By Steve Elliott
Students at the University of Texas are proposing a bill that would be the first of its kind on any campus in the United States: It would stop university police from arresting anyone for marijuana possession, instead giving them a citation similar to a traffic ticket.
Twelve authors are proposing the bill in the UT Student Government, according to graduate student Robert Love, who said tobacco smoking and second-hand smoke are much bigger problems on campus than is cannabis, reports Kris Betts at KVUE.
"Marijuana is not a threat to safety on campus, so let's take resources away from marijuana and put it toward things that are dangerous to students," Love said.
The proposed student government bill would ask UT police to issue citations for all marijuana possession cases under four ounces, instead of making arrests.
"I want to make sure that they have the availability to spend those resources investigating violent crime, rather than forcing them to investigate marijuana crimes on campus," Love said.
Travis County, Texas, where the University is located, currently allows officers to either make an arrest or issue a citation at their discretion. Love says that can encourage racial profiling.
"Citations should be the standard, and that way blacks, white and Latinos get the same treatment under the law," he said.
One political party wants to completely decriminalize marijuana. And not just allow medical marijuana, but make marijuana possession for anyone completely legal. In The Rewrite, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell has details on a surprising step towards saner drug laws in this country.
by Rachel Meador, Daily Texan Staff
High above the Pecan Street Festival, Texans for the legalization of marijuana showed their support Saturday night at the Third Annual Sixth Street Smokeout and 2008 Global Marijuana Music Awards at Momo’s.
The Texas branch of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, hosted the event with proceeds funding efforts to decriminalize recreational marijuana use by responsible adults. The diverse lineup ranged from spoken poetry to swing music, country to reggae, but all advocated legal change.
The Broken Poetz drove their expertly spray-painted van five hours from McAllen to contribute their hip-hop-psychedelic sound to the lineup. The group addresses the problems surrounding current marijuana laws in their original songs. “Mr. Weedy” and “Two-Time Offender” received cheers of support at the smokeout.
“Too many people are in jail right now just for marijuana charges,” said Jason Salas, member of The Broken Poetz. “We want to help expose what’s really going on. It’s real messed up when an adult can’t possess just for personal use.”
The patio overlooking the Austin skyline was lined with information booths, artists selling blown glass pieces and miscellaneous pro-pot regalia while roaming advocates dispensed free gear and information to attendees. NORML members and vendors were eager to answer questions and shed some light on marijuana misconceptions.