Marijuana Lobby Aims Off Target


i wanna be cool too!
Oct 22, 2005
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Maryland -- This past April during SGA elections, a referendum was passed suggesting the punishments in dorms for marijuana and alcohol be the same. As it stands currently, marijuana is listed as a “Section A” offense, meaning any individual caught with marijuana will have his or her housing terminated immediately, as well as be subject to other potential punishments. Possession of alcoholic beverages, meanwhile, is listed under “Section B,” which requires a warning and probation from housing, as well as potential community service for first offenses.

The referendum represented a widespread view on campus that the marijuana restrictions are overly harsh, and that the drug should be categorized differently than other potentially more harmful substances. However, the movement to loosen restrictions on the drug, while impressive in its numbers and passionate leaders, is a cause lacking any real hope.
The reason I write this is a very simple one, and one that is all too often overlooked by passionate students: marijuana is illegal. In the United States, it is illegal to possess, distribute, or use marijuana. Period. While some may argue that underage drinking is illegal as well, the fundamental truth is that alcohol itself is not classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as illegal to possess, as marijuana is. That being said, I am just a little confused as to how campus groups such as Students for a Sensible Drug Policy feel they are going to get a movement passed to change the resident life student code of conduct. One can only hope their proposals are only symbolic, and that these students don’t actually believe this ludicrous movement will be recognized by the administration.

This is not to say I disagree with the points the groups address. They argue that marijuana is not nearly as harmful as alcohol, and that students under the influence of marijuana are not an immediate threat to themselves or their fellow students (though the Dorito rack at Wawa should probably watch its back). I do tend to agree with this — alcohol-related violent crimes seem to be much more common than marijuana-related ones. Another good point addressed is that we are wasting our time and money incarcerating otherwise law-abiding citizens. These groups say that as a result of these and several other reasons, marijuana punishments should be decreased.

Nonetheless, these issues are completely irrelevant in talking about campus punishments. Even if change is in the winds for marijuana laws and marijuana is indeed less harmful than the government makes it out to be, the fact is the law states marijuana is illegal and we as a school must uphold that. I’m getting awfully tired of stories about poor friends who were stripped of housing because they were caught with weed, and how unfair it is. I certainly sympathize with the situation — having housing pulled out from under your feet must not be pleasant — but it’s not like the situation is unavoidable and unjust. I have a solution for those who don’t want their housing revoked: don’t bring your weed on campus. Following the rules should not be a selective thing. You know the rules, so don’t complain when the punishments are carried out when you knowingly violate them.

So for all of you who believe our campus’ marijuana policy must change, please think about where you are directing your argument. Perhaps the intention is working your way up the ladder to higher and higher officials until a state or national law is passed, but please don’t ask me to support your endeavors to make the possession of marijuana a “Section B” offense here on campus. Doing so would put possessing this currently illegal substance on the same punishment level as throwing a Nerf football or littering inside the residence halls, and would create a mockery out of our state and national laws.

Megan Maizel is a sophomore philosophy and American studies major.

Newshawk: Mayan
Source: Diamondback, The (U of MD Edu)
Author: Megan Maizel
Published: September 05, 2006
Copyright: 2006 Maryland Media, Inc.

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hash for humanity
Aug 21, 2006
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The author seems to have failed to realize a rather key point...

Students bringing marijuana into their dorms on campus are, for lack of a better description...bringing marijuana into their homes.

If a person can't use marijuana at home...then where pray tell? Leave campus for some seedy, undesired location that likely would put a student a in a more risky environment.

She has a point...just not meaty or valid enough to be applicable to that campus, or all others as a means to prevent students having marijuana on campus.

Thats exactly the same poilicy for under aged drinkers stationed on U.S. soil. THose men and women may not be 21...but ffs...if they can't drink on base, which is their home, then where? Leave post...come back drunk and risk a problem with MPs at the gate or risk being caught by some stick in the mud CQ patrol...

How the military and campuses do not see the failed logic...tha t many parents grasp early on 'Well...if you're going to be doing that, at least do it at home where it's safe'...

Bah...I've no time for those with short-minds.

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