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Cannabis club rolls voting booth to campus

Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 20:07

Marijuana activists look to carve out a spot in Academic Plaza to hold a voting booth checking the pulse of Aggie decriminalization advocates on Thursday.

The Aggie Cannabis Reform and Education Society, ACRES, is an on-campus organization that promotes the legalization of hemp and medical marijuana, and pushes for decriminalization of recreational use.

"We want to educate people about the facts of marijuana," said Mostafa Selim, ACRES president and junior university studies major. "We know there's a large cannabis-friendly community at Texas A&M, so we want to organize everyone into a serious formal movement."

A student and ACRES member who requested anonymity said the club does not promote the use of marijuana, but hopes that laws controlling marijuana can be reformed.

"The system is spinning out of control. There were over 80,000 arrests last year, we can't keep justifying all of these incarcerations for a harmless plant," he said. "[University Police Department] arrested 40 of our fellow Ags last year and potentially took away the hopes of graduation from them … We aren't saying that everyone should smoke weed. All we want is to crack down and get realistic law enforcement that's going to solve problems, not create them."

ACRES holds meetings to educate students about legislation and laws surrounding marijuana, such as the schedule system, which prioritizes the drugs into different "schedules" depending on each drug's decided potency.

"Marijuana has caused zero deaths; it doesn't kill anyone and you can't overdose," Selim said. ‘People die in College Station of alcohol poisoning every year. It might make more sense to put alcohol on Schedule 1 and take weed off of it."

Weed joins the ranks with drugs including LSD and heroine. Examples of Schedule 2 drugs include cocaine and methamphetamine.

The anonymous ACRES member said the use of marijuana helps ease complications of chemotherapy in cancer patients.

"Weed has legitimate uses for medicinal purposes. For example, cancer patients suffer from side effects from chemotherapy — it's called wasting syndrome.

Their appetites are destroyed because of the radiation blasted into them. Weed can help with that through the ‘munchies' by raising the appetite of cancer patients," the anonymous source said. "Not one prescription medication increases appetite."

There is also, however, opposition to the club and its beliefs among Aggie students.

"Having smoked weed, I wouldn't say it's worse or better than anything else," said Jacob Metcalf, senior construction science major. "How do we better society by smoking pot? Are we going to think up crazy ideas and then after the high realize we're too lazy to do anything?"

Selim said the bottom line is that it should be a matter of choice.

"It should be your choice to smoke, it shouldn't be someone telling you that you can kill your liver with alcohol and then throw you in jail for weed," Selim said.


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