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Hove, Arthur (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 67, Number 7 (April 1966)

About the University,   pp. 6-10


Page 6


news and silde 1i,
)UT
VERSITY
Dope Ring Reports
Produce Conflicting Views
Y AST MONTH, a front-page head-
-2-4 line in Madison's Capital Times
boldly proclaimed that there was
a "dope ring" on the UW    campus
which involved some 3,000 students.
  The day following the banner
headline revelation, the Capital
Times, in an editorial admitted that
it "has not been able to substantiate
these reports about the University,"
and said that "Those who make the
claims do so from hearsay evidence
based on the fact that some mari-
juana users were detected in 1964."
The Times said that it got its infor-
mation from Inspector Herman
Thomas of the Madison Police De-
partment who told the paper "that
from 3,000 to 5,000 students are
narcotics users."
  The Times further explained that
Inspector Thomas "said he was given
this information by a 'reputable
magazine writer' by the name of
Richard Goldstein who came to
Madison in January to gather mate-
rial for an article on narcotics on
college campuses ...
  "It turns out that Goldstein is a
21-year-old neophyte who has pub-
lisbed one previous article in an ob-
scure magazine. He says he did not
say that there were from 3,000 to
5,000 users. He said that is an esti-
mate of how many students have
tried marijuana."
  In an apparent act of contrition,
the Times went on to say, "Unfor-
tunately there is a tendency on the
part of the press to exaggerate nar-
cotics traffic on the campuses, just
as there is a tendency to exaggerate
sex. Exaggerated claims attract at-
tention and sell papers."
  Reacting to the original Capital
Times story, Dr. Joseph F. Kauff-
man, dean of student affairs for the
Madison campus, admitted "there is
evidence of some narcotics use by
students that is being brought to
light by the police. Whatever num-
ber may be involved would be too
many as far as I am concerned, for
the University cannot tolerate either
unlawful or self-destructive behav-
ior. But the throwing around of in-
credibly large numbers based on
guesses and hearsay can only serve
to lessen the seriousness with which
all of us ought to be pursuing a solu-
tion to the problem."
  Concluding its editorial and com-
menting on Dean Kauffman's state-
ment, the Capital Times said, "The
situation is undoubtedly not nearly
as bad as the outside sources say
and not nearly as good as the Uni-
versity administration says.
  "There is need for some fact find-
ing."
  The facts might be hard to come
by, however. As the Daily Cardinal
pointed out, "Since all the publicity,
everyone involved is now keeping
their mouth shut, and if the prob-
lem does exist, the pushers will go
into hiding and the dope will be
destroyed or well hidden. We are
afraid a fatal blow has been dealt."
Wisconsin Alumnus
6


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