Marijuana Proposal Stirs Debate on Campus

Marijuana Proposal Stirs Debate on Campus
Posted by CN Staff on March 31, 2005 at 08:38:12 PT
By Stephanie Lindberg
Source: Rocky Mountain Collegian
Colorado -- Students hoping to see a referendum supporting less severe university sanctioned penalties for marijuana use on the ballot for next week's Associated Students of CSU elections may not see it come to fruition.Volunteers with SAFER (Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation) Choice, a nonprofit organization supporting alcohol-use awareness, have been collecting signatures from students in an effort to get the referendum on the ballot for the elections to be held April 4 through April 6.
The referendum would not change the consequences of marijuana use on campus. If it passes, it would be a recommendation by the student body to the university that penalties for marijuana use be reduced to match those of alcohol use.Questions were raised by an anonymous source about the validity of some of the signatures. There needs to be 2,085 valid signatures from full-time, fee-paying students in order for the referendum to be placed on the ballot."Our organization feels the punishments for marijuana are too tough right now," said Dylan Bieniulis, a freshman biochemistry major and one of the student volunteers. "We just want to get it out there to see what the students think. Now we're experiencing difficulties getting it on the ballot."Election rules stipulate that a written protest may be filed and should be given to those who are trying to place the referendum so they know their accuser, a rule Mason Tvert, executive director of SAFER said ASCSU has violated."As of right now, ASCSU hasn't followed the election rules," Tvert said. "Halfway through the election they decided to change the rules. It's an obvious effort to keep it off the ballot. We're going to protest to the full extent."Tvert said he has not been able to get the name of the person who was complaining about the signatures."They said the person was going to remain confidential," Tvert said. "Apparently a few people thought they were able to sign but they weren't."Since it was an anonymous person expressing concern over the validity of the signatures, it was not a formal contestation in writing that falls under these rules, said Elections Committee Manager Brian Hardouin."There was an agreement made that the person would not make a contestment if it was verified," said Cord Brundage, interim executive elections adviser.Hardouin said because of the concerns they have begun verifying the signatures in an effort to get the referendum on the ballot by Thursday so students can vote on it."The individual had legitimate concerns and some of those are emerging," Hardouin said.Brundage said it was within the rights of the election manager to verify the signatures."We had people here all night," Hardouin said of trying to certify the referendum. "It's definitely not a lack of effort. There would be no contestment if it was certified."The last time there was a student referendum discussed was 1995, when the student fee review board was formed, Brundage said.Tvert said that could be part of the problem."There's no precedent for anything like this," Tvert said.If all signatures are certified by noon today, Hardouin said the referendum would definitely be on the ballot for the election.Source: Rocky Mountain Collegian, The (CO Edu)Author: Stephanie LindbergPublished: March 31, 2005Copyright: 2005 Rocky Mountain CollegianWebsite: editor lamar.colostate.eduRelated Articles & Web Site:Safer Choice Rally Planned Choice Referendum Aims for ASCSU Ballot Students Get Marijuana Referendum on Ballot Activists Promoting Pot Use Over Alcohol 
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on April 01, 2005 at 03:39:20 PT
UPDATE -It's on.
(one of the nice things about this election is it's only a few days wait. Does anyone think this will not pass?)US CO: Marijuana referendum makes its way onto ASCSU ballotPubdate: April 1, 2005Source: Rocky Mountain Collegian, The (CO Edu)Viewed at: Megan Schulz and Lila Hickey
April 01, 2005Supporters of SAFER Choice gathered on the Lory Student Center Plaza Thursday morning to celebrate the addition of a marijuana referendum to the Associated Students of CSU ballot for the upcoming April 4 through April 6 elections."This is a very symbolic measure," said Mason Tvert, SAFER Choice executive director. "Ethically, the school has a vested health interest in its students and should be doing everything it can to make sure they are safe."SAFER (Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation) Choice, a nonprofit organization funded by a private donor, has been trying to extend the values that marijuana use should have parallel punishments to alcohol use on campus. It has also pushed the values and initiatives to the University of Colorado-Boulder.The success of getting the referendum on the ballot does not constitute enforcement of the policies. The students were able to make an audible statement that will debut on the ballots Monday. If it succeeds at the polls it will then be passed to the university's administration for consideration.Some T-shirts that said "Party Organically" were given away at the rally."There is no doubt in anyone's mind that alcohol is a more acceptable form of recreation on campus," Tvert said. "They should not consider marijuana more severe than alcohol just because it is illegal."An anonymous individual informally requested that the signatures collected for the referendum be verified, so ASCSU Elections Committee members began verifying the signatures. The committee would have exceeded the ballot referendum deadline to verify all 2,421 signatures on the petition one by one. Because of this deadline, the individual decided not to formally contest the signatures, and the verification process was stopped.CONT.
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Comment #4 posted by mayan on March 31, 2005 at 17:17:13 PT
These anonymous prohibitionists should really come out of the closet. The SAFER kids sure aren't ashamed and don't need to hide.Prohibitionists everywhere are on their heels from here on out. They will be forced to take very unpopular actions and will end up looking more and more like the fools that they truly are. 
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Comment #3 posted by global_warming on March 31, 2005 at 15:28:59 PT
re:That House Payment
"I investigated with my insurance company. If I was to get one pill a day for 30 days, it is $498. Folks, that's a house payment!" You can bet, that them big shot pharmaceutical people are watching this development, very..very closely. I can just see them foaming at the mouth, at the thought that they may be losing "money" and their shareholders bottom line.I guess some people either believe in God and have some kind of conscience-
  1. The awareness of a moral or ethical aspect to one's conduct together with the urge to prefer right over wrong: Let your conscience be your guide.
