When it comes to advocating marijuana legalization on college campuses, some college students are speaking out in support of the cause.
Central Michigan University student Ian Elliot is the founder of “Student Advocates for Medical/Recreational Cannabis” (SAMRC). This student organization became official on Central’s campus last semester.
Although some colleges are supportive of such organizations, Ferris’ campus remains apprehensive. Since marijuana legalization remains controversial the United States, Ferris Director of DPS Bruce Borkovich believes the legalization would have a negative effect on campus.
Michigan has legalized the use of medical marijuana. So far, Colorado and Washington are the only states that have legalized Marijuana for recreational use.
“I think [legalization] would definitely have a negative effect on Ferris,” Borkovich said. “[Students] are here to learn, here to be educated and expand their mind and increase knowledge. I don’t support or favor any substance that alters your mind or could interrupt that process.”
SAMRC was inspired after Elliot met a girl who said her cancer was cured with a marijuana concentrate, and also by a documentary he created on the currently “failed” Drug War.
“After seeing the amazing capabilities of marijuana as a medicine and becoming a patient myself, I knew I wanted to use my skills to aid this great movement,” Elliot said.
Central has had a positive response to SAMRC, according to Elliot. Faculty members have indicated an interest in getting involved with the cause.
“We are working directly with our Student Government Association and a Coalition for a Safer Mount Pleasant to start the difficult process of changing marijuana policies on-campus and within the City of Mount Pleasant, respectively,” Elliot said.
According to Borkovich, marijuana today is different than it used to be.
“Now with the popularity of medical marijuana and the passing of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, through genetically engineering… growing, fertilizers and hydroponics, people are producing marijuana at an excess of 20 to 30 percent THC,” Borkovich said. “It’s a much stronger product now.”
Ferris pre-physical therapy sophomore Aaron Biever doesn’t see why marijuana should be illegal, however, doesn’t agree with the need for consumption of it to alter one’s mind.
“[If marijuana were legal] people would smoke weed,” Biever said. “I really don’t see much changing that. People already do it. They just wouldn’t be penalized.”
Elliot said SAMRC is looking to start chapters at other schools. He encourages students to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.