Law and Order

Implications for LSD distribution and usage extend beyond school discipline


Lynsey Johnson

While RV school resource officer Mr. Blaine Engdahl has dealt with LSD use at other Jeffco schools, this was his first instance of handling a similar case at Ralston Valley.

Lynsey Johnson, Staff Writer

It is one thing to have to meet in the office with campus security and school administrators.

When the police are called to sit in on the meeting, well, things have gone to an entirely different level.

And that is exactly what transpired recently at Ralston Valley when more than a dozen students were caught distributing and/or using LSD on school grounds.

When drugs enter the equation of school offenses, Arvada police and school resource officer Mr. Blaine Engdahl enter the conversation in the main office.

Alerted by concerned students and a classroom teacher, Engdahl’s law enforcement expertise was absolutely necessary when alerted of these worries.

“With this drug, I have seen it at other high schools,” Engdahl said, “but I have not seen it before at this school.”

While some drug violations are handled at the school level through building and district policy, this latest instance at RV required local authorities because of the distribution involved and the severity of the drug in question.

As a student, possessing an illegal substance on campus has massive consequences if caught.

The severity of these consequences depends on multiple issues, including the number of previous offenses, whether it involves using or distributing the drug, and how cooperative a student is with administration, campus security and school-based law enforcement.

Some of these consequences include suspension or expulsion, and having a major charge placed on your permanent academic and legal record.

Drug possession is generally a misdemeanor offense; however, possession with intent to distribute is a felony.

If caught distributing acid on campus individuals can face an attempted manslaughter charge which is a class three felony.

Acid use or possession of LSD is a class four felony.

Under Colorado Law, the unauthorized use of a controlled substance, including LSD, is a level 2 drug misdemeanor. It’s a level 1 drug felony to sell, dispense, or distribute any LSD to a minor who is at least two years younger than the seller.

Normally, teenagers tend to enter the drug arena through gateway narcotics like marijuana, but peer pressure and bad decision-making has seemingly pushed students to try even more hardcore narcotics.

The school district has already established a discipline plan for students who have made these choices.

The Jefferson County School district uses a three-strike policy, and when students have reached a third strike, they are no longer allowed in the district.

To combat these recent events, options considered by RV administration includes the permanent removal of bathroom doors.

This possibility and others are under consideration considering the depth of this latest incident as well as the continuous widespread tobacco vaping that is occurring in school bathrooms.