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Drug Abuse Essay: Dealing on College Campuses

drugs / law / college / campus / student / methamphetamine / marijuana / cocaine / crime / school / police / criminal justice / drug addiction
 

Introduction

Drug dealing on college campuses currently presents one of the most challenging problems on the US social and legal agenda. The cases of law abuse are serious and require immediate attention from the responsible bodies. The tendency of drug dealings on college campuses is increasing and hazards normal functioning of civil society. Therefore, authorities are taking the drastic actions against drug dealers.

General discussion

Life in college is widely viewed as a period of new opportunities, friendship and vast academic experience. However, there are many instances that diminish such buoyant perception since college campuses open a wide avenue for drug dealers and drug trafficking. Therefore communities are seriously concerned about alcohol and drug use in colleges.

The similar practices often involve lethal endings, arrests and personal tragedies. In all types of campuses the numbers of students’ deaths caused by alcohol poisoning and drug overdose have dramatically increased over the few past years. Alcohol and drug overdoses often result in serious accidents, vandalism, injuries, crimes on campuses, as well as students’ inability to keep up with academic curriculum.

Notwithstanding that most college students avoid the unsafe use of alcohol and drugs; they are prone to suffering the effects of the high-risk behaviours expressed by their peers. Hence, those engaged in drinking and drug use also harm the students around them. The scope of the problem is therefore alarming.

According to the recent research, college campuses experience alcohol and drug-use problems. Surveys report that college students involved in drug use involved: amphetamines (6.5 percent); marijuana (32.3 percent); cocaine (3.7 percent); hallucinogens (7.5 percent); and ecstasy (3.6 percent). In many reported cases, the use of these illicit drugs has resulted in hospitalizations for overdoses, date rape crimes, deaths, and many other personal tragedies.

Taking these facts into account, college authorities take relevant measures to address drug-dealing problems, including:

(1) Implementation of programs and policies and to prevent and restrict drug as well as its negative consequences;

(2) Implementation of broad prevention approaches combining conventional educational programs with strategies directed towards changing campus environment and surrounding communities, which involve sound personal, peer, community, institutional, and public policies.

At that, many implemented policies and programs really make a difference causing a positive influence on the campus culture considering drug use. In particular, college authorities closely interact with local communities to ensure that drugs are not circulated to students. Strengthening academic requirements is another viable step to ensure that fewer students are engaged in drug-use and related dealings. Disciplining offenders, notifying parents, setting media campaigns are all supportive measures to limit drug dealings on college campuses (The White House Initiative, 2008).

Drug Dealing on College Campuses Case Study

Last year CNN reported from Washington that nearly 100 hundred people, including San Diego college students majoring in homeland security and criminal justice, undercover major drug sting which caused a whiff of a scandal. According to the authorities, those arrested included 75 students accused of possession of cocaine and guns; one alleged student even worked as a student community service officer dealing cocaine at the California school. Initially, the investigation was launched in 2007 by the campus police following a student’s lethal overdose in May 2007.

Further police investigation evolved with the support from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, after which a subsequent overdose followed in February 2008. The drug dealers posed an adverse affect to hundreds of student lives and actually crossed out their educational and career prospects since many students were evicted from campus housing and suspended from school. In addition to this, police busted twenty-one people on the grounds of various drug charges.

According to the Chief of the narcotics division for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, Damon Mosler, drug dealers behaved openly while dealing with cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy pills. Overall, authorities confiscated about $100,000 worth of drugs, $5,000 worth of marijuana and one kilogram of cocaine worth of $17,000. In the course of investigation the police revealed that drug dealers were effectively applying short message system to lead interaction and transfer the notices.

Thereafter, police implemented search warrants to investigate suspects’ houses off campus, as well as on-campus housing. At that, students served as ‘mid-level distributors’ selling more than a person might buy for personal use. Those arrested consequently faced charges for the possession and sale cocaine, marijuana, and ecstasy.

US legislative agenda on drug-dealings

Possession, production, and distribution of methamphetamine are all in serious violation of the US federal and state laws. Further analysis indicates specific terms and regulations related to the issue that comprised major offence in the case of the United States of America v. Carl Jennings.

            On May 8, 1996 United States Court of Appeals on appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio decided and filed the case of the United States of America (Plaintiff-Appellee) v. Carl Jennings and John Stepp (Defendants-Appellants). Over consideration of the case, defendants appealed convictions and sentences due to indictments charging a conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846 (count one), possession of over one hundred grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a) (1) (count two), and endangerment of human life while manufacturing methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 858 (count four) (United States Court of Appeals, 1996).

