The first meeting of the year will be held Wednesday August 24th at 6:00 PM in the Laurel room at the Mountainlair. As of now this will be the meeting time and room for the rest of the semester, but we are still open for suggestions. Please send any requests to change the meeting times to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to see you there!
The due date for the Drug Policy Alliance conference in LA November 2-5 is June 30th!!! Fill it out if you would like a chance for some funding to go.
REGISTRATION AT 7:30
PREREGISTRATION FORM BELOW
Help us fix our broken criminal justice system!
Pong for Reform: Practice the fine art of landing ping pong balls inside of water-filled glasses. Beer optional
Score against the Drug War Bean Toss: Show your skills tossing the bean bag in this fun tournament supporting an end to the War on Drugs
Pool for Patients: A pool tournament to support medical marijuana in West Virginia
Please come out to win some prizes and support reforming our destructive drug laws!!
This Friday at de Lazy Lizard in Morgantown, WV from 7:00-10:00 PM we are hosting Dr. James Nolan, 2010 West Virginia Professor of the Year and former police officer to speak at a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of the war on drugs. We will be honoring those who have been harmed by our drug laws and policies; people who are often overlooked by the public the media. This is part of an international effort–vigils are going to occur at 20 campuses across the nation and beyond along with a number of other community events commemorating the 40th anniversary of the war on drugs that will occur on June 17th and 18th.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
7:00 – 7:30
Opening with a brief history of the drug war and presentation of drug war victims
7:30 – 8:15
Speaker, Dr. James Nolan, the 2010 West Virginia Professor of the Year
8:15 – 8:45
Q&A and discussion with Dr. Nolan about the nature of the drug war
8:45 – 9:00
Highlighting vigils occurring across the nation
9:00 – 9:15
A candlelight vigil to honor all of those affected by the drug war
9:30 – 10:00
Socialize with Dr. Nolan and Students for Sensible Drug Policy
Please come out if you can to take part in this national gathering and help honor the little-known victims of our drug laws.
April 22nd, 2011 By: Gregory B. Hladky
Rhode Island and New Jersey aren’t often put in the beacons-of-light category, but Connecticut is right now looking to those two states to help illuminate the tricky pathway toward state-sanctioned growing and sale of medical marijuana.
Across the border in Rhode Island, three nonprofit “compassion centers” are getting ready to open their doors to patients seeking marijuana for relief of their medical symptoms. Down in New Jersey, despite the stubborn right-wing resistance of Gov. Chris Christie, that state has licensed six “alternative treatment centers for medicinal marijuana.”
“Ideally, we’d like to have some legal, taxable and regulated way to provide medical marijuana,” says Michael Lawlor, point man on pot issues for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration. And he says the Rhode Island and New Jersey systems appear to be a lot more Connecticut’s style than California’s wild and wacky Left Coast medical marijuana scene.
Connecticut legislation on medical marijuana and decriminalization of small amounts of pot breezed through the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee earlier this month. Those approvals came despite complaints from some lawmakers about inadequate controls and “sending the wrong message” on smoking dope.
State Rep. Bruce V. Morris of Norwalk is one of the few Democrats to vote against the medical marijuana bill. “I struggled with this bill,” he says, acknowledging that he supports the intent of helping people in pain. “But the types of controls necessary [to regulate pot] haven’t been included.”
The committee debate included the opposition of a rotund little conservative from Cheshire, state Rep. Al Adinolfi. He offered up a strange, meandering story about a family friend suffering from cancer who turned to medical marijuana to help with the pain.
“He smoked, he kept on smoking marijuana, just quite regularly and he felt good all the time, naturally,” explained Adinolfi. “And things progressed. His ear actually fell off. But marijuana kept him going … and finally, in the end, because he refused to go for treatment, because he felt good and he felt comfortable, he died. … In this case, the marijuana helped him die.”
It wasn’t clear whether Adinolfi’s off-beat argument had any effect, but there’s always the possibility that it convinced more lawmakers to vote in favor of the bill (which passed 34-10).
Malloy has signed on to both medical pot and decriminalization and it looks more and more likely that, at the very least, Connecticut will join the 15 states and District of Columbia that have approved medical marijuana. By some estimates, medical marijuana has already become big business, with 25 million people medically eligible to buy pot to treat chronic pain and other symptoms of various diseases such as AIDS and cancer.
