Marijuana Advocate Urges Legalization
function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Marijuana Advocate Urges Legalization');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

Marijuana Advocate Urges Legalization
Posted by CN Staff on May 27, 2010 at 04:04:38 PT
By Miranda Viglietti
Source: Daily Northwestern 
Illinois -- Outlawing marijuana steers people toward drinking alcohol, the director of a marijuana advocacy organization said in a speech at Northwestern on Wednesday evening.The Food and Drug Administration does not approve of marijuana and the federal government classifies it as an illegal drug. But Mason Tvert, executive director for Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation, said to nearly a dozen NU students that marijuana is safer than alcohol and should be legalized.
Peace Project and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws-Students for Sensible Drug Policy co-sponsored the event to prompt NU students to scrutinize the country’s drug policy and foment dialogue about it, Peace Project President Alexa Razma said.“I don’t think someone should be prosecuted for choosing to ingest a substance if it is causing no harm to others,” the SESP sophomore said.Tvert said alcohol’s legal status has serious implications for college students.“It sends the dangerous message: ‘You are better off drinking than smoking marijuana because you won’t get in as much trouble,’” Tvert said.NU students can lose financial aid if they get caught in possession of marijuana, while students busted for underage drinking face milder repercussions, he said.“You have to ask, does the punishment fit the crime?” said McCormick senior Jen Darby, president for NORML-SSDP. The event encouraged her to rally for marijuana legalization, she said.Although marijuana and alcohol are both intoxicants, Tvert said alcohol is more dangerous. Alcohol is a depressant, so consuming too much alcohol can shut down the body, he said. However, because marijuana affects the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls motor skills and creativity, marijuana alone cannot kill, Tvert said.Tvert also rebutted common arguments against marijuana. Most people are resistant to the idea of legalizing marijuana because they think its harmful health effects outweigh the tax revenue it could raise, he said.Alcohol causes 35,000 deaths each year, while marijuana causes zero, Tvert said. THC, a chemical in marijuana, prevents carcinogens from inhaled smoke from settling in the lungs, whereas nicotine, an addictive chemical in cigarettes, facilitates cancer growth, Tvert said.“We should acknowledge that it’s simply a substance people enjoy using, and do use, and they shouldn’t be prosecuted as criminals,” he said.Tvert’s organization helped make Denver the first major U.S. city to legalize possession of marijuana.Weinberg junior Anne Canter, who is from Denver, has seen the issue in action and said she now plans to cite statistics about the danger of alcohol when the topic comes up with friends.Weinberg sophomore Ethan Kaplan said he has a personal interest in the issue. He suffers from insomnia stemming from Tourette Syndrome, which medical marijuana effectively treats, he said.“I personally feel prohibiting marijuana is ridiculous,” Kaplan said. “People are so used to hearing it’s bad that it becomes like a dogma.”On Friday, the Illinois House of Representatives will vote on a medical marijuana pilot program.Source: Daily Northwestern (IL Edu)Author: Miranda VigliettiPublished: May 27, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Daily NorthwesternContact: forum dailynorthwestern.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Post Comment