APRIL FOOL’S!In a revolutionary and controversial move to curb budget problems in Pennsylvania, state legislatures are asking schools to cut back on campus police budgets by decriminalizing marijuana use and underage drinking at state universities.
This new decriminalization mandate, which is scheduled to go into full effect next month, allows students at West Chester University to somewhat legally posses and use marijuana and alcohol on campus. Although decriminalization is not the same as legalization, this new law lessens the penalties formally posed on students found to be in possession of marijuana or alcohol to a significant extent.
“We’re not advocating drug use,” said one school spokesperson when questioned about the new law. “We’re simply not handing out misdemeanors anymore. Instead, we’ll be issuing fines similar to those that we issue for parking violations.which nobody pays anyway.”
This new authorization is thought to have its origins in President Barack Obama’s recent pledge to cease federal raids of medicinal marijuana distributors in California and other logical, godless states. Prior to our current president’s term in office, many California entrepreneurs were afraid to start their businesses due to the fact that the federal government refused to recognize conflicting state laws brought about by the will of the people. However, now that federal infringement has been outlawed, more and more states are beginning to recognize the benefits of such legislation.
“It always made sense to me,” said a senator, who asked to remain anonymous, before taking a hit of a rather conspicuous hand-rolled cigarette. “I just thought if I was the first to bring it up I’d risk the entire senate labeling me as a pothead.”
Despite popular belief, marijuana is not technically illegal in Pennsylvania due to a loophole in a law that dates back to 1937 titled The Marihuana Tax Act. The act, which has its roots in the notorious Reefer Madness campaigns of the same era, attempted to stomp the distribution of marijuana by placing a tax on farmers which made the sale of the drug unprofitable; it also gave states the power to criminalize whatever they respectively deemed was “improper” use of the drug by the general public.
Conversely, in 1970, The Controlled Substance Act gave federal authorities the right to terminate any operation that worked to manufacture or distribute marijuana, whether it had permission from the state or not. Currently, the position in Harrisburg is that President Obama’s leniency toward medicinal marijuana laws in California suggests he will offer similar forms of amnesty for Pennsylvania.
Not everyone is convinced that this new reform is a step in the right direction for West Chester University. One public safety officer cited his reason, “I just don’t see how cutting the salaries of a couple police officers is going to make up for the millions of dollars we rake in every year by arresting students for non-violent crimes. It doesn’t add up.”
Other members of public safety had different concerns. “Don’t get me wrong,” said Piper the drug dog. “I love pot. I’d sniff it all day if I could. I love it almost as much as chasing a ball in the park and bringing it back for no reason, but these things don’t put Kibble in the bowl, y’know? I got pups to feed.”
Although concerns voiced in the People’s building may be valid, opinions in The Diner, less than one hundred yards away, differed dramatically. “We’re expecting cheese-steak sales to triple within the next month” boasted a senior Lawrence analyst. “And we’ve already added Snickers and Butterfingers to our inventory so we can incorporate them into our milkshakes in order to make them seem even more appealing.”
While decriminalizing marijuana may be considered a radical approach to addressing budget problems to a majority of the population, lowering the on-campus drinking age appears to be more widely accepted. Defenders of this policy usually mention the hypocrisy in laws that make it legal for someone to “die for their country” before their country allows them to sip the refreshing crispness of the at American Lager.
Critics of this lowered drinking age may be surprised to hear that West Chester University has already planned several programs to help deal with the overwhelming amount of irresponsible sloppiness that could potentially occur with a student body that’s allowed to drink before the age of twenty one. “We’re trying to have golf-cart shuttles that run on a route between Main Hall and all the campus dormitories,” said Jenn Rothstein, a proponent of the new school strategy. “The golf-carts won’t cost the school a dime because they run on methane gas that is an inevitable bi-product of beer induced burps. We’re also trying to get the borough on-board to co-fund a trolley that would run from Papa Johns to Wawa.” Other advocates of the plan recommended adding designating “puke cans” along the walkways of the quad and other frequently stumbled down paths, including one which cuts directly through the first and second floors of Anderson Hall.
“We’re not sure which recommendations we find the most practicable,” replied a school official when asked whether the rumors of Mo-Ped-drawn-pass-out-wagons were legitimately being considered as a way to transport those who have had too much to drink back to their respective sleeping quarters. “The whole thing is new to all of us and we’re trying to keep an open mind to every suggestion.”
No matter where you stand on the issue of decriminalizing marijuana use and underage drinking on campus, one thing is for certain: you’ve exposed yourself to entirely too much to both of these substances if you think this article is anything more than an April fools joke.
Jeff Adams is a fourth year English major with a creative writing minor and had nothing to do with the creation of the headline. He can be reached at JA634029@wcupa.edu. Complaints about the headline can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, which is not a real email address. Sorry.