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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Drug cops to patrol year-end party at Reed College

An alert reader sends along this message that reportedly went out to the students at Reed College yesterday, about next weekend's celebration of the academic year's end:

My message regarding drug use at Renn Fayre 2010 is very simple: do not use illegal drugs. That means no marijuana, hallucinogens, designer drugs, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, or other illegal substances.

Since adopting the drug and alcohol implementation plan last year, we have consistently said that the plan applies throughout the year, and that no exception will be made for Renn Fayre. Recent events have given added urgency to this message. Yesterday Mike Brody and I were summoned to a meeting at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Portland. Present in the meeting were the United States Attorney for Oregon, the Chief of the Narcotics Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Multnomah District Attorney, and the Deputy District Attorney. Their message was forceful and direct: shut down illegal drug use and distribution at Reed College, starting with Renn Fayre. Based on ongoing criminal investigations, including conversations with current and former students and other sources, these officials have heard numerous allegations about drug use at Reed, and particularly at Renn Fayre.

In the course of the conversation, the U.S. Attorney pointedly referred to a federal statute that makes it a criminal and civil offense for anyone knowingly to operate any facility for the purpose of using illegal drugs. We were also reminded of federal legislation that allows all federal funding--including student loans--to be withdrawn from any college or university that fails to take adequate steps to combat illegal drug activity.

We have been told that, during next weekend's Renn Fayre celebration, undercover Portland police officers will be circulating on campus, uniformed Portland police officers will be on alert to respond immediately to calls, and prosecutors stand ready to process criminal charges.

Further, in compliance with Reed's drug and alcohol implementation plan, Community Safety Officers will be patrolling the campus as usual throughout the weekend. If you are observed using, possessing, or distributing any illegal drug, the illegal drugs will be confiscated. At a minimum, you will be reported to the Dean of Students' office for disciplinary action. In the case of serious offenses, especially involving distribution of illegal drugs, we will also call the police--in accordance with the implementation plan--and you may be arrested and charged with a crime. Any place, such as one of the lodges, in which illegal drugs are being used will be closed down immediately and permanently.

The purpose of this notice and the actions that it describes is to protect individual members of the Reed community and the community as a whole. If you are inviting guests to Renn Fayre, you should inform them of these concerns. The wellbeing of the college depends on how everyone behaves next weekend and beyond. So does the future of Renn Fayre.

So I urge you again: no illegal drugs at Renn Fayre. Enjoy yourselves in a safe and healthy way, and honor the efforts of those who created Renn Fayre as a joyous celebration of Reed College at its best.


Comments (36)

Reed parties were always, shall we say, different from other mainstream college parties. Seems as though things have definitely taken a turn for the worst since the "Reed Socials" of the late 60s/early 70s.

It's a school of higher education, isn't it?

I am glad my mom (class of 1933) has passed away and didn't see this! It would have mad her very upset.

oops should have read 'made"...but she would be mad too!

Partiers will need to stay home. This is not such a curtailment of privilege, when you consider that kids in Cambodia and Pakistan are picking through garbage dumps to survive.

Staying home has some advantages, such as selecting guests, and hopefully excluding the wildest kids who are most likely to wind up dead in a back bedroom.

The communication is commendable for instilling a heightened awareness of avoiding police attention, lest some poor kid gets shot while enjoying the universe.

If only the US Attorney's office would look into illegal drug use at the PPB.

Well, it seems that the powers that be have a whole lot of resources to bring the hammer down on a bunch of college kids using recreational drugs....but if it's innocent-killing raging cops on cordite, or filthy-lucre snorting local officials running scams to shake down locals of their taxes for immoral porpoises...

Well, then, the powers that be can't be hanged to do squat about that.

And don't give me that whiney crap about "but those college students are dying because of their stupidity"...Like allowing Portland cops to continue without an intervention hasn't resulted in a significant number of deaths.

Talk about fu**in' misplaced priorities.

"undercover Portland police officers will be circulating on campus" -- easy to spot: they're the ones who'll bring kfc fried chicken to the vegan potluck happening.

Who peed in the Feds cornflakes?

It would be interesting to know who/what pushed this political button, or is it all posturing?

"Mojo" wins the best comment award.

