SAFER Legalization Campaign Goes National: US

Discussion in 'Cannabis' started by Motorhead, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. Motorhead

    Motorhead Platinum Member & Advisor

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    [SIZE=+2]SAFER Legalization Campaign Goes National
    by SAFER Press Release (23 Feb, 2006) University ballot question passes by 60-40 margin
    [​IMG][SIZE=-2]Student University campaign driveStudent leaders of a campaign designed to educate the public about the relative harms of marijuana and alcohol today are cheering the fact that a solid majority of students on the Florida State University (FSU) campus have expressed support for the reduction of university-imposed penalties for marijuana use and possession. Sixty percent of students voting in yesterday’s election said “Yes” to the following question:

    “Should the university-imposed penalties for the use and possession of marijuana be no more punitive than the penalties currently imposed by the university for the use and possession of alcohol on campus?”

    The FSU campaign – coordinated by FSU chapters of NORML and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) – is part of a national public education effort initiated by a group called Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER). SAFER was originally launched in January 2005 on the campuses of the University of Colorado - Boulder and Colorado State University. Just four months earlier, two students – Colorado State University sophomore Samantha Spady and University of Colorado freshman Lynn Bailey – had died on these campuses from alcohol poisoning. SAFER argued that students should not be punished more harshly for using marijuana – a drug that has never caused an overdose death – than for using a more dangerous drug, alcohol.

    Following successful referenda campaigns on the CU and CSU campuses, SAFER coordinated a successful initiative campaign in Denver, making the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana legal under city ordinances. The organization has now launched a statewide initiative in Colorado that would make a similar change to state laws.

    In addition to FSU, SAFER is also working with students at the University of Texas at Austin, the Ohio State University, and the University of Maryland. Students at UT Austin will vote on a referendum similar to the FSU ballot question next week (February 28 and March 1).

    Drinking by college students, ages 18 to 24, contributes to an estimated 1,400 student deaths, 500,000 injuries and 70,000 cases of sexual assaults or date rapes each year, according to a 2002 study commissioned by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Task Force on College Drinking.

    Despite the objective fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol – both with respect to the harm to the user and the harm to the campus environment – students across the country are treated more harshly for the use of marijuana. The most obvious example is the fact that students twenty-one years of age and older can drink until they vomit without having a university sanction imposed upon them. Yet if a twenty-one year-old student is cited for marijuana possession by local authorities, university discipline is a near certainly.

    “We are thrilled to see students around the country embracing the SAFER campaign and using it to raise awareness on their campuses,” said Steve Fox, executive director of SAFER. “Adults, whether they are students or non-students, should not be punished for choosing to use marijuana over the more harmful substance, alcohol.”

    “Our nation’s leaders have been playing a game for nearly 70 years,” Fox continued. “They have demonized marijuana and marijuana users, pushing people toward alcohol instead. Students and voters are finally standing up and saying, ‘The game is over.’”

    Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) is a Colorado-based non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public about the harmful consequences associated with alcohol, as compared to the safer—yet illegal—substance: marijuana.

    For more information about SAFER, visit: www.SaferChoice.org
     
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  2. Herbal Remedy

    Herbal Remedy Titanium Member

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    i ended up leaving Florida State University because of their harsh drug laws (well florida in general, but tallahassee being the capital makes it even more of a bitch). Its good to see this going on...
     
  3. radiometer

    radiometer bananadine addict Platinum Member & Advisor

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    I applaud their efforts.
     
  4. Motorhead

    Motorhead Platinum Member & Advisor

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    US TN: PUB LTE: Life-Shattering Consequences
    by Robert Sharpe, (24 Feb 2006) City Paper Tennessee
    Students for Sensible Drug Policy is to be commended for their successful efforts to limit the Higher Education Act's denial of student loans to youth convicted of drug offenses. Congress' vote to offer amnesty to students busted back in high school is a major legislative victory. Currently enrolled college students, however, are still at risk. And the risk extends far beyond losing federal student loans.

    Most students outgrow their youthful indiscretions involving illicit drugs. An arrest and criminal record, on the other hand, can be life-shattering. After admitting to smoking pot ( but not inhaling ), former President Bill Clinton opened himself up to "soft on drugs" criticism. And thousands of Americans have paid the price in the form of shattered lives. More Americans went to prison or jail during the Clinton administration than during any past administration.

    As an admitted former drinker and alleged illicit drug user, President Bush is also politically vulnerable when it comes to drugs. While youthful indiscretions didn't stop Clinton or Bush from assuming leadership positions, an arrest surely would have. The short-term effects of marijuana are inconsequential compared to the long-term effects of criminal records. Students who want to help end the intergenerational culture war otherwise known as the war on some drugs should contact Students for Sensible Drug Policy at http://www.ssdp.org.

    Robert Sharpe, policy analyst

    Common Sense for Drug Policy
     
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  5. Motorhead

    Motorhead Platinum Member & Advisor

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    [SIZE=+1]Marijuana: University of Texas, Florida State Students Pass SAFER-Style Resolutions [SIZE=-2]3/3/06

    [SIZE=-1]The Safer Alternatives for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER) bandwagon is rolling right along. The Colorado-based group won campus victories last year at the University of Colorado and Colorado State University with resolutions urging the schools to adopt equal penalties for alcohol and marijuana violations before winning an upset victory in Denver, where residents voted to legalize marijuana possession. Now, the campaign, which explicitly contrasts the harms of alcohol and marijuana, has won two more campus victories, at Florida State University late last month and at the University of Texas at Austin this week.
    [SIZE=-1]In Tallahassee, students were asked: "Should the university-imposed penalties for the use and possession of marijuana be no more punitive than the penalties currently imposed by the university for the use and possession of alcohol on campus?" More than 60% voted yes.
    [SIZE=-1]"We hope the Florida State University administrators will head the advice of the student body," said Alexander "Chek" Ewscychik, outreach director for FSU NORML and the coordinator of the SAFER campaign on the FSU campus. "There is simply no logical reason to impose disproportionate sanctions upon students for making the rational -- and safer -- choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol. The university is under no obligation to punish students for marijuana possession," Ewscychik continued. "If state and local authorities want to continue the irrational marijuana prohibition game, that is their business. But the university should no longer play a role in a myth-based system that is driving students, as well as adults, to drink."
    [SIZE=-1]In Austin, where students were asked a similar question, the referendum passed with 64.4% of the vote. While the resolutions are not binding on university administrators, they provide a clear indication of the state of student sentiment on the issue and provide powerful ammunition with which to seek changes in college disciplinary codes that punish marijuana violations more severely than alcohol violations despite clear evidence that alcohol use is linked to everything from overdose deaths to domestic violence to sexual assaults, while marijuana is not.
    [SIZE=-1]"This victory demonstrates that students clearly recognize the truth: Alcohol is simply more harmful -- both to the user and to society -- than marijuana," said Judie Niskala, UT Campus Coordinator for SAFER Texas. "Not surprisingly, given this truth, they agree it does not make sense to punish an individual more harshly for using the less harmful substance. This is a perfect opportunity to find out if the new student representative on the Board of Regents is going to represent the will of the students or not," Niskala pointedly added. "The university should have one clear priority: the safety of the students. Because marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, this safety issue should be the university's primary concern. It is time for the University to change its policies so that it no longer encourages students to choose alcohol over marijuana." [SIZE=-1]Now, to make administrators listen.
     
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