Pot smokers everywhere received strong support at Wednesday night’s Associated Students Legislative Council meeting.
Leg Council discussed a bill Wednesday night calling for the decriminalization of medical and recreational marijuana. Several students spoke in favor of the bill during public forum.
Rep-at-Large Chris Hook said he attained 300 student signatures in favor of his bill.
“I haven’t heard a single voice of complaint except from members of Leg Council,” Hook said.
“I want to commend Chris on writing this bill,” External Vice-President of Statewide Affairs Eneri Rodriguez said, “I thought it was dope, no pun intended.”
Only one council member spoke against the bill and said legalizing marijuana would cause those who already smoke to use the drug more frequently.
The bill passed 19-4-1.
Leg Council also voted to place an initiative on the Spring ballot asking students to raise the base fee by $8, despite differences in opinion about the wording of the amendment.
Students currently pay a base fee of $9.10 per quarter – a number has not increased since 1972. A.S. is in debt and an increased base fee is one solution to its budget crisis.
Debate revolved around the phrase “needed funding,” which some council members felt would bias students to vote in favor of the initiative if it appeared on the Spring ballot.
“A ballot is supposed to be neutral,” Off-Campus Rep April Dunlap said. “I think we’re abusing our own power to put things on the ballot.”
Other Leggies such as Rep-at-Large Manuel Silva felt the statement was “purely factual.”
“You’re $400,000 in debt and you don’t need increased revenue?” Silva said.
The initiative passed with the debated wording.
Leg Council also passed a position paper asking Congress to “overturn the section of the Higher Education Act of 1998 that denies or delays access to financial aid based upon convictions for drug-related offenses.” Rodriguez said every UC Senate was passing similar bills this week.
“I guess peer pressure is involved now,” Off-Campus Rep Adam Kaiserman said. “I don’t want to be the only UC to not pass this.”
The council also voted to pass a second initiative on the ballot asking students to pay $6 per quarter to build the “Broida Expressway,” a proposed bikepath that would connect Broida to buildings on the east side of campus.