  2. A source of moral or ethical judgment or pronouncement: a document that serves as the nation's conscience.
  3. Conformity to one's own sense of right conduct: a person of unflagging conscience.The part of the superego in psychoanalysis that judges the ethical nature of one's actions and thoughts and then transmits such determinations to the ego for consideration. -while others have been able to divorce themselves from this internal and spiritual dilemma, and proceed in life as there is only the "now" and the immediate comforts that can be had.In some ways, a murderer, a sociopathic killer, experiences no guilt, they are remorseless, and do not suffer this internal struggle. It is these people that are deemed the most dangerous and society agrees that they must be confined and separated from the general populace.It is becoming more evident, that this condition, is not exclusive to murderers, rapists and serial killers, this obsessive greed to accumulate wealth and power is just as dangerous, for when such an ill person, is allowed to be in a position, to craft laws, or preside as a judge over legal matters, the priest that receives your confession, the analyst that shares your inner self, they are protected and hide behind these professional respects, yet they can be as dangerous as that frightening predator that hides in the shadows.Alabama, appears to have the greatest intolerance towards Cannabis, and has the highest incarcerations in these United States, is this because the "people" the ones that vote, are strongly opposed to people that smoke Cannabis?I never could reconcile how all those good Christian people in the south, can turn a blind eye or deaf ear to the folks that are so frequently arrested for using Cannabis, how can they justify putting these human beings into cages, prisons, for having some leaves from a plant that gives so much pleasure and comfort, a plant that can unlock the doors towards a better understanding of ones self, a plant that can help a dyeing human being have some meager comforts as they pass into the great divide.Good Luck Alabama,gw
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on March 31, 2005 at 12:09:34 PT
Press Release from The Drug Policy Alliance
Building a Movement State by StateThursday, March 31, 2005The Alliance's Office of Public Policy (OPP) is proud to announce an increased presence on the Alliance website. The office works on policy reform and movement-building in states where the Alliance does not have an office - a category which this year includes Alabama, Connecticut, Maryland, New York (an exception to the rule, as the Alliance is based in New York), Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin.OPP's task in these states is to advance drug policy legislation based on reason, compassion and justice. For example, in Alabama this year, OPP is working as part of the state's New Bottom Line Campaign for improvement of absurdly stringent parole requirements, as well as for medical marijuana access in the state. In Maryland, OPP is working to bring democracy to the voting process by restoring voting rights to people who have served their sentences for felony convictions, and to do away with mandatory minimum sentences. More information about the Office of Public Policy's work in these and other states is available on the website.A major component of OPP’s state work is building a larger drug policy reform movement. Towards that end, OPP is involved in several powerful coalitions in the states where it works for change. For example, the Alliance is actively involved in a coalition called The Alliance Connecticut, and in New York it is part of the Coalition for Real Reform, which seeks to end Rockefeller drug laws.A second important part of the movement-building process is to let people know how they can be involved in reform at the grassroots level in their own state. To that end, the Office of Public Policy has been sending action alerts asking people to weigh in with their legislators on issues such as medical marijuana and sentencing reform. If you live in an OPP state and do not already receive these alerts, you can sign up for the Drug Policy Action Network--OPP will keep you up to date on the progress of important reform bills in your state, and let you know when and how you can influence the decisions of your policy makers. As Michael Blain, the Director of OPP, puts it, "Legislators respond very strongly to their constituents. What they hear from the people who elected them can make the difference between advancing reform and maintaining the status quo."With this powerful combination of working with grassroots supporters, state coalitions, and state legislators, the Office of Public Policy builds strategic campaigns in the states to win policy reforms and build the reform movement.For more information please visit the Office of Public Policy web page.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 31, 2005 at 08:46:23 PT
News Article from WHNT-TV Alabama
Representative Hall to Introduce Marijuana Legalization BillMarch 31, 2005 When the Alabama legislature meets Thursday, a local lawmaker will propose a bill which seeks to legalize marijuana for medical use. State Representative Laura Hall from Madison County will introduce the "Compassionate Use Act."NewsChannel 19's Dianna Gee met a Cullman County woman who says her health depends on marijuana use. She hopes it will soon become legal, so she won't have to break the law to get her alternative medicine.At first glance, she looks like a healthy energetic young woman, but Laura Campbell calls herself a walking medical mystery. Diagnosed with three types of arthritis, two sleeping disorders, and a laundry list of painful conditions, Laura says she smokes marijuana because she's allergic to 95% of prescribed painkillers. "I know what I'm doing is wrong," says the 32-year-old mother of three. The Garden City woman
says she could legally use a pill version of marijuana, but she can't afford it. "I investigated with my insurance company. If I was to get one pill a day for 30 days, it is $498. Folks, that's a house payment!" she says.Thursday, she will speak to state lawmakers about why she supports the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes. "I have the right to stand up and ask somebody to change the laws to help me out," she says with tears rolling down her cheek.Right now, she constantly worries about getting busted for drugs. It's something she talks openly about to her three kids, ages 8, 9 and 13. "I've told the children that if the police show up, do not be disrespectful. Don't be ugly. They're doing their job," she adds. "What I'm doing is wrong, and I know that, but left with the alternative, I'm willing to take the risk to see if there can be a change."While her medical diagnosis may not affect a large percentage of Alabamians, she knows there are others in her shoes. "You'd be surprised at how many people are out there like me and you don't know it. They live next door to you. They're somebody's grandmother. People have called in to talk shows, 65-year-old ladies saying, 'Yeah, we smoke it for our glaucoma.' We're not a threat to society," says Campbell. A threat she may not be, but lawmakers must decide if legalizing marijuana will create threats from those who might abuse it. Critics say legalizing marijuana will only lead to prescription abuse. Representative Hall says the measure would address that. She says it would only be used to treat specific diseases.
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