I have been heartened by the incredible work and growth of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. It gives me hope for the future in the development of a base of young drug policy reform activists.
And then I see an editorial like this in the school newspaper of a major university (University of Arizona) and I smile.
But this policy could not be more relevant to our current condition, as the UA sinks into a financial mire of budget shortfalls, desperate reorganization schemes and forced cutbacks. What better time to ask whether pursuing and penalizing student drug-users is really the wisest use of our time and money?
Of course, the UA didn’t write this policy, and it might be argued that even a united university community would be hard-pressed to change a federal law. But difficult is not the same as impossible, and it’s not impossible to imagine changed policy resulting from a nation of colleges raging against a policy that demands that they treat campus pot-smokers the same way they would treat, say, an outbreak of campus heroin addiction.
Our student government leaders, so eager to leap on anything that smacks of the downtrodden, should make this issue their own. At the very least, they would make it clear that this issue is an issue, and one that affects us all. After all, even those of us who don’t partake still wind up paying when those who do get busted – we pay through the teeth for the service, in fact, every April.
A nation of colleges raging against a policy. That’s something to dream about.