The drug culture at the College of Charleston should be a wake-up call for us all. Unlike Frank Wooten’s July 2 “Just say ‘Whoa’ to the War on Drugs” column characterization of that effort being “futile” unless we become “a police state,” school President Glenn McConnell’s call to arms with city police help should establish a zero tolerance in our community.
Law enforcement should be empowered to “stop and search” with the slightest degree of suspicion. We have handcuffed those who provide our security because of placing political correctness over common sense.
This clearly is not a racial lightning rod. This is an opportunity for law enforcement to exercise statistically supported suspicion.
Those in the wrong place, at the wrong time and in the wrong company of repeat crime perpetrators should indicate a high index of suspicion regardless of race; and certain places (frat houses, late night bars and college rental units) now appear to require search.
A crackdown on this relatively small segment will have a much higher benefit than going after cartels or legalizing marijuana. There are plenty of crooks to fill the void and introductory drugs to replace “grass.”
There is also need for public input. To begin with, as neighborhoods we need to support what the college and police are doing and inform whenever possible.
No child or young adult should be subsidized by parents for misdirected education and abuse of anything that might jeopardize his or her future life forever. Less discretionary cash should be dispensed that could end up in the wrong hands. Pull that kid out of college and help him find a real job, not the illusory road to quick cash.
As citizens, we should make ourselves aware of drug and alcohol abuse or anything that can characterize Charleston as a “party” town.
I am amazed at the number of people who have suggested they knew this level of drug use was going on years ago. There is a need for a Neighborhood Watch that informs our police. That includes landlords who can’t possibly be blind to what goes on at their property and to college faculty who see bright kids fail and disconnect from education. Cutting class is not a clue but disorientation during class is.
It is likely that there will always be illicit activity. There will always be criminal minds at work, but this is low-hanging fruit and deserves “all in” support.
We owe this to kids, teachers, our police and most of all to our city.