Students Call on CU To Ease Up on Pot

Students Call on CU To Ease Up on Pot
Posted by CN Staff on March 17, 2005 at 10:06:19 PT
By Kim Castleberry, Camera Staff Writer
Source: Daily Camera 
An underage University of Colorado student who gets caught drinking a beer can prepare to spend a semester on probation, do some community service and attend a $100 drug and alcohol program. A student who gets caught smoking marijuana can bank on roughly the same punishment  and the student government says that's too much.
Student leaders approved a referendum this week calling for CU to acknowledge the drug as a relatively safe alternative to alcohol. Sponsors of the proposal said they want the university to make that distinction in the way it punishes students. "There's definitely a lot of student support for this," said CU freshman Vanessa Cisneros, the proposal's main sponsor. "Everyone knows that a lot of people die every year from alcohol, but nobody dies from marijuana." Cisneros said she's collected nearly all of the 1,000 signatures needed to get the issue on the ballot in time for April elections. If it passes, the university is not bound to change any policy. Organizers said they hope university leaders will at least get the message that marijuana causes fewer problems on campus. Their proposal also calls for CU to do a study comparing the frequency of alcohol-related to drug-related crimes. In 2004, there were 47 drug-related offenses and 224 alcohol violations, CU police said. Campaign adviser Mason Tvert said violent crimes, such as sexual assault, that sometimes result from alcohol abuse are not found with marijuana use, which makes it a safer choice. "We do not advocate the use of marijuana, but we are advocating for a better public policy that does not indirectly push kids toward drinking," said Tvert, the director of SAFER, a Boulder-based nonprofit that aims to increase public awareness on the differences between the two substances. "The school should say, 'You're going to be punished more for using something that could potentially kill you versus something that has never killed anyone.'" Alcohol consumption among college students contributes to about 1,400 student deaths, 500,000 injuries and 70,000 sexual assaults each year, according to a 2002 study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Bob Maust, CU's alcohol-education coordinator, agreed that problems typically associated with alcohol abuse are not found with marijuana. He said that while the argument for lessening the school's punishment against marijuana users is a "good" one, he's not sure where it will lead. "It's true, you don't hear about people smoking themselves to death like you do with alcohol," Maust said. "The problem is that there isn't political will for bringing that kind of change." But the Boulder chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is working to alter the political climate. The group is trying to get the city's present fine of $100 decreased to $5 for those caught with small amounts of pot. Note: Student government wants penalty for marijuana reduced.Source: Daily Camera (CO)Author: Kim Castleberry, Camera Staff WriterPublished: March 17, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Daily CameraContact: openforum thedailycamera.comWebsite: Article & Web Site:Boulder NORML Alcohol, Not Pot, Should Be Police Focus -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on April 13, 2005 at 07:58:54 PT
 J Christen-Mitchell 
I just wanted to say hello and it's good to see you! 
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Comment #11 posted by J Christen-Mitchell on April 13, 2005 at 03:15:54 PT:
Cannabis, The WMD of Prohibition
Perhaps the question is...would the dead students be alive today if they had taken even one toke?
I hear a unanimous round of ayes.I've got to say that the same non thinking that supported this war of ours supports marijuana prohibition, one of our country's greatest mistakes. Many folks believe pot is dangerous. They will believe almost anything from Rome, pardon, D.C.
The best insane quote is from Ron Reagan in the movie "Grass". As for the dangers of reefer, he said,"We don't know what they are yet, but we know that they are permanent." How do you deal with such nonsense.
Boulder NORML
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on March 17, 2005 at 21:43:58 PT
Off Topic: 4 Hours of Woodstock
Tomorrow on VH1 they are having 4 hours of Woodstock if anyone gets tired of the news and would like to see it.***12:00 PM  Movies That Rock!  Woodstock  4 Hours. Woodstock (1973) is an Oscar winning-documentary on the music and events that took place at a three day outdoor rock concert.
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Comment #9 posted by CorvallisEric on March 17, 2005 at 19:26:20 PT
The CBC clip (comment #3)
Wow! That was good. Also, keep in mind that it's the CBC. "CBC/Radio-Canada is Canada's national public broadcaster and one of its largest cultural institutions." - of comedians, I wonder if John Walters has seen it.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on March 17, 2005 at 17:22:20 PT
Thanks The GCW!
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Comment #7 posted by The GCW on March 17, 2005 at 16:50:18 PT
Rocky Mountain High. 
This just in...Colorado Daily
March 17, 2005 Scene
A proposed student referendum might make CU more pot-friendly'It's green Prozac'
By STEPHANIE OLSEN Colorado Daily Staff Writer
Stoners rejoice. Having the munchies may not carry such harsh consequences 
at CU-Boulder if some students have their say."The students are fed up with a system that penalizes them for making the 
safer choice," said Vanessa Cisneros, a sophomore at CU. "The potentially 
harmful consequences of using alcohol far exceed those of marijuana."Cisneros supports a referendum that would change the marijuana policy on 
the CU campus.A Boulder-based non-profit organization called "Safer Alternative For 
Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER)," a group dedicated to raising awareness 
about the harmful consequences of alcohol as related to marijuana, is 
helping the students at CU go through the process of passing the 
referendum.Additionally, Cisneros wants to start a student chapter of SAFER at CU. 
