Pubdate: Mon, 18 Sep 2006
Source: New Paltz Oracle (SUNY, NY Edu)
Author: Elizabeth Griffin
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Youth)


Although a neon marijuana leaf still glows from a window in the
Student Union Building, New Paltz has managed to shed its image as a
"drug school" in the past three decades. That is, until now. SUNY New
Paltz has just been named to High Times magazine's "Top 10
Counterculture Colleges."

Each autumn, the "stoner-friendly guide" ranks the top 10 colleges and
universities for "higher" education (literally). This year, the
magazine placed an emphasis on campus activism.

According to a press release from the magazine, colleges that affected
the greatest change concerning drug policy were listed in the top 10.
This includes a look at the schools' NORML/SSDP chapter (the drug
policy reform organization) and how involved it is in ending what the
magazine calls "America's long and disastrous war on drugs."

New Paltz, the only college or university in New York to make the
list, ranked seventh, right before McGill University in Montreal.
University of Maryland topped the list with University of California
at Santa Barbara in second.

New Paltz spokesman Eric Gullickson said that NORML's protests over
the years haven't changed the college's drug policies one iota and
that NORML's agitation affects only a tiny sliver of the population.

"We don't take this seriously," said Gullickson. "We want to be known
as a drug-free campus, not a free drug campus."

According to the magazine, New Paltz's SSDP/NORML has "gained a
reputation as one of the most active organizations on campus."

New Paltz hosted the 2006 Northeast Regional SSDP conference, which
the magazine credits as another factor contributing to New Paltz' top
10 ranking.

The New Paltz chapter of NORML/SSDP is also said by the magazine to
organize large rallies in an attempt to "force the administration to
stop kicking students out of their dorms for marijuana possession" and
holds an annual "Rock Against Racism" concert.

Recently elected Student Association President Justin Holmes, who was
recently suspended (see news story), was credited by the magazine with
leading the countercultural charges.

Holmes said the magazine's story recognized the importance of "counter
and psychedelic cultures" on campus.
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