AJC ruling on Marijuana Possession

On 25 April 2017the Ashesi Judicial Committee (AJC) ruled in a case of alleged possession of marijuana on Ashesi’s campus. The AJC concluded that the student, a member of the Class of 2019, was guilty of possession of marijuana, and guilty of lying to the AJC and a university official. 

As stated in Ashesi’s student handbook:

“Violations of the laws of Ghana may, at the discretion of the of the Dean of Student and Community Affairs and the Ashesi Judicial Committee, subject a student to University disciplinary action, which may include adjudication by the AJC or suspension by the Executive Committee, as described under the Campus Safety Decision in Section 10.2” (Section 12).

The student handbook also references the possession of drugs as a violation of the university’s rules and regulations: “It is a violation of Ashesi University policy for students to possess, use or distribute illicit drugs and alcohol on any University property or as part of University activities. In addition to criminal prosecutions, violation of this policy will subject a student to an appearance before the Ashesi Judicial Council which could lead to disciplinary sanctions up to and including suspension or expulsion” (Section 10.3).

Furthermore, the student handbook states that lying to a university office or official is a violation of the university’s rules and regulations. “A student should not knowingly provide false information or make misrepresentation to any university office. Students are obligated to provide University personnel with truthful and accurate information upon request, and accurate identification upon request. Students who are found to have provided false information may be subject to dismissal” (Section 9.2).

After deliberating, the AJC arrived at the following sanctions:

  • The student is being suspended from Ashesi with immediate effect. The earliest that the student can resume is January 2018.
  • The student is required to immediately undergo a drug rehabilitation program and/or counselling therapy. The student would have to submit detailed documentation attesting to significant progress in the program/therapy for the student to be allowed to return to Ashesi.
  • The student was reminded that the student must be cooperative with any random drug testing upon return to Ashesi.
  • The student was reminded that living in on-campus housing is a privilege that may not be extended upon the student’s return.
  • Any further violation of Ashesi rules and regulations regarding illegal substance use as stated or implied in the student handbook would lead to an immediate expulsion.

Advice to the Ashesi Community

The AJC encourages the Community to consider the importance of understanding and adhering to all the laws of Ghana and to being honest with university officials and offices at all times. Furthermore, non-adherence to the rules and regulations in the student handbook can have grave repercussions. The AJC would especially like to advise the Ashesi community of the following:

  • Students need to be aware that they are expected to abide by all Ashesi’s social conduct policies under the student handbook always.
  • Students who have issues related to drugs should speak with the university’s health center staff and/or the Director of Counselling confidentially.
  • Lying to a university official or office can have severe consequences.
  • All students are subject to random drug testing if the university has cause to believe that a student is violating Ashesi’s possession, use, or distribution of drugs policy.
  • Living in Ashesi’s on-campus housing is a privilege.