One of the four students arrested Tuesday in connection to Wesleyan's massive "bad batch of Molly" incident is also the president of Wesleyan's chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP).
Twenty-year-old Andrew Olson was charged with two counts of possession of a hallucinogen and sale of a hallucinogen, plus charges regarding marijuana possession and intent to sell. Olson's bond was set at a total of $175,000.
His arrest, along with three other Wesleyan students, came after 11 people overdosed from a Molly-like substance and were hospitalized this past weekend. Two of the students are still being treated.
Two years ago, Olson re-established Wesleyan's chapter of SSDP, "an international grassroots network of students who are concerned about the impact drug abuse has on our communities, but who also know that the War on Drugs is failing our generation and our society." According to the group's core values, it does not condone or condemn drug use, but advocates reform regarding drug policy—in part to encourage drug safety.
In the wake of Olson's arrest, Betty Aldworth, the executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, released a statement Tuesday reiterating that the SSDP is trying to educate about drug use, not advocate for it.
"SSDP was founded in part to help protect people, especially young people, (and) minimize the harm from drugs. We are saddened every time someone is injured in their use of drugs," she wrote.
Aldworth added, "Rather than demonize otherwise successful young people for engaging in activities that happen on campuses across the world every weekend, we should all be appalled that young people’s lives have once again been endangered by failed laws that inevitably lead to overdose."
She then pointed out that one in 13 Wesleyan students was disciplined in 2013 for a drug violation, "proving that this scenario will play out again and again until we end drug prohibition and replace it with laws based on justice, compassion, evidence, and common sense."
An investigation into the Wesleyan incident is currently ongoing.
Taryn Hillin is Fusion's love and sex writer, with a large focus on the science of relationships. She also loves dogs, Bourbon barrel-aged beers and popcorn — not necessarily in that order.