campus security: [April 2010]

Waiting to Inhale: Rallies Promote Marijuana as a Solution to Campus Drinking
From "Waiting to Inhale: Rallies Today Will Promote Marijuana as a Solution to Campus Drinking" by Don Troop, The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 1, 2010

April 1 marked the beginning of Alcohol Awareness Month, and students on more than 80 college campuses in 34 states united for what they believe is a safer alternative to alcohol: marijuana. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 600,000 college students are injured in alcohol-related accidents, and 1,700 are killed each year. Drinking also plays a role in nearly 700,000 physical assaults and more than 97,000 sexual assaults against students. Colleges encourage drinking by enforcing zero-tolerance policies against students who are caught smoking marijuana, say rally organizers. Rob Pfountz, a sophomore at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, says, "At the very least, penalties for marijuana should be no worse than for those against alcohol." Pfountz is the campus spokesman for Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation, or "Safer," the national pro-marijuana organization that coordinated the April 1 rallies. In Fayetteville, students gathered on the mall outside the student union to distribute information about the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol. Mason Tvert, executive director and one of the founders of Safer, says that alcohol contributes to aggressive behavior and can result in overdose, two problems not associated with marijuana. "The purpose of this day of action is to really show that there's a growing movement of college students who are fed up with policies that punish them for making a rational choice," says Tvert.


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