On April 1st – the first day of National Alcohol Awareness Month – the SAFER Campuses Initiative is organizing a Nationwide Day of Action to 1) highlight the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol, and 2) inspire public debate on whether college students should be allowed to use marijuana as a safer recreational alternative to alcohol.
SAFER is working closely with SSDP, campus NORML chapters, and it expects to have students from at least 70 schools around the nation participating. SAFER is providing them with free materials, instructions, direct assistance, and media support in hopes of generating positive local and campus media coverage, and hopefully some national attention surrounding the coordinated campaign.
The goal is to work with students at as many schools as possible to make this a truly explosive effort in favor of marijuana reform, so…
Please contact SAFER at [email protected] to let us know if you are interested in taking part in this action on your campus. You can help us get things rolling by providing the following information in your initial e-mail:
1. What school are you at?
2. Is there a leader or member within your organization that could take the lead as a liaison to SAFER?
3. Are there any relevant activities you (or your student organization) is planning for the semester that you’d like us to know about?
4. Would you like to know more about working with SAFER to run an alcohol-marijuana equalization referendum as part of a broader campus campaign?
The SAFER Campuses Initiative is a truly scalable effort, so your chapter’s involvement need not interfere with its other activities. Whether you’re interested in simply taking part in the huge Nationwide Day of Action, or capitalizing on this opportunity to launch (or lend to) a Campus Change campaign, we want to hear from you!
This particular action presents a great opportunity to get a broader campus effort underway. It will provide your chapter with something specific to organize around, attract new members, get your name out on campus and in the community, and generate positive news coverage that will benefit the overall marijuana policy reform movement. In fact, this could be a great activity for new groups just getting started.
– Article from SAFER.
Read more media reports about the event: http://www.saferchoice.org/content/view/1061/9/
Protesters say pot is safer alternative
The event was launched by Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation, a national non-profit organization founded in response to alcohol overdose deaths on college campuses.
“College life has become a large scale promotion of alcohol,” Jacob Bigus, a sophomore from Hillsdale and the University’s student coordinator for SAFER, said. “We feel that the University should be promoting safer alternatives to drinking — smoking marijuana being one — rather than just urging students to drink responsibly.”
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s Task Force on College Drinking, alcohol use by college students leads to approximately 1,700 deaths; 600,000 unintentional injuries; 695,000 assaults and 97,000 sexual assaults and date rapes for students each year.
The US Department of Education lists marijuana use as a close second to alcohol among college students on its website, saying that frequent use of either substance can lead to poor school performance.
Jane Tuttle, assistant vice provost for Student Success, said that both marijuana and alcohol consumption are against the University’s Alcohol and Drugs Policy and that each violation is judged individually.
Members of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the campus chapter of the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws teamed up for the event, proclaiming that the University enforces marijuana laws more severely, causing students to choose the more dangerous booze before buds.
“The alcohol policy right now is steering kids towards drinking,” Thomas Deacon, a freshman from West Lafayette, Ind., and president of the University’s NORML chapter, said. “We’re just trying to keep students safe and expand rights.”
After they were through picketing, the group marched to the Union to hand the Student Senate the book “Marijuana is Safer: So why are we driving people to drink?”
The picketers also distributed copies of the “Emerald Initiative,” a response to the Amethyst Initiative which calls for a public debate on whether lowering the drinking age to 18 would reduce dangerous drinking on campuses.
“All we’re doing with the Emerald Initiative is asking for the same type of open debate about whether allowing marijuana use by students would result in fewer negative incidences with alcohol,” said Mason Tvert, executive director of SAFER.
The “Emerald Initiative” was sent out to the some 130 college presidents and chancellors who signed the Amethyst Initiative, but none have agreed to endorse it so far.
Although the Student Senate won’t take action on the initiative this year, Bigus said he was organizing debate sessions and planning a concert to take place this spring.
– Article from Kansan.com.