Model poses for an image showing the inaccessibility of smoking on campus 9/12/21
Model poses for an image showing the inaccessibility of smoking on campus 9/12/21

2020 Security Report Revisits Cannabis Policy

Recently released annual security report comes with updated terms for reporting cannabis encounters.
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Changing campus dynamics over the last two years have left permanent changes to many of Humboldt State’s policies and procedures. One such change came with the release of the Annual Security Report, a three-year analysis of crime statistics.

The reports are led by the Clery Compliance Team in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, otherwise known as the Clery Act.

In 2020, both the Clery Director and Clery Coordinator retired. Allan Ford filled in as director and Nicki Viso acted as coordinator. In their new roles, Ford and Viso revised campus requirements to report cannabis policy infractions.

“Our understanding of what constitutes a Liquor Law referral for disciplinary action and Drug Law referral for disciplinary action evolved, which has resulted in a decrease in our statistics between 2019 and 2020. These three factors contributed the most:

• Residence halls are considered private residences once a locked door is encountered.

• Individuals who are 21+ can have possession of up to 28.5g of cannabis.

• Individuals under 21 must have possession of a usable amount of cannabis to count as a statistic,” the Annual Security Report reads.

These new requirements allow the campus’ security report to reflect California’s cannabis restrictions as well as focus on underage use of controlled substances. In previous years, “drug law referrals” made up a majority of crimes reported. Last year’s report identified an approximate average of 133 referrals per year from 2017-2019. This year, the report listed only 21.

Previously, security reports would overwhelmingly reflect drug referrals that did not violate state law. Now, the reports will more accurately reflect encounters with illicit substances or quantities, and underage possession.

The university has made it clear that possession and use of cannabis remains prohibited at Humboldt State. However, efforts made by Humboldt State administrators along with University Police allow our campus to more accurately report on student safety. Humboldt State Chief of Police Anthony Morgan responded to these changes.

“Nothing has changed in the way we respond to [drug and alcohol] incidents on campus. One of the things I think the campus does a good job of is trying to administratively handle these incidents versus make them a law enforcement issue,” Morgan said.

The annual safety report is a reflection of the security of the student body. For many prospective students and their families, this report is the best way to understand the quality of life on campus.

As Humboldt State adapts to a rapidly changing world, current and prospective students need to be informed about the safety of their community. This change in the annual security report is one more step campus administrators have taken to respond to that need.

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