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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MUSG approves medicinal marijuana group

Once again, campus is going green. But this has nothing to do with streamlined recycling, Zipcars or LEED-certified buildings.

Green Health, a student organization dedicated to medical marijuana advocacy, was given Marquette Student Government approval with a 16-4 vote Thursday night.

Anthony Lanz, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, spoke on behalf of the group. Green Health’s main goal is to educate students on the debate currently taking place around the country on the topic of medical marijuana, he said.

“Clearly there will be opposition to this idea,” Lanz said, “but you can’t fight against the fact that marijuana has been used to treat some sicknesses in (14 states and the District of Columbia).”

Wisconsin is not among those states. Michigan is the only Midwest state that has passed medical marijuana legislation.

These states have legalized the medical use of marijuana despite the drug being classified as a Schedule 1 substance by the federal government, meaning it has been “defined as having a high potential for abuse and no medicinal value,” according to the group Drug Policy Alliance. The organization advocates legalizing medical marijuana use for the seriously ill.

John Heflin, a senator and junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, spoke in favor of approving the group. He said despite the controversial message, he believes the group still has a right to speak on campus.

Lanz said he estimates an initial membership of about 20 students, and the group will look to raise funds to distribute pamphlets as well as possibly travel to Madison to lobby with other similar groups he has contacted.

Among the four dissenting voters was Kaleb Vinehout, a sophomore in the College of Engineering. He said the organization is contrary to Jesuit ideals and questioned whether other Jesuit universities had such groups.

Following the ratification of the group, MUSG voted on two allocations greater than $2,500. The service group MARDI GRAS requested $13,870.87 and was given $3,960 — the cost of gas for their spring break trip to New Orleans.

Marquette Radio was allocated $6,000 for a spring concert to be held on April 19. This comes after their Jan. 27 allocation for a concert featuring the Walkmen was nullified and voided because of issues with hosting the band. The concert will now feature XV, Chris Webby, The Dean’s List and DJ Benzi.

At the meeting, MUSG adviser Jon Dooley also addressed the room regarding a planned counter protest organized through Facebook against the Westboro Baptist Church, who have said they plan on protesting at Marquette.

The Westboro group plans to protest Judy Shepard’s appearance and speech on campus March 1 in conjunction with the theater department’s presentation of the “The Laramie Project,” opening this week. Shepard’s son, Matthew, was tortured and murdered in 1998 in Wyoming for being homosexual, according to a witness in his attackers’ trial.

The counter protest is planned for 6 p.m. on March 1, and will overlap the Westboro protest. According to the counter protest group Facebook page, more than 1,480 people are planning on attending. Dooley, however, said the Westboro Baptist Church often plans protests that they do not show up for, saying the best way to show support would be to actually buy tickets to the show and to see Shepard speak.

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    THCFeb 22, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I’m pleased that Marquette now had this group. Medical marijuana should lose the horrible stigma that lumps it together with other illicit drugs that have been proven to be far more addictive and dangerous. I would even go further to advocate for full legalization of recreational marijuana for persons older than 21. There’s a growing body of scientific literature (in respected, peer-reviewed academic journals) in support of marijuana’s health benefits, including cancer-fighting properties and immunity-boosting effects.