Cannabis News Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  Marijuana Legalization Group Has First Meeting
Posted by CN Staff on January 15, 2003 at 07:20:04 PT
By Daniel Baer, Alligator Contributing Writer 
Source: Independent Florida Alligator 

NORML Two UF students are on a quest.

Josh Manning and Matt Jones want to educate others about the risks associated with marijuana, which they said are exaggerated by mainstream media. The two freshmen started a chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws at UF and within two months had nearly 400 members. The first meeting of the semester is being held Friday at 8 p.m. in Room 282 at the Reitz Union.

Both Manning and Jones said they are firm believers that the responsible use of cannabis should not be considered a crime.

“We’re not asking UF to attach its name to an illegal drug,” Jones said.

“We’re just asking for UF to recognize that there are so many students who agree on issues like this.”

Some students are concerned about UF funding a club that promotes legalizing marijuana.

“I don’t think the university should be forced to fund diversity groups,” said criminology junior Jared Smith. “This is a tax-run university and I don’t think that the majority of Floridians would agree with the university using tax dollars to support a group that advocates the use of marijuana.”

Josh Tompkins, a linguistics junior, said he does not mind people using marijuana, but does not want UF to associate with the group.

“I don’t mind the individual use of marijuana,” Tompkins said. “But it shouldn’t be funded at the university level or any level larger than the individual.”

Student Body President Nikki Fried said that student organizations may not use Student Government money to promote their opinions. She added that they can use the money to bring in speakers, promote the functions of the groups, tell where to get information about the subject and where meetings are held.

“Student Government does fund numerous organizations that are politically charged,” Fried said. “We do not use our personal opinions to make decisions on whether something should be funded. None of the money may be used to distribute information about the political issue.”

NORML is a nationwide lobbying organization that has existed for more than 30 years and is the forerunner in the marijuana legalization movement.

According to the UF Health Center Web site, 80 percent of UF students did not smoke marijuana in the past 30 days, yet out of on-campus narcotic arrests, the majority are for marijuana.

“Ninety to 95 percent of narcotic arrests on campus are of marijuana,” Joe Sharkey, University Police Department spokesman said.

Last semester, Accent brought the editor of High Times magazine and a 20-year veteran of the Drug Enforcement Agency to debate the legalizing of marijuana.

David Kaye, vice chairman of Accent and a senior majoring in political science, said that there is obviously a great interest in this topic and that he is in full support of NORML.

Also, starting this semester, NORML is planning on showing documentaries on marijuana use in the Reitz Union theatre.

Note: Two UF Freshmen Start NORML Chapter in hopes of educating public.

Complete Title: Marijuana Legalization Group Has First Meeting Friday

Source: Independent Florida Alligator, The (FL Edu)
Author: Daniel Baer, Alligator Contributing Writer
Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Copyright: 2003 Campus Communications, Inc.

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Comment #1 posted by BigDawg on January 15, 2003 at 07:57:45 PT
Ahhh, student activists
The scourge of "The Establishment".

Go get 'em kids.

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