Furthermore, Defendant Jennings was also convicted of “maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing and using methamphetamine, in violation of 12 U.S.C. § 856 (a) (1) (count three), distribution of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (count five), and distribution of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (count six)” (United States Court of Appeals, 1996, p.5).

A jury convicted defendants due to conspiring the manufacturing and possessing with the intention of distribution of more than 100 grams of methamphetamine, as well as possessing over 100 grams of methamphetamine with an intention to distribute, and one finally due to endangering human life while manufacturing methamphetamine.

At that, defendant Jennings was also convicted “on one count of maintaining a place for the purpose of manufacturing and using methamphetamine, one count of distributing cocaine, and one count of distributing methamphetamine” (United States Court of Appeals, 1996, p.6).

In accordance with the sentencing guidelines, the District Court determined defendants’ offence levels based on drug quantities involved in the case. The District Court equated the total weight of Crockpot contents with the relevant drug quantity while fixing the drug quantity. Consequently, in accordance with this legal precedent, defenders were pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance in violation of 21 U.S.C.  846 (count one).

Therefore, arrest warrants were served on the defenders in relation to the investigation for violation of Title 21 U.S.C. Section 846 - Conspiracy to Manufacture or Distribute Controlled Substances (US Fed. News Service, 2007). At that, the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for conspiracy to distribute marijuana and the distribution of marijuana charges, in violation of 21 U.S.C. Section 846 and 21 U.S.C. Section 841(a) (1) and 841 (b)(1)(B)(vii) is five years, with a maximum of not more than 40 years, a $2,000,000 fine, a four year term of supervised release (United States Court of Appeals, 1996, p.7). At that, the maximum statutory penalty for managing or controlling a place for unlawfully manufacturing, storing and distributing of marijuana in violation of 21 U.S.C. Section 856(a)(2) is 20 years imprisonment, a $2,000,000 fine and three years supervised release (US Fed. News Service, 2007).

Furthermore, since possession of over one hundred grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute is in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a) (1) (count two), it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to (1) manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance; or (2) to create, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense, a counterfeit substance (Cornell University Law School, 2007).

Moreover, any person in the case of a violation of subsection (a) of this section involving (viii) “50 grams or more of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, and salts of its isomers or 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers”, shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment which may not be less than 10 years or more than life and if death or serious bodily injury results from the use of such substance shall be not less than 20 years or more than life, a fine not to exceed the greater of that authorized in accordance with the provisions of title 18 or $4,000,000 if the defendant is an individual or $10,000,000 if the defendant is other than an individual, or both (Cornell University Law School, 2007).

If any person commits such a violation after a prior conviction for a felony drug offence has become final, such person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment which may not be less than 20 years and not more than life imprisonment and if death or serious bodily injury results from the use of such substance shall be sentenced to life imprisonment, a fine not to exceed the greater of twice that authorized in accordance with the provisions of title 18 or $8,000,000 if the defendant is an individual or $20,000,000 if the defendant is other than an individual, or both (Cornell University Law School, 2007). In addition to this, Jennings violated 12 U.S.C. § 856 (a) Establishment of Manufacturing Operations, which states that it is unlawful to:

(1) Knowingly open or maintain any place for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, or using any controlled substance; and

(2) Manage or control any building, room, or enclosure, either as an owner, lessee, agent, employee, or mortgagee, and knowingly and intentionally rent, lease, or make available for use, with or without compensation, the building, room, or enclosure for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, storing, distributing, or using a controlled substance (Office of Diversion Control 2007, p.1).

Overall, the major offence under this case consists of three parts:

(1) Possession of over one hundred grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a) (1);

(2) Endangerment of human life while manufacturing methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 858 (count four).

(3) Distribution of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (count five), and distribution of methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) (count six).

Finally, from the abovementioned facts it is evident that the US system of criminal justice has handled this type of case fairly and in line with the existing legal regulations.

