In response to the Aug. 5 column, "Legalizing marijuana would help
California's deficit," the drug war is largely a war on marijuana
smokers. In 2008, there were 847,863 marijuana arrests in the U.S.,
almost 90 percent for simple possession. At a time when state and
local governments are laying off police, firefighters and teachers,
this country continues to spend enormous public resources prosecuting
Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis. The end result of this
ongoing culture war is not necessarily lower rates of use.
[continues 141 words]
We live in a representative democracy. We entrust our elected
officials to make legislative decisions on our behalf that hopefully
represents our views and best interests.
However, there are certainly some hot-button issues that I would like
to have a direct vote on, which is why I find ballot initiatives so
awesome. Almost half of the states in this country -- including
Pennsylvania -- support their own form of direct democracy in the form
of ballot initiatives, but no state does this more famously than California.
[continues 694 words]
Protesters rallying in Harrisburg Monday for the legalization of
medicinal marijuana have a great goal in mind, even if their approach
is slightly misguided
Twelve states have already passed bills legalizing it, and
Pennsylvania would be smart to add itself to that list. Marijuana can
be an effective substitute for habit-forming painkillers with
horrific side effects.
As it stands, pharmaceutical companies and the groups that lobby for
them have way too much power in this country. While this makes the
legalization of marijuana a bit more difficult, it's also more incentive.
[continues 265 words]
The Student Government Association (SGA) will soon have the
opportunity to investigate new initiatives as it swears in Ngozi
Mbawuike as its next president in early April. If events continue as
they have since we left for spring break, the SGA will continue the
consideration of a motion that seeks to have the University of
Massachusetts endowment become divested from companies that provide
war material for the Israel Defense Forces.
As students, this brings us to the point where we need to consider
another timely divestment initiative. It is imperative that we
urgently divest from the purchase of illegal drugs.
[continues 759 words]
This is a response to "Legalizing marijuana can help economy." Even
though both writers make some plausible arguments for legalization, I
would like to refute some of their claims.
Both articles argue that marijuana is a harmless substance. Mr. White
goes as far as stating that: "[Marijuana] has never killed a single
person." Perhaps I should point out that THC, the main ingredient in
marijuana, is both addictive and harmful. A simple examination of its
pathway in the body can confirm this principle: After its
consumption, THC doesn't reach the brain significantly, but a large
amount is stored in the fat tissues and is gradually secreted into
the blood over the course of several weeks. As a result of this
property, THC has a more damaging effect than alcohol, which is
excreted quickly from the body due to its water-solubility
characteristic. There have also been reports that marijuana contains
around 60 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco,
increasing the risk of emphysema as well as various forms of cancer.
[continues 131 words]
Another beneficial component of re-legalizing cannabis (marijuana)
that doesn't get mentioned in Margaret Miceli's March 16 column
"Legalizing marijuana can help economy" is that it will lower hard
drug addiction rates.
Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) will have to stop brainwashing
youth into believing lies, half-truths and propaganda concerning
cannabis, which creates grave future problems.
How many citizens try cannabis and realize it's not nearly as harmful
as taught in DARE-type government environments? Then they think other
substances must not be so bad either, only to become addicted to deadly drugs.
[continues 112 words]
Welcome back, Penn Staters. While you were gone, the locals crawled
out of their holes for one student-free week of revelry, the world
discovered we had a basketball team, and -- news flash -- we're still
in a recession.
As the recession continues to stick around, it seems clear that we
need some creative ways to raise revenue in failing states. One
California assemblyman should be applauded for an innovative,
forward-thinking way to raise money for the state government. The
legislator introduced a bill last month that would legalize marijuana
(only in California, sadly) and allow the state to regulate and tax
its sale. The federal government gave as close to a stamp of approval
as it ever does, with the U.S. attorney general announcing that states
should be able to make their own rules for medical marijuana, and that
federal raids on pot dispensaries in California, common under the past
administration, would stop.
[continues 602 words]
Penn State researchers have teamed up to tackle the problem of
juvenile crime across the state by using new methods to solve an old
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) -- which
includes Brian Bumbarger, project director and research associate for
Penn State's Prevention Research Center, and Mark Greenberg, the
center's director -- invested $60 million to fund crime prevention
programs that match the needs of specific communities across the state.
"There are a variety of things that put children and families at risk,
and because there are different causes, there have to be a variety of
approaches as to how we prevent them," Bumbarger said.
[continues 291 words]
In late October, Wanda Parent found a peculiar essay that her son,
Penn State student Justin Parent, had written for an English class
last spring. It detailed how an errant friend had introduced the
19-year-old to heroin, how he became addicted and what he did to beat
On it, a teacher wrote, "Do your parents know?"
Wanda had just been looking through college papers to give to
Justin's younger brother as he began his application process. The
essay was the first she had known of her son's struggles with heroin.
[continues 446 words]
The number of students living in on-campus housing exceeds the number
of Americans in prisons for the first time ever, according to a U.S.
Census Bureau report.
While the number of inmates has reached an all-time high of two
million people, nearly 300,000 more are living on a college campus,
according to the September report.
However, the apparently good news has another side: There are three
times as many black people living in prison cells than in dorms.
[continues 649 words]
A recent study brought some very disturbing information to light:
Almost half of college students nationwide, about 3.8 million people,
binge drink or abuse substances.
Why is this fact so disturbing? Just take a look through the
Collegian archives. Search for the word "drugs" and you come up with
many stories about drug abuse that has affected many people. Someone
wound up dead from the Andrew Rogers incident -- they were doing
cocaine that day.