"The students are looking to try to do something on campus because they 
wanted to change penalties because they didn't think it was fair given the 
harm of alcohol," said Mason Tvert, the executive director of SAFER. "We 
are here to advise them and help them get a referendum passed that we felt 
would make the biggest impact."The student referendum calls for the University to acknowledge marijuana 
as a comparatively safer alternative to alcohol and requests that CU treat 
the drug as such when giving out punishments to students, according to a 
press release sent to the Colorado Daily by SAFER on Wednesday."Given that alcohol kills people and creates a number of student problems 
on campus, including sexual assault, fighting, property damage, all these 
different issues," said Tvert, "it doesn't really make for good public 
policy for a university to essentially be telling students they're going 
to get in less trouble for something that causes more hurt."Tvert said that the referendum has nothing to do with the criminal 
penalties associated with marijuana or the law."We're talking about what the university is worried about," said Tvert. 
"Should the university worry more about their policies following 
side-by-side with the law, which it doesn't have to, or are they more 
worried about producing the most safe and healthy student body possible?"
Jeff Christen-Mitchell, the president of the National Organization for the 
Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), a non-profit public interest advocacy 
group, supports a move to eliminate penalties for student use of marijuana 
on CU's campus."Colorado is a very progressive state and it would be appropriate for some 
sort of intelligent progress," said Christen-Mitchell. "Alcohol is a 
dangerous drug, while marijuana is not."Christen-Mitchell said he views marijuana use as medicinal, especially 
with the high stress of education and life in general, and also as a much 
safer alternative to alcohol for students."I don't advocate or encourage use or abuse of anything by anyone, just 
for students it might be nicer if they had an alternative," he said.Jessica Bralish, the director of public relations for the University of 
Colorado Student Union (UCSU), said if the referendum passes it will not 
prompt any action. Rather, it will be a statement to the administration 
demonstrating what the students want to see happen with marijuana policy."I don't know the official UCSU stance on it," said Bralish, "but from my 
perspective it seems like we'd be conflicting with the state's policy."She said the referendum will send a message counter to the university's 
policy, but it is a blurry line because the university is a state 
institution."Let's see what the students think and then we can act accordingly," said 
Bralish.Currently, CU students and SAFER are working to get the 1,000 signatures 
needed to get the referendum on the ballot. If successful, the referendum 
will be voted on during the coming spring election.According to Bralish, 10 percent of the entire CU student population must 
vote in favor of the referendum to pass and be presented to the 
"There has never been a case of fatal marijuana overdose in history," said 
Cisneros. "How many more students need to drink themselves to death before 
our colleges turn to safer, more sensible alcohol and marijuana policies?"###
For more information, contact:
P.O. Box 1852
Boulder, CO 80306-1852
(720) 275-8230
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on March 17, 2005 at 16:35:59 PT
I sure agree with you. Colorado thinks! I know why too. Because the song Rocky Mountain High is embedded in all your brains! LOL! I'm just kidding but it made me laugh.
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on March 17, 2005 at 16:22:54 PT
Think about what is happening here.
*There have been a few college campus related student deaths lately due to booze... (Big news)*Students are making a very progressive move to help put things in the proper order.*Colorado thinks.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 17, 2005 at 12:52:04 PT
That was great! Bowtie! LOL!
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Comment #3 posted by Arthropod on March 17, 2005 at 11:55:03 PT
A little off-topic
Just an insight into how liberal things are getting up north. I had a good laugh at this one, and I found it kind of educational too! Enjoy! tried to ad as a link, but it was too long to fit in the url bar.)
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on March 17, 2005 at 11:22:52 PT
Political will
Ah yes, it sounds good, but there just isn't the "political will" to get it done. Look at the way experts discuss the issue of prohibition.Not "Marijuana is safe, but the government won't let us end prohibition". "The governement won't allow reform". "changes are blocked by elected officials". "governement defers to law enforcement on drug issues".No, don't be afraid, this definitely isn't a police state, it's just a small "political will" problem.
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Comment #1 posted by Arthropod on March 17, 2005 at 11:06:01 PT
College students
I love how these people nevr mention the fact that college students lose student aid for a year if they have a cannabis charge on the books. Don't quote me, but I'm pretty sure that all chance at student aid is lost with the third strike. Don't you think this is a rather harsh punishment for a drug that is far less harmful than alcohol, and actually has a few health benefits to boot? I had to go through court to deal with this same situation, and had to wrangle with the prosecuting attorney to change the charges against me. My exact words were, "I have college to worry about. Change what type of charge goes on the books and I'll stop fighting the charges." I was one of the lucky ones, the prosecution decided to drop the cannabis charges and change them to Disorderly conduct, which carried a slightly heavier penalty but no college or driving penalties. I still shudder to this day at what could have happened, and I feel for all the unlucky ones out there.
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