thumbnail of Mary Jane for perspective; 4
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
When I got right I was being photographed. I think I am what I was OK. Oh my god yes. Thank you thank you. Right. Iraq. All right. Thank God thank you. The sound of a recent rally outside the administration building on the Michigan State University campus. The issue being protested it is possible University involvement in a series of marijuana arrests made on and near the campus the previous day specifically the people involved in the demonstration are accusing the I know versity of allowing paid police informers to Lynn crap students in a way the protest here a protest that has been repeated in varying degrees at many other schools throughout the U.S.
points out a continuing problem for educators in this country. The issue of marijuana is very real for many colleges and universities in America. Proportionately there are probably more users and advocates of marijuana among college communities than in any other single group of people in the country. Exactly how should a university involve itself in the problem of marijuana. How much effort should be made to find marijuana users. Can a school cooperate with civil authorities and apprehending marijuana offenders and still retain any degree of autonomy. These questions and many others are valid ones for university and college officials throughout the nation. Mary Jane in the perspective of a series of six programs about
marijuana for youth by Brian woodland for Michigan State University Radio today mark for the university. The current hold for marijuana on university and college campuses across the country is a relatively recent phenomenon. It wasn't too many years ago perhaps as recently as 1964 that students who turned on or used marijuana were considered far out. Up to a few years ago marijuana users in colleges and universities were people who deviated considerably from normative student behavior. Such is the nature of our rapidly changing society however that today marijuana use would not be thought of as far out by many of the same people who would have been shocked only a few years before. For many students today the use of marijuana is an acceptable part of college or university
life acceptable in the same way that the use of alcohol has been acceptable. Through the years estimates on the number of people using marijuana in universities and colleges vary a great deal. Some of the figures given are extremely high. Some are very low. Dr. Richard Cutler former vice president for student affairs and now a special assistant for Urban Affairs at the University of Michigan tends to downplay the use of the drug at the Ann Arbor school. According to Dr. Cutler at Michigan the lower estimates are more accurate. Well whether there's a problem or not I guess it depends upon whom you talk to our office feels that there is not a serious or major problem. Some of the students suggest that uses a lot more widespread than we say we know about our need that we do know about. I would guess that drugs probably marijuana specifically
probably. Has been used by. 10 to 15 percent of the student body on an experimental basis and that the number of people who. Currently an habitué use it is on the order of. 50 to 100 on the campus. There tends to be a kind of self. Selective or soft corrective phenomenon in the university community that anybody who is a chronic user of marijuana just as anyone who is a chronic alcoholic. Has difficulty time keeping enough of his. Rationality and purpose a bottom to remain in the university so I think what you get is a phenomenon where people who are chronic users tend to become dropouts and I would extend the number that I suggested up to maybe 150 to 200 around the Ann Arbor
community if you count. Dropout and high school dropouts that is apparently in use among them. Now what's being done about it. Several things. There is constant effort at law enforcement by the civil authorities. There is a continuing drug education program on the campus. Kids who do use it and get into difficulty very often turn up at our health service or turn out for one another kind of medical care. And there is treatment either psychological or medical as indicated in those cases. One question which many people are interested is whether or not the university engages in any vigorous investigative or detective activity to try to uncover the use of marijuana. The answer that is no we do not. We do in specific cases cooperate with the civil authorities but we do not on our own conduct investigations.
We have done some research which suggests that the data that I have given you earlier. It is rather accurate but for the most part our efforts are confined to education to warning when there is a. Reasonable scientific evidence that there is danger as I am convinced there is with LSD certainly and then counseling and treatment. In the case of kids who are users and do get in trouble for the most part our efforts are confined to education with those words Dr. Cutler refers to an approach to the problem of marijuana use that is being attempted by many universities. Michigan State is one such school that when asked what it is doing to combat marijuana use on its campus quickly points to its efforts to educate the students. Dr. Louis Haq Heise the director of student activities and head of the Student Affairs Committee on drug education at Michigan State University.
When I think of the result of our concern. The past year or two the feedback that we get from students the feedback that we get from staff members about the use of drugs that is specifically marijuana. That we felt that a committee out of the student affairs area. Would be worthwhile at least and looking at the whole drug question and what is the university's responsibility. What is it that the university can or should be doing. And as a result Dr. Milton Dickerson who is our vice president for significant years asked me if I would draw together a university wide committee to take a look at
the at the drug area and. Answer this question of what it is that we should be doing in this area. The drug education programs at both Michigan State University and the University of Michigan are very similar. The committees are made up of university resource people faculty members from the schools of medicine and officials from the counseling center and health clinics for example. Neither school believes its role is to present a dialogue about drug use and marijuana. Both programs quite frankly discourage the use of the drug. Dr. Cutler on the University of Michigan Committee and its work it conducts a program for. Drug Information and drug education among primarily undergraduate students this is focused in the residence halls. They tried to present in an objective why facts about drug
use and drug abuse. I guess I would have to say in all honesty that the flavor of the program is one which seeks to discourage use. There's a tremendous amount of interest and curiosity among undergraduate students who have heard a great deal about marijuana and other drugs. About just what these things are what they mean and so forth and so we try to present facts on this to examine some of the legal issues some of the ethical issues some of the values that are at stake and we generate a substantial interest and large numbers of kids this way. I guess it's fair to say that as far as marijuana is concerned that opinion within the scientific community is divided. And as a consequence any time you have a group of professional people working there talking about this problem that you would get varying shades of opinion and these are represented on our committee. I don't think that there's anybody on the committee who is a an ardent advocate of.
