One freshman was suspended last week and another placed on probation for their distribution of marijuana among a number of their friends over the past few months.
The suspended student reportedly purchased a large quantity of marijuana from a source in the Harvard Square area. With the help of the other freshman, he both gave and sold it to people who were interested in experimenting with marijuana, most of them apparently for the first time.
Although the Administrative Board of the College considers the possession for smoking of marijuana a serious offense it decided in this case not to punish those who had received the drug from the two distributors. As innocent victims they were merely reprimanded, according to F. Skiddy von Stade Jr. '88, of Freshmen.
Harvard learned about the marijuana activity through a complicated chain of communication. A freshman who had smoked marijuana was overheard by his when he discussed it with a friend during spring vacation. The irate parent contacted the president of the local Harvard Club, who in turn called a member of the administration here to alert him the situation.
When the freshman responsible for purchasing the marijuana returned from spring vacation, College officials soon gathered enough information to charge him with its distribution.
The officials notified the Cambridge Police, since the student had violated state and federal laws. They were also concerned for his safety, because he reported being threatened repeatedly by his source. One University official described the marijuana source as "a gangster with bad connections."
Once the Police had been notified, the freshman cooperated with them, and no further prosecutions have been reported. Cambridge Police have been watching the Square area for drug activity for several mouths. The suspended freshman left Cambridge for home Tuesday night, and he will be permitted to apply for readmission after a leave of absence.
The University Health Services, which has made public its desire to assist anyone involved with drugs, asserted this week that it entered the case only after it had been discovered by disciplinary officials.
The Administrative Board has declined to spell out a consistent policy in marijuana cases; it apparently considers individual circumstances carefully before reaching a decision. But some members of the Administration have made it clear that involvement with marijuana will almost always result in serious penalties.