U police lax on marijuana use at Redfest

By By Veronica Pineda

By Veronica Pineda

At this year’s Redfest, the laid-back music from Slightly Stoopid and Dilated Peoples8212;bands notorious for their use of marijuana on and off stage8212;generated clouds of smoke from the crowd.

Every now and then, the wind would carry the aroma for everyone to catch a whiff8212;including the U Police Department and security guards surrounding the annual concert Friday. But in a crowd of 8,000 people, it would be an unrewarding fox hunt to find the evidence, said Sgt. Arb Nordgran of the U Police.

“If we see a joint passing around, it’d be silly for us to go down and find it,” Nordgran said. “But if we’re able to, we will pursue it and take action.”

Marijuana is the most widely available illicit drug in Utah, and at universities, marijuana is one of the most popular and accessible drugs to obtain, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center.

Friday night, 45 Centennial Management Group security guards and 10 U Police officers roamed the concert area for any unacceptable behavior.

The U prohibits the use, possession or distribution of any narcotic on campus or at U events. U Police must be able to see and confirm the crime is being committed before citing a student.

If a student was caught with the substance on campus, it would be considered a class A violation, which calls for a mandatory arrest, a fine of up to $1,000, jail time up to one year and a student referral for misconduct.

But depending on the situation, U Police exercise a more lenient punishment, such as kicking the student out of the concert or throwing away the drugs.

“We’re trying to take a reasonable approach,” Nordgran said. “We want the students to have a good time.”

A good time, such as when students raised their hands in the air and swayed to the melodious song “This Joint.”

Student organizations on campus, such as Schools Not Prisons Political Action Committee, have been actively fighting against the incarceration of students for non-violent drug offenses. Their musical idols from the west coast have their backs.
“Let them smoke that sh*t,” sang the Slightly Stoopid singers.
[email protected]

Thien Sok

The band First Class plays for audence members during friday?s Redfest.

Thien Sok

The band Dialated Peoples plays for audence members during friday?s Redfest.