Chronic marijuana use I do know how to tear people on this committee who would. Feel more comfortable on the basis of their own objective professional view. If penalties for possession or use were somewhat reduced the last two years have seen a marked increase in the number of drug raids on campuses throughout the country. Earlier this year the Stony Brook campus of the State University of New York was the site of one such raid. There are also been raids at Wayne State University in Detroit and Michigan State University after the raid near Wayne State raid which was publicized by a banner headline in one Detroit newspaper. The university announced that all employees arrested in the raid would be suspended immediately and any students involved would be suspended pending a hearing of the university's non academic disciplinary committee. Dr. Cutler and Dr. Hecht Heise give almost identical answers when questioned about whether their school would
react as did Wayne State if a similar raid were held on the Michigan State or University of Michigan campus. Dr. Hecht hypes well that the possession and use of marijuana is a felony in state of Michigan. I think that the courts would have to have their day first. I'm not sure that you can presume guilt. I think there would be every concern that. That there be some decision. On the part of the courts. Before the university would take any action. With respect to both students and to staff members. Unfortunately I think that we know was that. An overreaction. As I recall as it later turned out.
They were not as many students. That is when State students that were involved in the question about staff involvement. I think there would be concern but I think that initially this concern would be. With respect to a decision by the courts and whether a person was actually guilty of violating the law and then the university would have to decide what action it might take or would want to take. If a student is convicted in a court on a marijuana charge it could well be that he would be incarcerated that he would be imprisoned for a time. And this is society's way of dealing with this problem. If he was not convicted of the court said that he would be placed on probation. Then I guess the question you have to ask is What danger does this individual
represent to other students at the university. And it is on this basis in that the university would have to decide whether he would be allowed to continue to go to school or not. I almost think that this has to be kind of an individual decision based on. And on the individual case. In writing about the marijuana raid at Stony Brook and Science magazine Daniel Greenberg said stony Brooks trauma merits attention on the part of anyone who is concerned for the viability and integrity of the nation's academic institutions. For though the Stony Brook story has its own peculiar characteristics it is at the same time in general harmony with one of the most conspicuous characteristics of contemporary life in the US namely academe XIX celebrating alienation from the values and purposes at here too by national and local authorities and very likely
by the population at large. To Daniel Greenberg the campus is a bastion for non-conformity and dissent from law policy and majority custom. The dissent reaches into areas such as politics civil rights the draft sexual mores and drugs to Greenburg raids such as that at Stony Brook are coming about with increasing regularity because they are manifestations of the general public's attitude toward the atmosphere and activities that are permeating our nation's campuses. Dr. Richard Cutler responding to Daniel Greenberg's thesis. I think it's already drawn somewhat. Everyone in his day thinks that the turmoil of his time is more significant and more cosmic somehow than the turmoil of a previous generation. I think there's a good there's a good bit of that at work and in his thinking. I guess my own view would be that there may
be some. But only a very slight amount of increased alienation between the campus and the community. And I think that one of the factors in this is the. Great propensity of the communications media apologies to present company to play out diversity. This is a this is a time when. Conflict and confrontation is new. And I think that the proportion of people and indeed the nature of the issues that they find with society within the college community is probably no greater No nor are no more severe than it ever was. The campus I think is as much a part of society and as much as a. Consensual member of the total society as it ever
has been. Dr. Lewis headcase of Michigan state agrees and part with Daniel Greenberg's argument. Oh I think that that there is a certain element of truth and Greenberg statement. Many of us have a tendency to to overreact or sometimes to panic. When considering the unknown. And we really really don't know as much as we would like to do about drugs or IT or more specifically about marijuana. Alcohol is a drug that we have had with us for some time. Many people feel more comfortable in dealing with alcohol because they have tested their habits. But they're not sure about marijuana are bottom of the other drugs. And sometimes and I think the initial reaction is.
To overreact to to panic because we we really. We're really pretty uncomfortable. In response to the Greenberg article Bentley glass stony Brook's vice president for academic affairs said the real issues facing our universities and colleges are whether it is proper and desirable for university authorities to attempt a police function. Richard Cutler and Lewis had to react to that statement. While I agree that that is an important issue. I think that there is an active debate right now on college campuses about the extent to which a police function of the sort that we're talking about here.
