Use of Prohibited Drugs and Illegal Substances

From:    The Board of Trustees
Subject: Use of Prohibited Drugs and Illegal Substances
Date:    March 5, 2003

A while back, an open letter was circulated about the subject. We in the Board feel that re-acting to it might give the impression that it is a problem in the Club. However, not addressing it might also give the impression that we couldn't care less. So, please take this letter in the spirit for which it was intended, a reminder of the Club's position about the use of prohibited drugs. Here goes:

We would like to remind all members of their sworn duty and responsibility to follow the rules and regulations of the Club as embodied in its by-laws. Compliance with these standards underscores the validity of our membership.

One of the rules concerns the use of prohibited drugs and illegal substances especially when on a climb. Please remember that as responsible mountaineers and law-abiding citizens we are obligated to comply with the law wherever we are. We cannot use the remoteness of the mountains and hinterlands as an excuse for irresponsible and destructive behavior. The mere possession of prohibited drugs and illegal substances like marijuana and shabu is penalized under the law, and our rules must be no less. We know that the use of these dangerous substances especially when engaged in extreme sports poses a threat to our safety as well as the safety of others. Therefore, it behooves us to climb safely and responsibly, and to enjoy nature in our natural state of consciousness.

Our by-laws are very clear on the penalty if found guilty and that is suspension or expulsion from the Club.

We value the friendship and camaraderie that we have as members of an elite mountaineering club. We put premium on our reputation as the leading exponent of responsible mountaineering. We cannot do these things if we do not adhere to rules and regulations that define our professional conduct. Hence, we cannot afford to compromise the integrity of the club by allowing violators to remain in our midst.

We call on everybody to help us police our ranks. "With great power, there must also come great responsibility."

The Board of Trustees and Officers, 2003

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