Campus Life, News

Organizations debate marijuana, other political issues

In light of the upcoming midterm elections on Nov. 4, several student organizations got together to host a political debate Oct. 22 in the Student Activities Center.

Organizers included the College Democrats, the Butler Center for Service and Leadership, the Office of Civic Engagement, the Debate Team and the Pen and Sword Society. The event gave students the chance to listen to the perspectives of the two major political parties, represented by the Young and College Democrats and the College Republicans, regarding issues on the 2014 midterm ballot.

The Young and College Democrats were represented in the debate by the club’s Vice President, Dylan Swart, and two new members Daniel Ivanov and Joseph Pettinelli. The members of the College Republicans were Vice President of the Debate Team, Joe Karam, and two members of the club, Spencer George and Georges Duplessy.

The first debated issue was the legalization of marijuana. The official title of the bill is the use of marijuana solely for medical purposes. It would legalize all cannabis strains but only for medical use and through the prescription of a qualified physician.

College Republicans focused on the holes in the implementation of a bill legalizing marijuana and called for a more detailed approach.

“If we want to do this, let’s do it right,” Karam said. “We need the legislature to come up with a comprehensive bill, not a vague outliner bill, to come up with an effective solution for the future.”

College Democrats argued that there is no reason to worry when marijuana prescriptions would be in the hands of medical professionals. They insisted that fighting marijuana legislation is costing government a lot of money.

“We’re spending too much money fighting a drug war that we’re not winning,” Swart said.

The next issue that was discussed was the Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, a measure which would allocate 33 percent of net revenue from the existing excise tax on documents to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund. This fund was created in 1963 and designed to manage and conserve natural systems.

Democrats called for immediate action, stating the imminent danger climate change poses to Florida’s future and the Everglades. Republicans countered by addressing Rick Scott’s budgetary commitment of $880 million for a water quality plan for the Everglades.

The debate then segued to the importance of affordable education in the state of Florida with respect to the candidates’ track records.

College Republicans explained Crist’s decision to spike tuitions when he was governor of Florida as opposed to Rick Scott’s reputation of having the lowest tuition rates for public schools in the country

“We tried to make it so public schools would remain as cheap as possible and made it so our state universities have some of the lowest tuition rates in the country,” said George.

Young Democrats responded by stating that Republicans give tax cuts to corporations and then cover it with education cuts.

The debate also covered topics including campaign finance, medicaid cuts, immigration reform with respect to citizenship inclusion, the exclusion of the libertarian candidate, Alfred Wyllie, from the debates, and the relevance of midterm elections for University of Miami students.

For any student interested in tips on how to register to vote, an information session covering the do’s and don’ts of voting will be held Nov. 3 at the SAC Activities North from to 6 to 7 p.m.


Featured photo courtesy of meknits on Flickr.

October 24, 2014


Matilde Piana

3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Organizations debate marijuana, other political issues”

  1. Brian Kelly says:

    Vote YES! on Amendment 2 by November 4th!

    “Therefore be it resolved that the American Nurses Association will: — Support the right of patients to have safe access to therapeutic marijuana/cannabis under appropriate prescriber supervision.” — American Nurses Association, resolution, 2003

    “The National Nurses Society on Addictions urges the federal government to remove marijuana from the Schedule I category immediately, and make it available for physicians to prescribe. NNSA urges the American Nurses’ Association and other health care professional organizations to support patient access to this medicine.” — National Nurses Society on Addictions, May 1, 1995

    “[M]arijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use.” — American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, “Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis,” 1995

    “When appropriately prescribed and monitored, marijuana/cannabis can provide immeasurable benefits for the health and well-being of our patients … We support state and federal legislation not only to remove criminal penalties associated with medical marijuana, but further to exclude marijuana/cannabis from classification as a Schedule I drug.” — American Academy of HIV Medicine, letter to New York Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, November 11, 2003

  2. Brian Kelly says:

    Vote YES! on Amendment 2 by November 4th!

    Fear of Medical Marijuana Legalization is unfounded. Not based on any science or fact whatsoever.

    So please, all prohibitionists, we beg you, give your scare tactics, “Conspiracy Theories” and “Doomsday Scenarios” over the inevitable Legalization of Medical Marijuana a rest. Nobody is buying them anymore these days. Okay?

    Furthermore, if all prohibitionists get when they look into that nice, big and shiny crystal ball of theirs, while wondering about the future of Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, is horror, doom, and despair, well then I suggest they return that thing as quickly as possible and reclaim the money they shelled out for it, since it’s obviously defective.

    The prohibition of marijuana has not decreased the supply nor the demand for medical marijuana at all. Not one single iota, and it never will. Just a huge and complete waste of our tax dollars to continue criminalizing sick patients and senior citizens in pain for choosing a natural, non-toxic, relatively benign plant proven to be much safer than daily handfuls of deadly, toxic, man-made, highly addictive, narcotic pain pills and other pharmaceuticals .

    If prohibitionists are going to take it upon themselves to worry about “saving us all” from ourselves, then they need to start with the drug that causes more death and destruction than every other drug in the world COMBINED, which is alcohol!

    Why do prohibitionists feel the continued need to vilify and demonize marijuana when they could more wisely focus their efforts on a real, proven killer, alcohol, which again causes more destruction, violence, and death than all other drugs, COMBINED?

    Prohibitionists really should get their priorities straight and or practice a little live and let live. They’ll live longer, happier, and healthier, with a lot less stress if they refrain from being bent on trying to control others through Draconian Marijuana Laws.

  3. Brian Kelly says:

    Vote YES! on Amendment 2 by November 4th!

    Politicians who continue to demonize Medical Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

    The People have spoken! Get on-board with Medical Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

    Legalize Medical Marijuana Nationwide!

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