A resolution to amend Central Michigan University’s policy on marijuana has been passed by both houses of the Student Government Association.
The legislation changes penalties for students who violate the universities controlled substance policy regarding marijuana. If applied, the resolution would make the penalties for possession of marijuana equal to or less than those for alcohol.
Ian Elliott, president of Student Advocates for Medical and Recreational Marijuana and author of the resolution, said the idea of amending the university’s policy began when the registered student organization formed last fall.
“Back when CMU first evaluated what the penalties would be, they concluded that marijuana was more dangerous than alcohol,” the Cheboygan freshman said. “In 2014, things have changed and we know that is not the case.”
The resolution passed with a majority vote in its favor in the SGA Senate on Monday. The legislation was previously approved in the House of Representatives on Feb. 10.
Shortly before voting, Elliott gave a presentation to the Senate to address concerns senators expressed about the resolution.
Elliot clarified that he met with Tom Idema, director of Office of Student Conduct, and Danielle Rossman, coordinator of student organization services, before the legislation was proposed.
He said they were open to looking into amending the university’s alcohol and controlled substances policy once the resolution gained a vote of confidence from SGA.
“The Office of Student Conduct will not react to this coming to their office,” Elliot said. ”They already know it’s coming.”
With approval from both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the resolution will go to SGA President Marie Reimers.
Reimers can either sign, veto or ignore the resolution, which would lead to it being passed automatically. If the Saginaw senior signs the resolution, the proposed action will receive the support of SGA and the student body.
“I’m going to talk to the Office of Student Conduct first before I make a decision,” Reimers said. “I want to see what the ramifications might be if this goes to them.”
Several other pieces of legislation were passed by the Senate during the meeting. A resolution relocating an off-campus voting booth for elections to Wesley House and another to make minor amendments to the bylaws of the SGA constitution were approved.