Associated Students Legislative Council debated whether to encourage Student Health Service to add medical marijuana to its list of acceptable prescription drugs and ask the Isla Vista Foot Patrol to “ease enforcement of marijuana prohibition laws” in a meeting Wednesday night.
Rep-at-Large Chris Hook authored the resolution which was widely supported by both Leg Council and students who spoke during public forum to advocate the position paper.
“We try to represent student opinions and logical changes that we can make to government regulations that would benefit students and citizens,” he said.
Leg Council voted to postpone any decisions on the resolution until next week’s meeting, in order to gather more support for the resolution from council members.
The resolution, if passed, would be submitted to Isla Vista Foot Patrol, UC Police Dept., Chancellor HenryYang and political figures on both the local and state levels such as Senator Barbara Boxer, Congressperson Lois Capps, and former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan.
“I’ve never smoked and I don’t plan to, but what is an issue is personal responsibility,” Off-Campus Rep April Dunlap said. “We’re just asking them to respect the point of view for those who hired them and their constituents.”
Off-Campus Rep Brian McGuire, who said he also abstained from the use of marijuana during his UCSB career, advocated of the position paper.
“Contrary to popular opinion, I’ve managed to make it through five years at this school without participating in any marijuana recreation,” he said. “But I still support the bill because it’s ridiculous for people being sought after for participating in this.”
A.S. President Brian Hampton believes marijuana should be legalized but said it is not the council’s position to make that decision.
“It’s federal law and we should lobby for them to change it,” Hampton said.
Off-Campus Rep Adam Kaiserman, spoke against the resolution and submitted a statement to the council, although he said marijuana should be legalized.
“The purpose of law enforcement is evident,” he said, “they are there to enforce the law. It is an impossible request and one that ultimately, if passed, would challenge the legitimacy and validity of other position papers passed by this year’s Legislative Council and by Legislative Councils in the future.”
Despite support from both students and Leg Council, Hook said the position paper was only written to represent the students’ beliefs and in reality, will have a small, if any effect on federal legislators.
“It sends out a message that this is what students believe in,” he said. “This position paper will have little or no effect on the practicalities of the issue.”
Dunlap disagreed and said the resolution may have important repercussions.
“Campus activism has been impetus for many social changes in our nation,” she said, ” and it’s had its time and its time has come. I think it would be a great place to start – in UCSB A.S. Council.”
In other news, Hampton said he would run for a second term for the 2002-03 academic year. Hampton ran under the Gauchoholics party during the 2001 elections.
Leg Council has also been preparing for the Spring election, surveying students about raising the Student Services and Activities Fee by $3 per quarter.
Students can share their opinions at next Wednesday’s meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the Flying A Room of the UCen.