Wow. I've heard of some major college campus drug busts before, but nothing quite like the string that went down at the University of Alabama on Tuesday morning. 74 people arrested in Tuscaloosa on a total of 183 charges, many of them related to the sale and possession of marijuana. 61 of those arrested with University of Alabama students. About two dozen pinched alone on campus and in the residence halls, according to the Associated Press. Average age between 18 - 20. Mostly marijuana and some are straight up possession charges, but a few other drugs as well, including cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, mushrooms and prescription pills, and guns.
Though there's some dangerous substances in the mix, it looks like the State of Alabama just arrested over 5 dozen college students for bongs, bowls, and weed.
It's the biggest drug bust in Tuscaloosa history. In an interview, Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson defended the raid, noting the use of confidential informants making buys at different areas on campus, "including residence halls.":
“I know a lot of people consider it to be a harmless drug,” Anderson said. “It’s still illegal to possess it, distribute and traffic it in the state of Alabama. Therefore, it’s against the law and we’re going to enforce the law no matter how harmless people think it is.”
“We want to send a clear message that it’s not going to be tolerated and if we discover who you are, we are going to come after you,” Anderson said. “We realize that we do have an issue of drugs
In addition to the criminal justice system, many of the students changed face impending action from the University of Alabama, which could result in expulsion. University of Alabama President Dr. Judy Bonner sent an e-mail to faculty, staff and students after the raid:
“UA has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to the sale or distribution of drugs, on or off campus, and we will continue to vigorously enforce that policy,” she wrote.
“These students represent a small group of UA students. UA will review our current policies and practices to ensure that we are doing all we can to educate students to make the best decisions they can and that we are providing an environment that is conducive to learning,” she wrote. “Students must understand that they have a choice when it comes to their behavior, and that their decision to violate drug laws and the Student Code of Conduct will have consequences.”
Judging by the comments on Huffington Post and AL.com, some people are righteously outraged, others are applauding the raid. The bottomline is this: Unless you live in Colorado or Washington, consider this a cautionary tale. Be safe and be smart out there, people.
Any U of A Bros know anything more or have a story to tell about the bust? Drop me a confidential e-mail: brandon [at] brobible.com.