A conviction for drug possession can put your education at risk

According to The Princeton Review, the University of Alabama is the number two party college in the nation. If you’re a ‘Bama student, this might make you want to put a feather in your Crimson Tide hat and say, “party on dude.” However, if you are one of the 43% of college students who smokes marijuana, know that a drug-related arrest can change your life overnight.

State laws governing marijuana use differ significantly. Whether you’ve come from a state where pot is legal or not, federal regulations require institutes of higher education to enforce the ban of illicit drug use. Don’t extinguish your Crimson spirit by getting arrested for marijuana use, possession or distribution. Whether on or off campus, students are expected to follow the university’s Code of Student Conduct.

A drug conviction can have devastating effects

The consequences of a drug conviction for students in Alabama include:

  1. Eligibility for federal student financial aid. When you complete your application for financial aid, you’ll be asked if you’ve had a drug conviction. If you answer yes, you’ll have to fill out a worksheet to help determine your eligibility.
  2. Jail time. Many states across the nation have loosened their marijuana laws, but Alabama hasn’t followed this trend. Time spent locked up means time not spent in the campus classroom or lecture hall. The sooner you finish your degree, the sooner you can land that dream job.
  3. Issues with gaining employment. Employers want to hire people they can trust. Today, many companies conduct criminal background checks before extending a job offer. A drug conviction could stand between you and a job that could launch your career.

Additional consequences may include those imposed by the university student behavior board. You also stand to lose athletic or merit-based scholarships. 

What to do after an arrest

It’s part of human nature to make mistakes. After an arrest, you may be tempted to ignore the charges or assume it’s no big deal. It’s essential to take immediate action to proactively fight the charges and seek minimized penalties, rather than risk your education and future with a conviction.

The next time you go to a Crimson Tide football game and find yourself tempted to say, “party on dude,” think about the consequences of taking the party too far. Don’t miss your chance to take part in the Crimson Tide roll call.

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