Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Low drug use suspected at Madison student bars

Some UW-Madison students may remember the infamous shutdown of Jocko’s, a bar busted just over a year ago for selling cocaine in its facilities. There has been speculation by university and city officials that drugs may be prevalent at other Madison bars. However, according to students who frequent area bars, it is not evident.

“I have never seen any drug use at what is considered a Madison student bar,” UW junior Joe Michaelis said. “I figure most people are too busy drinking and do the drugs before or after they go out.”

That sentiment is shared with bar owners.

“There is not rampant drug use in any downtown bars,” Dick Lysheck, owner of Bullfeathers, 303 N. Henry St. said. “I do not know of any bars offhand where it is known that you can get or do drugs.”

Captain Jon Davenport of the Madison Police Department agreed that reported drug use at the bars is low.

“We do not see that much drugs in the reports on the bars,” Davenport said.

Some students admitted to smoking marijuana in the back rooms of various bars on State Street but felt that hard drug use is possible, though unlikely.

“I have seen lines being done at the back rooms of a bar on State Street,” said a UW sophomore.

A main concern with the police department is the possibility of students being drugged at the bars.

“We have had reports that people have been drugged at the bars,” Davenport said.

Yet he said that none of these have been confirmed, since they are usually reported a couple of days after in the incident. At that point in time, the drug has usually left the system. Davenport encourages students to immediately get attention if they feel they have been drugged.

“If people think they have been drugged, they should go to the emergency room and get their blood drawn and be tested,” Davenport said.

Davenport said this would increase the chances of catching the perpetrators.

Lyshek said it is difficult for drugs to be done in the bars unless it is an accepted behavior at that particular bar.

“We have bouncers walking around looking for drug use and it is not allowed nor tolerated,” Lyshek said.

That does not mean students do not come to the bars free and clear of illegal substances.

“A couple times people try to sneak weed into the hookah but that never gets too far. There is an obvious difference between the smell of apple tobacco and marijuana,” Matt Kruegar, a bartender at The Casaba said.

Some students feel drug use is an unnecessary risk to attempt to carry out at the bars.

“If I am going to do drugs I do them before I go out. Why risk it?” a UW junior said.
Lyshek said most students do not go to bars with the notion of doing or finding drugs.
“Alcohol is the drug of choice I believe for a majority of the patrons at Bullfeathers,” Lyshek said.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *