Student Government / Student Life

SGA House passes amendment of marijuana policy, Senate tables resolution

A new resolution passed by the Student Government Association’s House of Representatives might change Central Michigan University’s policy on the penalty for marijuana possession.

The legislation, presented by Student Advocates for Medical and Recreational Cannabis, passed the House on Monday but after debating for 45 minutes, was tabled by the Senate until the SGA meeting next week.

The resolution would amend Residence Life’s policy to no longer classify marijuana as a controlled substance. The penalty for marijuana violations would then be changed to match the more lenient punishment for alcohol possession.

“The penalties send everyone the wrong message, that marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol,” said Ian Elliott, president of SAMRC. “There is a sweeping movement across the country to remove these kinds of policies. To me, this change should have happened a long time ago.”

The Cheboygan freshman said changing the policy would be a step toward removing the negative stigma of marijuana on campus.

CMU’s policy on alcohol calls for a $200 fine and a mandatory online education course on the first violation with a $300 fine for the second. For a third offense, a student must either pay a $300 fine or risk possible suspension.

The penalty for the first violation of marijuana possession is a $300 fine, an online course and disciplinary probation for the remainder of the student’s academic career. A second violation results in a $400 or suspension.

The resolution would eliminate the more severe penalties for marijuana and replace them with penalties that are no greater than or less than those for alcohol.

If the resolution is later passed by the Senate, the report will be sent to be signed, vetoed  or pocket vetoed by SGA President Marie Reimers.

Should Reimers pocket veto the resolution, or not make a decision, the proposal will automatically pass according to SGA regulations.

“I need to do more research about the matter before I can say anything,” Reimers said.

If the resolution is signed by Reimers, it will be compiled and given to the Office of Student Conduct for review.

Student Life Editor Nathan Clark contributed to this story.

26 Comments

  1. Jamie Lowell says:

    It is very pleasing to see such a resurgence of students standing up for social justice. The truth is the truth, and on the issue of reforming cannabis policy, it is on your side!

  2. The Center for Disease Control states: “There are approximately 88,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States”

    There has NEVER been a death from overdosing on cannabis.

    Facts don’t lie

  3. Go ahead CMU – Do it!! And watch how many large corporations STOP recruiting from CMU!! Are you even thinking of the bigger picture here!! FOOLS!!

  4. Have the central Michigan university police officer that presented to the RHD staff the other day discuss it. He said ANYBODY he has ever dealt with for using HARD DRUGS has started with marijuana. So it IS more dangerous.

  5. Have the CMU Police officer that presented to the RHD staff present. He said that anybody he dealt with for using crack/Meth/heroine or anything else, ALL said they started out using weed.

    • You’re in college! I think…

      Start thinking for yourself!

    • OR, they just liked using drugs of various kinds. It’s more likely they started with alcohol or tobacco and it just so happens they used cannabis as well. Marijuana isn’t a gateway drug. If it were, many of my friends would be using crack/meth/heroine, but oddly enough, they don’t. This “gateway drug” myth needs to stop.

  6. Jamie Lowell says:

    The issues cited here with cannabis are either unsubstantiated myth, or a direct result of prohibition.

    Cannabis is not a gateway drug, and without laws against it, there would be no real issues.

    Let common sense and truth prevail, and end failed policy based on lies and misconception!

  7. It is widely accepted that alcohol and tobacco are in fact the true gateway drugs, and it is incredibly irrational (especially on a prestige campus likes our’s at CMU) to more harshly punish a benign substance (cannabis) while more leniently tolerating the more damaging drugs such as tobacco and ethanol.

    CMU is at the front of sensible drug law reform in Mount Pleasant, Isabella County, the State of Michigan and the entire country as a whole.

    Cannabis is a benign substance that should not be regarded as something negative or damaging. The way our society approaches and tolerates cannabis use determines the problems that surround it’s use.

    Everyone loves to use drugs, 88% of all Americans in fact.

    Don’t punish someone for smoking cannabis if you’re not going to also go arrest everyone standing in line at Starbucks in the UC or at Java City.

    Proper recognition of such a benign substance is demanded by those who considered themselves to be critically analyzing, educated people.

    Let’s move forward CMU!