Further analysis indicates that it is both illegal to possess methamphetamine or PCP, as well as to possess the ingredients with the intent to manufacture such drugs. For instance, California Health and Safety Code §11383(a) applies to the ingredients for methamphetamine, making it a felony: any person who possesses both methylamine and phenyl-2-propanone (phenylacetone) at the same time with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine, or who possesses both ethylamine and phenyl-2-propanone (phenylacetone) at the same time with the intent to manufacture N-ethylamphetamine, is guilty of a felony (as cited in SQUIDOO, 2007, p.1)

In accordance with Helth and Safety Code Section 25400.10-25400.12, hazardous chemicals used or produced in the manufacture of methamphetamine where those chemicals remain and where the contamination has not been remediate may contaminate properties. The illegal manufacturing of methamphetamine (meth) is a nationwide problem in the US. The illegal manufacturing of meth relates to a number of toxic, corrosive, reactant, and flammable ingredients that after combination create products that are even more hazardous.

To this end, California Health and Safety Code §11383 (i) states that Illegal methamphetamine manufacturing or storage site" or ‘site’ means property where a person manufactures methamphetamine or stores methamphetamine or a hazardous chemical used in connection with the manufacturing or storage and in violation of Section 11383.

The illegal manufacturing of methamphetamine includes the application of initial substances called ‘precursors’, which are altered through a number of chemical reactions to form methamphetamine. Other precursors applied within the manufacturing methamphetamine are pseudoephedrine and ephedrine.

Considering the abovementioned, on a national level, the US should implement effective actions to measurably reduce and disrupt the importation, distribution, and clandestine manufacturing of methamphetamine. The right initiatives should be realized on all possible levels to cope with the problem. Such initiatives should be implemented in support of the National Drug Control Strategy, which addresses the need to increase the safety of US citizens by substantially reducing drug-related crime and violence.

Conclusion

The importation and distribution of methamphetamine is common in the US colleges in all states, however, the clandestine manufacturing phenomenon, especially in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska. Therefore, coordination of the integration and synchronization of all participating agencies’ initiatives are required to ensure a regional unified effort. Furthermore, there is the current need to enhance and increase the free exchange of narcotics intelligence and information among competent authorities.

Hence, common action will help to identify, target, and dismantle organizations/individuals distributing and/or manufacturing methamphetamine. This should be accomplished by “actively collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information and intelligence in a timely manner” (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2007).

 

 

References

Anonymous. 'METH' LAW CREDITED WITH REDUCING PRODUCTI0N OF DRUG IN UNITED STATES Criminal Justice Newsletter. Hackensack: Dec 15, 2006. pg. 6

CNN 2008, College drug sting snags justice, security majors, scores of others, Retrieved March 31 2009 fromhttp://edition.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/05/06/sdsu.bust/index.html

Cornell University Law School (2007) U.S. Code Collection Retrieved March 31, 2009 from http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode21/usc_sec_21_00000841----000-.html

Office of Diversion Control (2007) Title 21 United States Code (USC) Controlled Substances Act, Retrieved March 31, 2009 from http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/841.htm

Office of Diversion Control (2007) Title 21 United States Code (USC)
Controlled Substances Act Section 856. Establishment of Manufacturing Operations,

Office of National Drug Control Policy (2007) Midwest HIDTA, Retrieved March 31, 2009 from http://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/enforce/hidta2001/midw-fs.html

Pub.L. 91-513, Title II, Section 417, as added Pub.L. 100-690, Title VI, Section 6301(a), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4370

Pub. L. 91-513, title II, Sec. 406, Oct. 27, 1970, 84 Stat. 1265; Pub. L. 100-690, title VI, Sec. 6470 (a), Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4377

SQUIDOO (2007) Possession of Methamphetamine or PCP, Retrieved March 31, 2009 from http://www.squidoo.com/methamphetamine/  

The White House Initiative, 2008, Alcohol and Drug Abuse on College Campuses http://www.yesican.gov/drugfree/alcabuse.html

United States v. Jennings, 945 F.2d 129, 135. 6th Cir. 1991

United States Court of Appeals (1996) On Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Retrieved March 31, 2009 from  http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=6th&navby=case&no=960136p

US Fed Service, including US State News (2007) SEARCH WARRANT SERVED AT MARIJUANA CANDY FACTORY, Washington, D.C.

US Fed Service, including US State News (2007) OWNER, MANAGER OF HAYWARD MARIJUANA DISTRIBUTION CENTER CHARGED, Washington, D.C.

Retrieved March 31, 2009 from http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/856.htm

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Homes and Communities (2007) Cherokee Nation Meth Lab Initiative, Retrieved October 4, 2007 from

            http://www.hud.gov/local/ok/library/archives/2007-07-09.cfm.

 

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