Maybe this email from last month will clear it up:

"To: The Reed College Community
From: Mike Brody, Vice President and Dean of Student Services
It is with great sorrow that I report the loss of another Reed student. Sam Tepper, a senior physics major, was found dead this morning in his off-campus apartment. The medical examiner has confirmed that an accidental heroin overdose was the cause of death.

Sam’s parents are on their way to campus from the East Coast. We extend to them and to Sam’s entire family and his friends our deepest condolences."

Advice to all those who'd rather point fingers at anyone (like cops) who's not responsible for running Reed: Take your whining to Sam Tepper's folks. They'll surely be grateful for your thoughtfulness.

And for those that actually know something about addicts, addictions and those that successfully control their illness, there are oceans of difference between kids smoking pot on campus and full blown heroin addicts suffering in hiding. (no this is't about open use)
Parents suffering, denial, anger and grief is one issue.
Federal Government intimidating College officials over student conduct is a total different issue.

Reed students have been given a free pass on drug use. Looks like admin. has decided to put an end to the 'public' endorsement.

There has been a many years long string of Reed students dying from use of illegal drugs. Mostly heroin.

Perhaps rather than play cutsie word games about priorities and the local cops, we might look at the issue of the number of bodies on the ground from heroin use in this city.

As one person who has experienced first hand what happens when a kid kills himself with heroin, I don't think the approach at Reed is an over reaction.

This isn't about Reed students smoking a little pot, this is about them using heroin, cocaine, meth, LSD, ecstacy, and other real bad stuff. The college has for years pretended there were no such problems with their students, but it is a huge problem at Reed and people have died. It used to be that the campus safety officers on campus were told by admin not to bust users/dealers and to not call the police either. But that behaivor had to change.

The real question is why we are getting our young people killed in Afghanistan, when we are basically sending them there to guard the world's heroin supply.
90% of it comes from there and a recent report compared it to the corn fields of Iowa or the wheat fields of Kansas. The report said opium plants were used as part of the landscaping on some American military installations.
Huge amounts of money are at stake, laundered through the various banks. Then the War on Drugs is used to erode our liberties here at home.
Did you see the stories about Karzai's brother that said he may be involved in the drug business?
That is a classic deception by the corporate media. Everyone in Afghanistan is directly or indirectly living off the drug business.
Afghanistan isn't a country as much as a growing operation.
It would be fascinating following the path that heroin took to get to America and end up killing the Reed student.
But along the way, Americans might begin questioning the War on Drugs, and they definitely would question the War in Afghanistan.

"Federal Government intimidating College officials over student conduct"

Um, they've had several deaths at Reed from drug overdoses, so let's keep investigating PPB and ignore Reed totally?

Jimbo, nonnie, westside and Bill are looking at the big picture.

"Afghanistan isn't a country as much as a growing operation."

Sort of like Mexico or Columbia. When we pull out...and we will pull out...it's going to be interesting to see what kind of place Afghanistan is going to be. It doesn't seem as though there is much will to change the status quo. The farmers who raise the poppy receive very little for their efforts in proportion to the pound for pound street value of what they are producing, and replacing poppy with another cash crop would make very little difference in the lives of the average Afghani. The powers that be in the country, and beyond, are the true villains in this story and they will do everything in their power to run the place like gangsters. There has to be an international system that treats these people in the same way we treat war criminals. Trying them in the world court, seizure of assets, etc. etc. I'm not such a big anti-drug guy as much as I'm an anti-drug dealer guy.

The illegality of the product is what makes it so devastating to the basic fabric of the given society where it's produced. Of course our appetite for hard drugs is the driving force behind the heroine and cocaine trade.

The crack down at Reed is a direct result of the pattern of fatalities from kids shooting smack. The fact that there is such a prevalence of heroine use there means that something has gone way off track in the institutional culture. I think this is a good move, and an outstanding academic institution like Reed should do all it can to avoid being labeled as a drug school.

I hope the 'adults' at Reed can work hard to make the few druggies at Reed either stop using or leave.
It is a good school with a lot of good kids who are really smart and who could make our world a better place...once their frontal lobes are fully mature.
I can remember (vaguely) thinking I knew it all at age 18.

What is going on with Portland? What rights does any law enforcement agencies have to go on Reed's campus?? Reed should have a "No Police Zone" like downtown. We have "No Nuclear" edicts, "No Car Zones", "No Music Playing" in parks......I won't touch the numerous "Yes Zones", that's endless around here.