  8. Just because people who use hard drugs have also smoked marijuana at some point in their life doesn’t mean that marijuana use caused them to move to harder drugs. Gateway theory is not a reliable explanation for harder drug use. There are so many people who regularly use marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes that still lead normal, functional lives. Simply because one has smoked marijuana does not mean that they are going to jump to do using cocaine, meth, heroin, LSD, etc. People make that decision on their own and marijuana use doesn’t really factor into it. If it did, then anyone who has ever smoked marijuana would be a hard drug user today; which of course is not the case. And also, the only reason that there are still problems with cartels and dealer/buyer violence is because it is still illegal. If something is illegal, a persons is forced to make their purchase from some shady dude on a street corner. The rise of organized crime in America directly stemmed from bootlegging during the prohibition era, of which we still feel the legacy of today. Prohibiting substances is not an effective way of regulation, since those who are going to want the substance will find a way to get it illegally, which fuels the cartels/mobs to continue to bring it here and as we all know, violence follows with them. If we were to make this substance legal, it is possible to move it off the streets and out of the hands of the violent cartels. That way the government can tax and regulate it, and like alcohol and tobacco, those who want to use it can, and those who do not want to use it have the choice not to. We have freedom of choice in this country of ours, so it is honestly time to abandon our misconceptions of marijuana and just respect the fact that people should be able to choose how they live their lives.

    • Then the purpose of pushing a bill through should be to change the marijuana policy for medical cardholders.

    • Then the purpose of pushing a bill through should be to change the marijuana policy for medical cardholders.

      Also, if we made it completely legal, where does it come from? Its still going to be mainly supplied by cartels. They won’t have to sneak in subs to get here but it will still be made by them. It will still be fueled by the cartels, because it will still be cheaper. Supply and demand bro.

      • Steve — take away the underground market. Are you blind?
        Drugs and crime do have an elongated history – that is no mistake. But what is often overlooked is that perhaps it is not the use of the drug itself that results in crime, but rather how society handles the drug use. Most crime that pollutes the world of drugs arises from the economic circumstances that are associated with drug sales and distribution. What I mean by this is that if there is money to be made, it will be made no matter what the cost. Drug cartels are large organizations that play by their own rules, and often by de facto control large territories (such as in Mexico); I believe the only way to end the violence that is set forth by these cartels is to take away their market (by legalizing certain drugs). Violence doesn’t surround the mere act of using the drug, though drug use is often a factor in many violent crimes. Laws already exist that make homicide and other related crimes to be illegal; it is inhumane to arrest someone for simply using a drug under the presumption that violence is ‘inevitable;’ especially when 43.6% of state prisons are packed with simple drug use offenders and only 17.4% of sexual-assault offenders. Violence is a product of economic circumstances surrounding drug use, but not the mere act of using a drug by itself.

  9. Not to be insulting by to anyone repeating nonsense like “duuhhh gateway drug”, please stop typing and go read a book.

  10. To Steve’s comment above ^
    If it were legal it would not be supplied as much by the cartels. It would turn into a regulated industry and production would be turned away from it’s current sources. Much needed tax revenue could then be distributed to local, state, and federal governments. To your supply and demand point, well you just basically explained the current problem of prohibition. We’ve created an underground market through illegality, and to meet the “demand” black markets, dealers, and cartels provide the “supply”. Supply and demand, bro.
    To the gateway argument:
    Wow, what a joke. Cannabis isn’t a gateway drug anymore than alcohol or caffeine is. People who are going to do hard drugs are going to make that choice regardless of whether they have smoked pot, drank alcohol or used caffeine or nicotine. People that are going to make the choice NOT to use hard drugs, are going to make that choice regardless of whether they use cannabis. I also find it comical that a lot of people arguing FOR cannabis to remain illegal are the same people who use pharmaceutical drugs, caffeine, and alcohol. Why are you advocating for proven, physically addictive substances and saying we should outlaw a less dangerous substance such as cannabis?
    I’ll leave with the simple closing of
    Legal—> Legal supply
    Illegal—> Underground (Cartel, Dealer) supply
    Demand never changes, prohibition doesn’t work, and people will find a way to get something if they want it. So why not tax, regulate and control?!

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