Western Slope School District Sees Drop In Pot-Related Expulsions

School officials in Grand Junction are crediting counseling and a campus security officer with decreasing expulsions for students caught with marijuana.

The Daily Sentinel reports there were 32 drug-related expulsions last academic year compared to 59 in 2013-2014 and School District 51 officials say a program called Pathways contributed to the drop.

The program gives first-time offenders the opportunity to spend their five-day suspension learning about health effects of drug abuse. About 4 percent of the 150 kids who enrolled in the program dropped out in favor of at-home suspensions.

On-site counseling is also offered and security officers have been on campuses since spring 2014.

Students are expelled after a second offense.

Mesa County Sheriff's data shows arrests for underage possession of marijuana fell slightly between 2013 and 2015.