Spike In Marijuana Cases At Eastern Washington University: Other - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spike In Marijuana Cases At Eastern Washington University: Other Campuses Taking A Hit Too

CHENEY, Wash – It's been more than three months since voters in Washington State passed Initiative 502 legalizing marijuana.

But even though the drug is technically legal according to the state, it's still illegal under federal law.  But because they received federal funding, the rules at colleges and universities are different, and most campuses have a zero-tolerance policy.

But that's not stopping students from getting high.

At Eastern Washington University in Cheney, there were 20 drug arrests made during the entire 2011-2012 academic year.  But so far this year, they've already had 28 drug calls – with several months left to go.

"You can extrapolate that out, and say, if we keep doing that we're going to close to triple our number of drug calls this year," said Deputy Chief Gary Gasseling of Eastern Washington University Police.

But the problem is limited to pot.

"We're seeing an upswing in our alcohol, we're seeing an upswing in our drugs, we're seeing an upswing in our assaults," he added.

EWU is also seeing record-high student enrollment, which may explain some of the numbers.

"Once, I think, they saw the fact that 502 passed, they think, ‘Oh it's legal.'  Well read the fine print," Deputy Chief Gasseling also said.

While buying marijuana is still illegal under I-502, the initiative does limit marijuana use to those over 21, not in public, who can have less than an ounce.  But those rules are only for public property.

"The student disciplinary conduct code says you can't be under the influence.  So if you come back onto the campus and you start raising holy heck, guess what?  You're going to go through the process."

He told KHQ most of the cases are happening in residence halls, and usually in very small amounts – between 1 and 5 grams.  An adult following the legal restrictions of I-502 is allowed to posses roughly 28 grams (1 ounce).

"If they're using in the halls, or they get caught smoking inside the residence halls, they're probably going to get booted out," he explained.  "If they're selling - guaranteed they're going to get kicked out of the residence halls.  They can find somewhere else to live."

EWU Police work closely with police at other campuses, including Washington State University, University of Washington, Western Washington University, and Eastern Washington University, as well as Gonzaga and the Riverpoint campus in Spokane.

Deputy Chief Gasseling said most of those partners are also seeing an uptick in marijuana cases on campus.

"It's not just the drugs, it's the attitude and the choices kids are making right now," he said.  "They're here to get an education."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Throwback Thursday! Look At 'Sunshine Shelly' Through The Years!

    Throwback Thursday! Look At 'Sunshine Shelly' Through The Years!

    Thursday, March 20 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-03-20 17:04:11 GMT
    KHQ.COM - It's throwback Thursday! Here is a slideshow we would like to share of Shelly Monahan through the years! For those of you who have been in Spokane for many years, and saw her through her "Sunshine Shelly" days, you will probably remember the Shelly from back in those days. Enjoy!>>
    KHQ.COM - It's throwback Thursday! Here is a slideshow we would like to share of Shelly Monahan through the years! For those of you who have been in Spokane for many years, and saw her through her "Sunshine Shelly" days, you will probably remember the Shelly from back in those days. Enjoy!>>
  • VIRAL VIDEO: Holy Moly! This girl is definitely NOT afraid of spiders!

    VIRAL VIDEO: Holy Moly! This girl is definitely NOT afraid of spiders!

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:00 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:00:12 GMT
    KHQ.COM - You don't even know what this girl is about to do to prove she is definitely NOT afraid of spiders! Is she crazy or just fearless? Would you do this for $500? $1,000? $20,000? >>>WATCH>>>>>
    KHQ.COM - You don't even know what this girl is about to do to prove she is definitely NOT afraid of spiders! Is she crazy or just fearless? Would you do this for $500? $1,000? $20,000? >>>WATCH>>>>>
  • Barista-stand owner faces prostitution charge

    Barista-stand owner faces prostitution charge

    Monday, September 1 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-09-01 14:10:27 GMT
    EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - Authorities say the owner of bikini coffee stands in Washington state banked more than $2 million in just three years because her baristas were also selling sex acts. Snohomish County prosecutors charged 52-year-old former nude dancer Carmela Panico with promoting prostitution and money laundering, alleging that she was the madam of drive-thru brothels throughout the county north of Seattle.>>
    EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - Authorities say the owner of bikini coffee stands in Washington state banked more than $2 million in just three years because her baristas were also selling sex acts. Snohomish County prosecutors charged 52-year-old former nude dancer Carmela Panico with promoting prostitution and money laundering, alleging that she was the madam of drive-thru brothels throughout the county north of Seattle.
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • BREAKING: One person dead after hit & run in Spokane Valley

    BREAKING: One person dead after hit & run in Spokane Valley

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:03 AM EDT2014-09-02 10:03:43 GMT
    One person is dead after a hit and run near I-90 Park Rd. in Spokane Valley. It happened around 1:30 am.>>
    One person is dead after a hit and run near I-90 Park Rd. in Spokane Valley. It happened around 1:30 am.
    >>
  • Police search for armed robbery suspect

    Police search for armed robbery suspect

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:23 AM EDT2014-09-02 07:23:19 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A man walked into a Zip Trip gas station brandishing a hand gun and stole cash Monday night, according to Spokane Police.The robbery happened at about 10:30 p.m. at the Zip Trip on East Illinois Avenue, just north of where Perry Street intersects with Illinois. Spokane Police say the man walked in and showed employees the handgun. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A man walked into a Zip Trip gas station brandishing a hand gun and stole cash Monday night, according to Spokane Police.The robbery happened at about 10:30 p.m. at the Zip Trip on East Illinois Avenue, just north of where Perry Street intersects with Illinois. Spokane Police say the man walked in and showed employees the handgun. >>
  • Wildfire Victim Searches For Strength To Rebuild

    Wildfire Victim Searches For Strength To Rebuild

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:28 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:28:11 GMT
    ALTA LAKE, Wash. - "John Neuneker Sr. built almost everything on his property with his own two hands, including the home in which he and his wife Laurie raised their four children.“It was a family thing,” Neuneker told KHQ. “Not just my wife. My kids, all of us chipped in. We built the whole thing ourselves.” Their log cabin was one of many things Neuneker lost in the Carlton Complex Fire.>>
    ALTA LAKE, Wash. - "John Neuneker Sr. built almost everything on his property with his own two hands, including the home in which he and his wife Laurie raised their four children.“It was a family thing,” Neuneker told KHQ. “Not just my wife. My kids, all of us chipped in. We built the whole thing ourselves.” Their log cabin was one of many things Neuneker lost in the Carlton Complex Fire.>>