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Not all students face criminal charges for illegal drugs

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Updated: 11/08/2013 11:43 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Local students caught with illegal drugs, but they aren't all facing any criminal charges.

When University of North Florida students aren't heading to class or campus activities, many end up in their dorm rooms, and it's not always for studying.

According to documents we obtained from campus police, more than 50 students were caught with marijuana this year and not everyone was charged with a crime. "I think it's good they get a second chance," said student Robert Karaitis.

"Marijuana is illegal. If you're caught, you should be arrested," said Josephine Kroom.

Instead of facing criminal charges, 26 students only had to face a student conduct board. "People are here for an education, not to find their way into the criminal system," said Police Chief Bill Strudel.

We went right to the campus police chief to ask why it's OK for students to get caught with illegal drugs and never pay the price.

"It depends on where and how they're caught. It's different than out in the world where JSO works," said Strudel.

The police chief also admitted to us that a zero-tolerance policy in the handbook isn't entirely enforced. "We have some officers who probably think marijuana is OK, and some who don't. It's the way the world works," said Strudel.

The police chief did tell us that if students are found with felony amounts of marijuana, there is no question. They will be charged.

We also checked with the polices at FSCJ, JU and Edward Waters College. Below is the information they sent us.

Jacksonville University:
http://www.ju.edu/CampusSecurity/Documents/AnnualSecurityReport%202013%20Sep%202013.pdf

FSCJ: http://www.fscj.edu/mydegree/student-life/assets/documents/student-handbook-2013.pdf

EWC: http://www.ewc.edu/images/ewc/publications/studenthandbook1.pdf

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