The Connecticut medical marijuana bill would allow a person with a doctor’s prescription (or that person’s caregiver) to legally grow up to four marijuana plants for his or her personal use. Critics questioned how those folks could legally buy marijuana seeds and raised other issues about how to regulate the system and the fact that grass continues to be illegal under federal law.
The route taken in Rhode Island has been to license nonprofit centers to grow and dispense medical pot.
That state is also looking to marijuana sales to generate some badly needed state revenue. Gov. Lincoln Chafee has proposed making medical marijuana sales (some experts project pot purchases could top $25 million next year) subject to the state sales tax.
In New Jersey, Gov. Christie (who has repeatedly clashed with Malloy over taxes and spending) has helped confirm his far right credentials through his opposition to his state’s medical marijuana law. Last week, New Jersey’s attorney general requested a federal opinion about whether the plan to cultivate and sell pot through six state-licensed facilities would violate federal drug laws.
Lawlor says Christie “has made it very difficult for New Jersey to move forward” with its plans for state-sanctioned sales of pot to patients seeking medical relief. As for the request for a federal legal opinion, Lawlor says it’s “worth noting that the U.S. government has not prosecuted anyone for doing anything [concerning pot] that abides by state law.”
Meanwhile, the selection of the nonprofit operators to run those medical pot centers has been raising eyebrows, largely because three of those chosen are close political allies of Christie. “These are the most politically connected medical marijuana operators in the country,” Chris Goldstein, a New Jersey medical marijuana activist, told the Associated Press.
Connecticut lawmakers and Malloy administration officials are now working on changes to the medical marijuana bill that will answer concerns about where patients with prescriptions can legally obtain pot, either to use directly or to grow themselves. Supporters of the legislation are very optimistic, since a bill nearly identical to the one submitted by Malloy won General Assembly approval two years ago, only to be shot down by then-Gov. M. Jodi Rell.
The other big pot bill, to decriminalize small amounts of grass, cleared the judiciary panel on a 23-15 vote. “There was strong bipartisan support for this,” Lawlor says, “and hopefully the same thing will play out when it gets to the House and Senate.”
Connecticut law now makes possession of small amounts of grass a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Few people actually go to prison on minor possession charges, but decriminalization supporters say the state could save millions of dollars in police, prosecution, court and probation costs by eliminating it as a criminal offense.
The bill passed by the judiciary panel would make possession of less than half an ounce of pot an infraction, which means you’d pay a $100 fine for a first offense and could mail it in just as you would a speeding ticket fine. Multiple marijuana infractions could push fines as high as $500.
If you were caught with that amount of grass but were under 21, you could have your driver’s license suspended the same way as if you were nabbed for underage drinking. Anyone under 18 caught with pot could be sent to juvenile court at the discretion of police.
Those penalties weren’t enough to convince Democrats like state Sen. Ed Meyer of Guilford. A former New York prosecutor, Meyer says he remains convinced that pot “is very toxic, very dangerous, particularly for younger people.”
Meyer admits there are good arguments for decriminalization, particularly because it would cut Connecticut’s prison population. “But I believe the good reasons are outweighed by the other side of this,” he says.
Connecticut’s decriminalization bill is modeled on the plan Massachusetts voters approved by referendum in 2008. A recent decision by that state’s highest court indicates Connecticut police may have to change some of their anti-marijuana activities if decriminalization passes here.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that cops in that state can no longer stop and order a person out of a car for a search just because they smell pot smoke coming from his or her car window.
The high court opinion stated that, in the wake of decriminalization, cops need more than just smoke. The judges summed it up this way: “The odor of burned marijuana alone cannot reasonably provide suspicion of criminal activity to justify an exit order.”
Guess we’ve got to add Massachusetts to that marijuana “beacon of light” list.
Originally published here: http://blog.norml.org/2011/04/07/medical-marijuana-rules-finalized-in-arizona-washington-dc/
April 7th, 2011 By: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
Regulations have been finalized to allow for the sanctioned use and dispensing of medical cannabis in two more regions of the country: Arizona and in the nation’s capitol, Washington, DC.
In Arizona, representatives from the Arizona Department of Health Services have approved rules governing the state’s soon-to-be-implemented Arizona Medical Marijuana Program. Voters directed the state to approve regulations regarding the use and distribution of medicinal marijuana in November when they decided in favor of Proposition 203 — making Arizona thefifteenth state since 1996 to legalize the physician-authorized use of cannabis. Program rules, physician certification forms, and answers to frequently asked questions are all available online from the Arizona Department of Health Services here.
