Season’s greetings Nevada cannabis students, reading this means the winter break is almost over. Although local laws have changed regarding cannabis, campus prohibited substance policies and student codes of conduct from the 1980s remain the same and aren’t schedule to be reviewed, revised, or updated anytime soon. As a reminder of that fact, here is […]
Season’s greetings Nevada cannabis students, reading this means the winter break is almost over. Although local laws have changed regarding cannabis, campus prohibited substance policies and student codes of conduct from the 1980s remain the same and aren’t schedule to be reviewed, revised, or updated anytime soon.
As a reminder of that fact, here is an excerpt from a mass email sent out by UNLV President Len Jessup on November 21st .
OFFICIAL NOTICE TO CAMPUS REGARDING SUBSTANCE ABUSE: This official notice is issued pursuant to Subpart B, Section 86.100, of the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989…
UNLV is committed to creating and maintaining a campus environment that is free of alcohol and substance abuse and views the abuse of alcohol and legal drugs and the use of illicit drugs as being antithetical to the pursuit of educational excellence and the realization of one’s full potential as a student…
UNLV recognizes that keeping our campus community safe and well necessitates the involvement of faculty and students alike to decrease the impact of alcohol and drug misuse and abuse. The attached notification describes the university’s portfolio of alcohol and other drug programs encompassing policies, the Student Conduct Code, criminal regulations and penalties, the health risks associated with alcohol and drug use, and prevention, treatment and recovery resources…
“Unlawful Possession” is a tricky term used continuously throughout the attached document. For the time being would it not make sense to remove the word “unlawful” until the policy is thoroughly reviewed and revised?
“The policy isn’t clear enough. Unlawful possession doesn’t tell me much, unlawful by state or federal law?” asks UNLV student Melody Jane, author of the blog Sin City Melody Jane: Venturing into the World of Medical Marijuana. “What about students who use marijuana for pain, anxiety, or depression? Is it UNLV’s policy to deny students the right to use their medication because they don’t agree with it?” the cannabis blogger questions.
The UNLV student government refused to comment on the email. Fortunately, UNLV SSDP chapter leader Spenser Sullivan offered some thoughtful comments, “I appreciate President Jessup’s reminder to students and agree that the misuse of drugs and alcohol can seriously impede one’s ability to be a successful student, but the way the subject is approached in both the email and accompanying attachment is ineffective. He uses scare tactics by including the DEA’s scheduled substances list in 2 different sections,” said the UNLV student.
“Furthermore, the section about the health risks of cannabis use (page 15) is incorrect. The goal of any university should be to accurately inform students, not claim that cannabis use can increase the risk of certain cancers when not even the National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests it,” lamented the student leader. “If President Jessup really wants to promote a healthy campus and community, I urge him to revisit the facts and revise his approach,” Spenser concluded.
This January, UNLV senior Spenser Sullivan is first to be awarded Nevada Cannabis Student of the Month in 2017. After his first 2 years in college, on the UNLV diving team, Spenser injured his back and decided to study abroad in Santiago, Chile for a semester. In order to do so, he changed his major from entrepreneurship to international business enabling him to travel and immerse himself in the Spanish language. Stumbling upon the cannabis culture in Santiago, Spenser was shocked to discover the liberal approach the country had with cannabis. “Unlike the U.S., people wouldn’t get arrested or even ticketed for having cannabis. Marijuana was decriminalized there and it wasn’t uncommon to see people smoking on the way to school in the mornings,” said Spenser. “There I was, in a country that was still divided on its feelings towards the dictatorship of Pinochet, and yet their approach to cannabis was far more liberal than ours. This was my ‘aha’ moment,” revealed the senior.
Spenser’s always had an interest in cannabis and after returning from Chile he found the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) organization at UNLV. “I met with some SSDP members on campus and immediately knew, this was the perfect organization for me,” said Spenser. “Nobody should ever be told what he/she can and can’t put into their own body, making those kinds of choices is a basic human right,” continued the student leader.
Spenser’s passion and dedication led him to a leadership position in the UNLV SSDP chapter. Volunteering with the Yes on Question 2 campaign he attended political rallies, handed out Question 2 info on campus, and used a phone bank to remind Nevadans to vote yes on Question 2. While out raising awareness, Spenser encountered people who strongly opposed marijuana but he never backed down from the opposition. “Our goal was not to convince people that cannabis is good, but instead ask them to question their beliefs about marijuana,” says Spenser.
Become part of UNLV history by advertising in the student newspaper as the Rebel Yell rebranding campaign publishes the inaugural issue of The Scarlet and Gray Free Press newspaper on January 23rd. To find out more: info@REDEFINEcannabis.com.