a pretty solid incentive to not get kicked out.

Surely having a stated position on a matter that aligns with the law is not a bad thing?

VP959
2nd May 2018, 14:50
Not saying it's good or bad, but when there are already laws covering this, I can't help thinking that using them, rather than creating their own "university law" would be a better option. Anyone possessing prohibited drugs is already breaking the law, so why can't they just use that law and report anyone found with drugs to the police, and let them deal with it?

Most universities already have a policy with regard to students who are convicted of criminal acts, which should include getting kicked out, anyway. It's strikes me as just being a bit pointless, as I doubt very much that it will change student behaviour, other than, perhaps, teaching some how to be a bit more devious, so they don't get caught.

Krystal n chips
2nd May 2018, 15:00
The point is, Krystal, unlike the U.K. as a whole, they do have a coherent policy, right or wrong. VP rightly points out that there are more deaths from alcohol than drugs. That suggests legalisation is not likely to improve those figures. But at least the money you pay to enjoy your pint does not fund organised crime.


And we would be interested to learn, where in the UK there are establishments and organisations which do permit the use of controlled drugs given the legislation in force is, erm, coherent and UK wide.

There are more deaths from alcohol related illness, and we might as well add obesity to the list here, than drug related deaths, but, try and be realistic. For every one or two people shown on whatever police television show being arrested or cautioned for drugs ( with suitable inane commentary to accompany the scene ) just how many people do you think actually habitually or occasionally use drugs, in any form, in the privacy of their homes?.

I'm all for those caught drug driving receiving the same penalties as any moron who drinks and drives, that's different, but overall, the prevalence of drugs is such that legalising their usage is eventually inevitable, certainly with regard to cannabis, but clearly not the Class "A" drugs.

As for organised crime and drinking, well it's not actually called that in polite circles, but look at the many issues regarding pub tenancy agreements...... and try and spot the difference.

ShotOne
2nd May 2018, 21:46
It’s simply not true to insist policy is consistent countrywide Krystal. Although smoking cannabis is illegal countrywide, enforcement varies wildly. You yourself detailed in depth in post 20 how widespread its use is. Depending on where you are it may end in a potentially career-wrecking police caution or no action at all.