What rights does any law enforcement
agencies have to go on Reed's campus?

The same as to go into your house, if they have probable cause (and sometimes, a warrant).

Reed should have a "No Police Zone" like downtown.

I fear I've just entered a "No Fact Zone."

1. A couple of years back FBI agents were rumored to be "infiltrating" Renn Fayre. Students hung a banner stating "Reed College Welcomes the FBI". A group of students dressed in dark suits, fedoras, sun glasses,and shiny black shoes. They strolled campus and sat on a bench veiwing the scene through holes in the newspapers they held up. Needless to say the FBI didn't apprehend anyone doing any drugs.
2. The heroin problem is frightening. My daughters roommate at University of Puget Sound dropped out after her freshman year. She couldn"t keep up with classes and her smack habit. Hard drugs are a problem at virtually all campuses nationwide.
3. Reed College has treate drug usage as a health problem and works with students to change their behaviour instead of ruining their lives in the penal system. Thanks to the cops and the media it looks like this will no longer be the case.
3. Marijuana should be legalized.

Dean -

What part of dealing heroin is a health problem?

I've known a number of people who were heroin addicts and a couple of them died from it. But I have to ask two questions.

Do people die from heroin or do they die from the crap it is cut with?

If heroin was legal do you think people would be as likely to OD on it?

People die from overdosing on opiates of unknown potency.
People also overdose on mixtures of prescribed medications from their physician.
Lethal amounts of substances can be taken and held in the stomach until the absorption kills the host- such as college students over drinking.

Reed College has treate [sic] drug usage as a health problem

Well, I dare say they've been pretty damn unsuccessful in their "public health" strategy, what with two students dying of heroin overdoses in a two-year period. I suspect the annual death rate of the general population from heroin overdoes is less than 1:1400.

A field trip to or volunteer stint at the morgue would have a hundred times the impact of happy talk implementaton plans or intervention by the police state.

A field trip to or volunteer stint at the morgue

The scared-straight doctrine didn't work in High School, it will not work with Reed students. Not now, not ever.

The scared-straight doctrine didn't work

Scared-straight introduced students to live, jiving, thriving, surviving convicts -- not hideously grotesque corpses -- a world of difference.

This isn't a new problem (see the date below) and it's hardly limited to Reed, although the inexperience of youth and relative affluence of most of the students there probably contributes to more easily being able to obtain a lethal dose.

WebMD Health News, July 2000:

The CDC reports heroin overdose deaths in Multnomah County, Ore., (of which 75% of the population lives in Portland) rose from 46 in 1993 to 111 in 1999. The majority was men, and almost half of the people were 45 to 54 years old. During six years of investigation, almost 400 people were known to die from heroin overdose. Among men 25 to 54 in this area, overdose causes about as many deaths as cancer, AIDS, or heart disease.

That may be just the tip of the iceberg. Another CDC report on King County, Wash., -- which includes Seattle -- shows opiate overdose deaths increased 134% from 1990 to 1999, peaking in 1998 at 140.

Gary Oxman, MD, MPH, the chief health officer of the Multnomah County Health Department, says one reason for the spike in heroin deaths is access. Interstate 5 runs from Los Angeles up to Seattle, and Oxman tells WebMD it's a key passageway for a type of heroin called "black tar," which comes from Mexico and South and Central America.

The problem may not just be I-5 related, though, says Oxman, who claims many communities do not actively look for this problem. Heroin overdoses may get lost among the broad category of drug-related deaths, a "laundry basket" term. "It may be occurring in lots of other communities that simply aren't aware or aren't tracking the data carefully," Oxman says.

111 deaths in 1999 translates to about 1:6,500 for Multnomah County overall, including children, the elderly, etc.

If it is a law, enforce it. The dillwads at Reed shouldn't get any sort of free pass. You certainly wouldn't get one in North Portland. The entitlement attitude of the privaliged in this country is disgusting, and this is just one example. Pull their funding until the administration starts doing it's job.

Well...It's already been shown that Oxman is a tool available to be bought and sold by the highest bidder, so his testimony on anything is dubious.

The CDC was the organization providing the statistics above, and the concept that I5 is a corridor for black tar heroin coming north from Mexico is hardly something Gary Oxman made up on his lonesome.

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