On April 17 a student was arrested for possessing $15,000 worth of
marijuana -- about three pounds.
[continues 320 words]
Regarding the March 29 editorial ("Case important step for students'
rights"), alcohol kills more people each year than all illegal drugs
combined. Prescription overdose deaths are now second on the list of
causes of death from unintentional injury -- only motor-vehicle
crashes is higher. Television is filled with sophisticated pro-drug
messages paid for by alcohol and pharmaceutical companies. The Bush
Administration doesn't have a problem with corporate drug pushers. But
hoist a "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner at an off-campus high school rally
in Alaska, and they will fight you all the way to the Supreme Court.
It is not clear how this nonsensical phrase somehow merits limiting
free speech. Culture warriors in the White House seem to think the war
on pot is more important than the Constitution. It doesn't stop there.
By raiding voter-approved medical marijuana providers in California,
the very same Bush Administration that claims illicit drug use funds
terrorism is forcing cancer and AIDS patients into the hands of street
dealers. Apparently, marijuana prohibition is more important than
protecting the country from terrorism.
Policy analyst for the Common Sense for Drug Policy
Case Important Step For Students' Rights
A practical joke by one student in Alaska could forever affect the
way public schools are allowed to suppress students' freedom of speech.
Last week the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case Morse v. Frederick, a
student free speech case, where then 18-year-old Joseph Frederick was
suspended by his high school principal for unfurling a 14-foot banner
displaying the words "Bong hits 4 Jesus" during an out-of-school
This case could have a huge impact on our nation's public school
system for a few reasons. According to CNN.com, at issue is "whether
Frederick's free-speech rights were violated and the discretion
schools should be allowed to limit messages that appear to advocate
illegal drug use."
[continues 371 words]
Jay Bundy says he's fed up with being called the "pothead president."
"It's not like we're saying, 'free buds for everyone,' or 'we're
gonna hand out nuggets,' " Chris Brink, Bundy's vice presidential
candidate, said. "No. It's not like that."
Brink and Bundy are running on the presidential ticket for the
University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) elections that will
be held this Wednesday.
President of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana
Laws (NORML), Bundy said the administration should accept his
platform regardless of his advocacy for the legalization of an
illegal substance. Felicia McGinty, associate vice president for
student engagement, said if elected she would work with Bundy in all
situations, including making positive life decisions.
[continues 402 words]
Suspect Arrested On Charges Of Theft, Not Marijuana Possession
Investigators came close to being $3,200 in debt in official county
funds when a controlled drug buy this weekend did not go as planned.
[name and address deleted] nearly made off with the money
after he promised a pound of marijuana to a confidential police
informant but never came back with the drugs. Undercover
investigators recovered the money about an hour and a half after the
controlled buy failed.
[name deleted] became known by undercover cops and state police Troop G Vice
Unit from a confidential informant. The informant contacted [name deleted] on
Wednesday and met him at an apartment in [location deleted]
[continues 433 words]
Pro-medicinal marijuana groups are cheering over the U.S. Supreme Court
ruling that physicians can discuss the treatment option of medicinal
marijuana with their patients without risking prosecution.
"The Supreme Court's decision not to take the case is probably the most
significant court action on the medical marijuana front in two decades,"
said Robert Kampia, co-founder and executive director of the Marijuana
Policy Project (MPP), a lobbying group whose goal is to replace marijuana
prohibition with a regulated system.
[continues 584 words]
In response to "Police are enforcing commonly broken laws" (April 22
letter), I was really moved by your commentary on the state of affairs here
at Penn State. As you said, the students who are most likely to commit a
rape are undoubtedly the ones that have been drinking or "harmlessly
smoking a joint." Particularly those pot smokers.
After all, a whopping 4 percent of rapes are committed by individuals under
the influence of illicit drugs and 30 percent of rapes involve alcohol
(according to Alcohol and Crime Report, Bureau of Justice, 1998). The
police here are certainly not doing their jobs. Marijuana is illegal, as is
underage drinking. For that matter, sodomy is also illegal, but how many
people get arrested for that?
[continues 173 words]
Here's a question for the writer of the letter "Police should focus on
serious violations" (April 21): What type of student is most likely to
commit a rape? Probably the one who has been drinking or "harmlessly
smoking a joint."
I am by no means suggesting that all or even a majority of students who
engage in these activities will definitely commit more serious violations,
but statistically alcohol and drug abuse (yes, even marijuana) are often a
factor in sexual assault cases, not to mention the riots that have led to
discussion of installing cameras downtown.
[continues 128 words]
Which two of the following do not belong: A rapist, a thief, a traffic
violator, a marijuana smoker and a college student who has been drinking?
Answer: the rapist and the thief. What do all the others have in common?
The rest all are the focus of police. It seems with the recent rape in
downtown State College and the increasing amount of thefts, police would
have found the time to investigate further into these crimes. Numerous rape
cases are reported each semester without further investigation, even with
[continues 101 words]
If the federal government seriously wanted to reduce teenage marijuana use,
it would do the one and only thing that would make marijuana less readily
available to young people, i.e. it would regulate the sale of marijuana.
Contrary to Rebecca Shaver's assertion that alcohol is more readily
available than marijuana ("Students debate effectiveness of anti-pot ads,"
March 19 article), according to a recent study conducted by Columbia
University (and confirming the survey data collected by the National
Household Survey on Drug Abuse), teens find marijuana easier to obtain than
[continues 120 words]