“They call me Nacho,” said Nacho.
Nacho, the pseudonym chosen by a student requesting anonymity, does not believe the ingestion of drugs on campus is uncommon or necessarily something that should be resisted.
“The craziest thing I’ve ever done? Probably smoking DMT behind the school,” said Nacho. “It’s probably not a good thing for everybody, hallucinogens respond differently to everyone. I’m sure not everybody would be in the best environment here at the school.”
But for himself, Nacho enjoys the use of dimethyltryptamine, a strongly hallucinogenic substance. DMT occurs naturally in low levels in most living creatures. Once concentrated the substance can be used recreationally.
“Also,” Nacho added, “I spent my entire career at the school selling weed [around campus].”
Nacho finds it unfortunate that the school’s authorities still persecute weed smokers, despite the rapidly changing social and legal climate surrounding the smelly flower.
“There’s not a lot of education pertaining to the law,” said Tommy Vu, Director of Public Safety. “A lot of people believe just because it’s legalized, they can smoke anywhere they want.”
Vu referred to Bellevue College’s culture of public marijuana use, a commonality in the enclosures meant for tobacco smokers, as public use of marijuana is still illegal.
“A lot of people don’t understand that [BC] receives federal funds,” Vu said. “So we have to follow the federal guidelines. We’re there to educate them, and we’re there to enforce the law. We want to provide a safe atmosphere for our fellow students, and also we have to comply with the law too.”
Public safety also works in tandem with drug counselors.
“We refer these students for help,” Vu said, “which involves counseling.”
Drug use at BC is not exclusively centered on marijuana. “Besides their pizza?” said BC student Rocksy about the ‘craziest’ drug they’ve ever taken.
“Every now and then I go to the bathroom and chop up a little line of cocaine,” Rocksy said.
A student going by Laser admits to having bought ketamine, a tranquilizer commonly used as a club drug, on campus.
“Bottom line,” said Vu, “on this campus, zero tolerance.”
Laser and Nacho believe both that regulation is too strict, and that while these activities are illegal they must be better hidden.
“The more they regulate it,” Laser said, “the more people are going to get upset about regulations.”
“I wish that people kept a lower profile about [drug use],” Rocksy said. “I’m down for everyone to smoke a little marijuana, but don’t ruin it for everyone else.”
When asked if persecution would ever lead to her to quit smoking marijuana on campus, a woman of roughly 30, who asked to be referred to as Jay, doesn’t believe the school could make everyone stop.
“To make me stop, they would have to go to such lengths to make my life uncomfortable that the supposed discomfort stoners cause other people would be a non-issue,” said Jay. “The lengths [authorities] would have to go would create far more tension and honestly outright hatred than the drug use ever did.”
“Most complaints,” said Vu, “when we arrive on the scene it’s really easy to put it out and make it disappear. So unless I search everyone on this campus, or have a contraband detector, it’s going to be hit or miss.”