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Student Group to Rally for Marijuana Legalization, Say University Police Make Arrests for Medicinal Use
Photo by katherine_hitt via Flickr
As efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational use are underway in Sacramento and possibly on the ballot, a large gathering of student activists from across the country will convene in San Francisco this weekend. This Is Your Brain On Drug Policy, a conference organized by Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), will take place from March 12 through 14th with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson and California Assemblymember Tom Ammiano in attendance. "California ranks 2nd highest in incarceration expenditures but ranks 48th in funding for education and due to a dearth of treatment programs; the state has one of the highest recidivism rates and the highest overall spending on incarceration," explains Matthew Palevsky of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). "Governor Schwarzenegger knows these facts as well as anyone and has called for a significant inmate reduction. To save money, and to save lives, California will need to seriously reform its drug policies and take a new approach to reducing the harms caused by drug abuse."
According to Assemblymember Ammiano's office, California State University police are enforcing federal marijuana laws with medical marijuana patients, which could lead to loss of financial aid for students.
"It makes one question the priorities of California State University administrators when campus police are encouraged to arrest students for being medical marijuana patients even after President Obama asked federal prosecutors to respect state laws that give patients the right to possess and use cannabis," said SSDP's Acting Executive Director Matthew Palevsky. "To compound the problem, students caught with marijuana face losing their federal financial aid due to the Aid Elimination Penalty of the Higher Education Act. It's a double whammy."