It is an unreasonable intrusion upon the private lives of students. I think that the most large campus is the direction that is away from the universities intruding itself into what can be clearly defined as the private lives of students and the use of marijuana in say apartments off campus is in our view very much a part of student's private life. On the other hand. If the university dies and I think must have a responsibility for maintaining itself if it's to have any worth in the society it has to continue in that kind of semi sanctuary position. Now. The argument can thus be phrased should the university in order to preserve its own autonomy and its own
quality of sanctuary which is needed now in order to conduct its proper purpose. Keep its own house clean aurally University abdicate that responsibility and thereby as has happened say at Berkeley subject itself to the pointed intervention of outside authorities. And if I had my choice I have the university keep its own house clean because I want it to be autonomous. Private in the sense of not being constantly intruded upon and apolitical. I think you might say parents attic I think this is one of great dangers that the so-called student activists don't. For don't realize and that is in their efforts to try to turn the university into a political tool for social change. They're subjecting the university to a great danger that it may generally become a part of the total political process and thus be subject to a lot of whims that they and nobody else would like.
Well we do have we do have laws. That are on the books with respect. To the youth of marijuana. And as long as we have the first laws I'm sure that there's going to be a desire to enforce these laws and certainly those individuals who have this responsibility. Are going to try to the best of their ability to carry out this function. The role of the university I think is to educate the student and the community with respect to this problem. Certainly we should not be put in a position where it would appear that we are acting as a haven for drug users. At the same time I think many schools would be very
reluctant to place themselves in the position of having paid informers. This kind of an approach I. Am quite sure that that is going to include but it would be very reluctant to adopt this kind of position. On the other hand we do have a a campus police department that is responsible for enforcing the law and I have in fact made some arrests with respect to the use of marijuana. I think we have to make it very clear to students that that there is a law in this state with respect to marijuana that. They have to make the choice that we are going to provide opportunities for them to discuss this problem
that we're going to try to do in an educational way acquaint them with the use and abuse in the final analysis. They have to make that decision. The federal government devotes a great deal of time and effort to putting out informational booklets that among other things say the ingredients in marijuana induced temporary insanity. The government's way of educating the public about marijuana has brought about a great deal of criticism. Does the government's approach prove effective when it is used in university communities such as Ann Arbor. Well I guess it depends on the audience. For years taking to reach it seems to me that wouldn't be proper for me to come in and the effectiveness of the educational efforts of the FDA. I think that the kinds of things that are down on this
campus by way of education are somewhat more appropriate for the clientele that we're trying to talk to than the techniques that you describe. I think there is there is an effective set of messages getting sent around here now who's doing it and. You see on a college campus you've got a very unusual clientele everybody thinks that they're a sophisticate everybody thinks that they're an intellectual. And so the APL that you make is based on some fore knowledge of that fact and one attempts to present things in a reasoned rational logical way. And. I don't know that college students are in fact any more sophisticated. I do know that they are generally more cynical and more critical of efforts that
seem to them to insult their intelligence or be simplistic or something. I don't think that we would use the technique of the sort that you describe but on the other hand that might work very well with some other group. There is little doubt but that marijuana use does present a problem for schools such as the University of Michigan and Michigan state perhaps more than any other topic. Unfavorable publicity about drugs can bring the wrath of an Arabist public down upon the university. Whether the drug education program supported by both schools ultimately prove their worth by reducing marijuana use in some ways remains to be seen. Howard Becker has suggested that the only reasonable approach to the marijuana problem is the same one used by most schools when dealing with other illegal. But at the same time tolerable activities such as homosexuality. The answer says Becker is to ignore the problem as long as it exists in moderation and
does not bring unfavorable attention to the school. Perhaps in the long run Becker's approach will prove to be the most efficient. But for the moment schools seem to be attacking the volatile problem presented by marijuana as best they can through education programs education programs that are no doubt administered in some cases by people with tightly crossed fingers. A final thought now by Richard Cutler. Yeah I think in all candor that it is a stupid. Kind of escapist device that people who have are having difficulty adjusting to stressful situations use. I think that anything whether it be alcohol or marijuana or LSD. Deprivation over periods of a week or more.
And the thing that clouds the intellect anything that intrudes upon the ability to reason then to examine things in a logical fashion doesn't have any place in the university. I. I'm not and I fine I'm not and I relax ation. But I am. And I intruding upon man's ability to approach things and logical rational reasonable fashion. And if the universe to me is devoted to anything is devoted to that kind of pursuit so that anybody who either for escapist purposes or thrill purposes or whatever gets himself hooked on marijuana or booze or whatever I think he's living outside the traditional values and goals of the university. I think university is. It's a higher quality place with aspirations to better
goals than are implied by sitting around in kind of a. Boozed up or potted up haze. The participants in this program were Dr. Richard Cutler the special assistant for Urban Affairs and former vice president for student affairs at the University of Michigan and Dr. Louis Hank Kies the director of student activities at Michigan State University. On the next program in this series Dr. Elliot Luby the assistant director of clinical services at Detroit's Lafayette clinic and a professor of psychiatry in Wayne State University's School of Medicine. And Dr. Marguerite Scherer of the University of Michigan Health Service. We'll examine the issue of marijuana as
Mary Jane for perspective
Episode Number
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-kk94ck9t).
No description available
Social Issues
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-8-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:12
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Mary Jane for perspective; 4,” 1969-01-09, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 12, 2022,
MLA: “Mary Jane for perspective; 4.” 1969-01-09. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 12, 2022. <>.
APA: Mary Jane for perspective; 4. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from