Marijuana Referendum Doesn’t Belong on The Ballot

Marijuana Referendum Doesn’t Belong on The Ballot
Posted by CN Staff on April 03, 2006 at 06:18:12 PT
Source: Diamondback
Maryland -- The SGA voted last week to add a referendum question to the upcoming SGA election ballot asking students if they think the university punishments for marijuana use and possession should be equal to those given to underage students caught with alcohol.Though the Student Government Association should be commended for trying to find student opinion on a policy issue, we question the appropriateness of this particular measure.
By making this a question on the ballot, the SGA is granting special status to marijuana policy, ahead of other issues such as postgame rioting or the student group funding process — issues directly in the purview and responsibilities of the SGA.By voting on an issue the SGA wields no policy making ability or influence over, discussion is going down a fruitless path. Even if students vote yes, how seriously can university administration consider a non-binding referendum held by a powerless, in this instance, organization and supported by less than 20 percent of the undergraduate population?Instead, why not focus on issues where the SGA is directly concerned, such as postgame rioting or even the transparency of the SGA finance process? One of the few true powers of the SGA is to distribute about $1.5 million in student group fees, and students currently have absolutely no control over funding rules and procedures. It’s well past time for there to be a public discussion on the group funding process, and the ballot is a perfect place to begin.Whether the marijuana policy is an appropriate question, a probable side effect will be an increase in voter participation, and that’s to be encouraged. Anything that involves students voluntarily participating in the process is positive, but the SGA should have picked a more fitting subject. The SGA should reserve referendum questions for issues of direct import, instead of inserting any old question that comes to mind.Note: The SGA’s decision to include a marijuana policy referendum in next week’s election ballot is inappropriate considering its limited scope of powers.Newshawk: MayanSource: Diamondback, The (MD Edu)Published: April 03, 2006Copyright: 2006 Maryland Media, Inc.Contact: editor dbk.umd.eduWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #6 posted by Dankhank on April 05, 2006 at 11:40:45 PT
Crowd control ...
England fans turn to each other...others to dope             Source: This Is London Dutch police today revealed the secret behind England's trouble-free opening Euro 2000 match against Portugal - openly-available cannabis. Despite the fallout between some England fans and players after the 3-2 defeat in Eindhoven, there were no reports of any trouble outside the ground. Police claimed that the availability of the drug in the Netherlands probably helped to defuse any violence among thugs normally found in a boozy rage.
Scores of ticketless England fans gathered in coffee shops in Eindhoven, where cannabis is legally sold and smoked, to watch the game, greeting the defeat with mild disappointment and gentle applause. "The cannabis may have helped relax them," said Johann Beelan, Eindhoven police spokesman. "Even the hooligans enjoyed the party - and they told our officers.
"There were lots of things for fans to do and everybody had a good time," he added. Only five fans were arrested, all before the game and all for minor offences. England's next match, against Germany on Saturday, is likely to provide a sterner test for the authorities as it takes place in Charleroi in Belgium - where drug laws are much tighter. Some 40,000 England fans are expected for the game - which England must win to have a hope of advancing in the tournament - 10 times the number allocated tickets. Meanwhile, discussions were taking place with UEFA today about player security at the championships following the obscene gesture by David Beckham at fans who hurled abuse after the Portugal game. Football Association executive director David Davies said: "Our security people are well aware of what went on. We will be talking to UEFA about that. There is an issue, we believe, with regard to the Perspex tunnel.
"I believe that tunnels which are not see-through in this way would be better and the FA chairman, Geoff Thompson, will be raising that with the stadium and security representatives of UEFA." Beckham was pictured giving a "one-finger salute" to England fans who hurled obscene taunts at him as he walked off the pitch in Eindhoven. The taunts were reported to have included insults about Beckham's wife and son.
Coach Kevin Keegan said he was present during the incident adding: "I heard the abuse and I was ashamed.He said: "If you had have been in the tunnel and heard what I heard ... I just couldn't believe it." Keegan was at pains to make it clear that the trouble had come from "eight to 10" apparently drunken people rather than the thousands of other England fans. Tory shadow attorney general Edward Garnier branded the Manchester United star's action "unacceptable", no matter how much he was provoked by spectators' taunts.  Mr Garnier, MP for Harborough, said: "It sets a bad example to younger footballers and lowers the standards of footballing behaviour at all levels, from the international game to girls and boys playing at school." Other MPs backed Beckham in the row. Bob Russell, Liberal Democrat MP for Colchester, said that while the player's gesture was "regrettable", drunken fans were to blame for provoking him. Joe Ashton, the Labour chairman of the Commons All-Party Group on Football, said: "Obviously if a footballer's tired and disappointed, he is human like anybody else and if moronic so-called supporters start swearing and abusing him, it is understandable that there's a reaction."
Published: June 14, 2000                        8Associated Newspapers Ltd. 1997-2000 
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Comment #5 posted by Toker00 on April 04, 2006 at 16:18:42 PT
You got that right, Mayan. Mini TeaHC Parties.
And they are going on right now all over America. SAFER is the best strategy. I cannot tell you how many people I have talked to who agree, cannabis is SAFER than alcohol. That cannabis SHOULD be legalized. I remember Linda Sisson appreciating that stance. I have seen the dangers first hand with alcohol. As a bouncer for a short period, I have separated women OUT OF CONTROL, taken knives away from some pretty ignorant, drunk men, had a gun shoved in my face, ended countless episodes of women being attacked by men, and ALL of these people were under the influence of alcohol. I know personally that these people did not smoke cannabis. At all. What gets me, is I was stoned when I was dealing with these folks! lol! I wasn't allowed to drink on the job, for obvious reasons, but they didn't care if I toked up. Go Figure.Most people who have had experience with both groups, KNOW cannabis is much, much SAFER. The people who refuse to accept this FACT, are those who chose to demonize both the plant and the plant taker, knowing neither. One chat with any of us, and we would change some minds, huh guys? But they want to be right so badly, they refuse to even consider any other point of view. Especially if it is against their DRUG of CHOICE, ALCOHOL.Wise up, America. People who use cannabis have a far greater right to fear those who use alcohol. Look at the health statistics, then look at the police reports dealing with violence and death caused by ALCOHOL. Face them facts, and cannabis will be Legal, soon.Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW! 
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on April 03, 2006 at 22:18:39 PT
Uh, postgame rioting Is Usually Caused by Alcohol
and cannabis is SAFER than alcohol, so how is this referendum inappropriate?
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on April 03, 2006 at 17:27:31 PT
Mini Tea Party
Every one of these referendums is like a mini Boston tea party. The students are speaking loud and clear and those with authority had better listen. 
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Comment #2 posted by runderwo on April 03, 2006 at 13:07:17 PT
it doesn't matter
if the referendum is binding or not. Marijuana prohibition and associated penalties are usually supported by appealing to the majority ("if people didn't want these laws/rules, they wouldn't be in place"), so simply allowing voters to make a statement to the contrary will help the administration make better policy decisions - if that is in fact their goal.
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Comment #1 posted by freshy on April 03, 2006 at 13:02:46 PT
i'd have to agree
well.. it might work. but i agree, they have no power in that area. they should see what the SGA actually can do to either help students not get caught or to talk the "policy makers" of the school to reduce the punishment
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