Arizona patients may begin qualifying for the program next week, and dispensary applications will be accepted beginning June 1. All patients initially approved by the state will have the option to cultivate their own marijuana. However, patients who reside within 25 miles of a state-licensed dispensary will lose this option once such facilities are up and running later this fall.
In the District of Columbia, city leaders have finally signed off on long-awaited rules regulating patients’ use and access to cannabis. Those rules are expected to take effect April 15. The just-finalized regulations will permit D.C. officials to allow as many as ten cultivation centers and five dispensaries in the District. Permit applications are anticipated to be available by April 17.
The forthcoming rules implement facets of I-59, the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Initiative, a 1998 municipal ballot measure which garnered 69 percent of the vote yet was never implemented. Under the new regulations, qualifying D.C. patients will be able to obtain medical cannabis at licensed dispensaries, but will not be permitted under the law to grow their own medicine.
Washington DC’s forthcoming program is limited to residents of the District of Columbia and is not reflective of any broader change in federal policy.
Additional information on these and other state medical marijuana programs is available from the NORML website here.
April 6, 2011 Special Meeting
Medical marijuana legislation has been introduced in Charleston. How can we make sure that bill passes?
Special guest speaker and West Virginia native Matt Simon is going to tell us!
He worked as a professional marijuana policy reform advocate on the New Hampshire Compassion campaign from 2007-2010. In 2009, he led grassroots, media relations, and lobbying efforts in support of a medical marijuana bill which passed the New Hampshire House and Senate, but was vetoed by the governor and unfortunately fell two votes short of becoming law.
Simon earned his M.A. in English from West Virginia University in 2002, and he taught composition classes as a graduate teaching assistant and adjunct faculty member at WVU from 1999-2003.
Join us this Wednesday to find out the latest on where the WV bill stands and what we can do to help!
This was written in response to the Daily Athenaeum article, “Ending our dependence on paper will better the environment.”
Last Wednesday, The Daily Athenaeum published an editorial urging West Virginia University to go paperless as a response to the devastating impact paper production has on the environment. While paperless is ideal, it is not realistic. There is however a way to make paper that doesn’t use wood. Paper can be made from a renewable, cheap, and fast growing resource; hemp.
The USDA reported that one acre of hemp produces as much paper as four acres of trees. And unlike trees, hemp can be harvested annually. Hemp paper can also be recycled several times over (wood-based paper can’t).
The North American Industrial Hemp Council reports that hemp paper is pulped using less chemicals than wood. Traditionally, the process of turning wood pulp into paper necessitates the use of whiteners such as chlorine and bleach, which contaminate local water supplies. Wit
Students for Sensible Drug Policy agrees that using electronic means to deliver coursework is a great forward-thinking idea. We all should be willing to work towards that goal, which will no doubt reduce paper waste at West Virginia University. However, a completely paperless university could never exist, and the problem of where our paper comes from keeps coming up. We need to look for more sustainable, and more environmentally friendly sources. It’s time for West Virginia to seriously consider hemp.
Make sure to leave comments on the original article on the Daily Atheneaum’s website! Ending our dependence on paper will better the environment
When: March 17 – 19, 2011
Where: University of Maryland
Join us at the University of Maryland for our training conference and congressional lobby day March 17-19.
This hands on conference will provide students with everything they need to know about lobbying, running campaigns, campus organizing and much more. It’s not the typical SSDP conference! We’re focusing on helping our chapter members become even better activists and giving them the tools to manage long lasting chapters and run successful campaigns.
You will also attend a lobby training before meeting with your representatives in Washington, D.C. to discuss drug policy issues and legislation.
- Minutes 4/17/2012
- Minutes 2/7/2012
- Minutes 1/31/12 and Tabling Reminder
- Meeting Minutes 1/24 Tabling Reminder
- In the Community
- Photos – “SSDP Conferences since 2010″
- New Meeting time Tuesday at 8:00 PM in Mountainlair Mountain Room
- First meeting Wednesday the first week of classes!
- Please fill out the meeting time survey to help us schedule our Fall semester meeting times.
- Fill out DPA Scholarship if you want to go!