FGCU students seek drug policy reform through RSO
On March 14, 2011, Federal Agents raided Marijuana businesses across Montana, taking marijuana plants as evidence. The businesses raided were legal allowed, under state laws, to grow the plants for medical purposes. Therefore, when the agents took the plants as evidence, they were depriving locals of the prescription medicines. One of the plant growers affected by such a raid was Chris Williams, who had given tours of his cannabis to the Drug Task Force and other local offi cials, but is now facing a mandatory minimum of 80 years in prison. All of this has been caused by a rift between state laws that make medical marijuana legal and federal laws that do not.
Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), one of the newest Registered Student Organizations (RSO) on campus, aims to change that. An international network, SSDP strives to educate students about the War on Drugs, as well as get them involved in the political aspect of the war. The network values youth- controlled agendas and constituent- specifi c strategies, and is located on campuses across the nation, like FIU, FSU and UM. FGCU’s chapter was started by Jessel Serrano, who, after reading an article on the war, decided he wanted to help make a change.
Their first of many efforts in doing so is in a viewing of the “Code of the West” documentary on November 5 at 5:30 p.m. The viewing will be accompanied by a speaker from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (L.E.A.P.), Anthony Cincotti, and focuses on Montana’s drug issue, as well as drug policies that revolve around marijuana. They have also gathered over 100 signatures for the medical marijuana petition through tabling on campus. They need over 600,000 signatures by February 15, to be added to the millions of petitions needed in order to allow Floridians the opportunity to vote on medical marijuana on the ballot. Another event that Serrano wants to put on is a debate, or panel discussion, in which those for prohibition and those opposed to it talk about why they support either side of the war. Through all of this, SSDP wants to show how the war is affecting the state and students, specifically.
Newly founded, the SSDP has big plans for the FGCU campus. In order to learn more and get involved with the organization, follow them on Facebook, FGCU SSDP. There, they will post information on tabling opportunities and upcoming events. This RSO is certainly one to watch, as they make waves in the political world one petition and one screening at a time