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March 31, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-31

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 31, 1995

Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by Juui BECKER
students at the JAMES NASH
University of Michigan ... Editorial Page Editors
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Ca lloff the dogs
DPS overreacts with Hash Bash securit


Have a cause.


T omorrow, thousands of people will de-
T scend on the Diag in a tradition as much
a part of Ann Arbor as the University itself.
Not the Art Fair. Not a football game.
Hash Bash.
The thousands of visitors to Ann Arbor
tomorrow will be greeted by enthusiastic stu-
dents, musicians, vendors and, of course, an
overwhelming police force. In part due to the
requests of Department of Public Safety Chief
Leo Heatley, a man with avowed anti-Hash
Bash sentiments, enough officers will con-
verge on the gathering to make the ratio of
participants - relaxing, having fun and yes,
even smoking pot - to police officers only
about 100 to 1, although the University will
not release specific figures. Compared to the
customary ratio for large gatherings of 750 to
1, this proportion seems excessive, espe-
cially given the relatively tranquil atmosphere
that has traditionally accompanied Hash Bash.
Fortunately, Washtenaw County Circuit
Court Judge Dgnald Shelton ruled in Janu-
ary, as he has in all previous cases, that the
University cannot hold HEMP A2 - the
organizing group for Hash Bash - respon-
sible for the increased security that DPS
brings in for the event. What makes 1995
different is that this year, unlike years past,
the University has not challenged this ruling
and has stuck with its $735 Diag clean-up
deposit only. This is not unreasonable, since
the wear and tear the Diag will suffer as a
result of the event calls for the fee.

Finally, after several years, the University
has come to its senses by realizing that charg-
ing organizers for the excessive security that
DPS brings in is akin to prohibiting them
from the Diag itself. This newfound attitude
is commendable, for it is clear that the police
presence every year at Hash Bash is over-
done. Few student groups could afford pay-
ing an extra $10,000 - the amount the Uni-
versity had requested prior to Shelton's rul-
ing - for the additional police.
Now that the University's legal hounds
have stepped back, it is time for DPS to
follow suit. If security were eased this year,
without incident, it would set a favorable
precedent for the event in years to come.
Perhaps there would even come a time when
Hash Bash could take place without court
fights or squabbles with DPS. This seems
unlikely. Heatley has made it clear through
public statements that he abhors the very
presence of Hash Bash on campus. He has
declared a holy war of sorts on pot smokers,
trying to drive them from Ann Arbor himself.
Hash Bash is much more peaceful and
organized than the volatility that surrounds
football Saturdays here. This over-policing
is not called for then, however. DPS efforts
against Hash Bash have little to do with the
gathering itself, but the political nature of the
event. DPS should follow the rest of the
University's lead and take a calmer view of
Hash Bash. On an April Saturday afternoon,
those officers must have better things to do.

A s further proof that no de
small for someone to takec
it, a group of students recentli
something called Project Smile.
tire organization is based on the
of making people smile. If that's,
ordering a pizza must require an
Making people smile is a n
but it's a noble task that can also b
plished by giving somebody a
gum, showing them a dirty mag
checking for cavities.
One can only wonder what the
of Project Smile are like.
Organizer No. 1: "All right. A
Organizer No. 2: "Yes."
Organizer No. 1: "It must be b
Anyway, these "organizers"pu
a series of "Friendly Days," in whit
actually stand out on the Diagt
make campus life more friendly.
Hey. You want to be friendly
exam for me. Do my laundry. Do sc
other than stand on the Diag lik
Otherwise, outta my way.
And besides, what happen
Friendly Days end? Can we all g
being mean to each other?
Friendly Days come on the
"Jeans Day," a day in which pe

Strtacampus poet
ed is too asked to show support for gay rights by swer but the correct one i
credit for wearing jeans. Getting college students to Random Person: "Wh
y started wear jeans - now there's a difficult task, room?"
The en- right up there with getting professors to You: "I'm sorry, ma'ar
"project" babble or getting the MSA election com- room has been closed ever
a project, mittee to do its job poorly. pion moved in."
assembly Are these people our future leaders? Cold Weather Days: T
Are these the "go-getters" who are going been started in many part
able task, to lead our nation into the 21st century? under the clever pseudo
)e accom- You want to accomplish something, get Schedule this in, say, Janua
piece of Taco Bell employees to wash their hands. be a huge success.
gazine or Project Smile. Jeans Day. If organizing No Class Week: In an
these are what qualifies you as a leader, students a break, we coul
meetings even I can be successful. There's a whole and help stop all students
load of "projects" I just can't wait to get class for an entire week. A
re people started on. this, for example, would b
For example ... And these are just a few
Project Cash Payout. This is so simple, ties. We haven't even gotte
ecause of an untrained chimp could do it. You just go easy ones, like Breathing I
around to random people on campus and Comm Major.
t together give them money, no questions asked. Of course, "BreathingI
ch people Project Oops . This is so simple, a trained ably never happen.
trying to University administrator could do it. Basi- The problem with"
cally, you keep doing things by accident. Friendly Days and Jeans Da
y, take an The only way you can mess up is by not projects themselves; they ar
omething messing up. A friend of mine tried this last less. The problem is that th
:e a fool. week, and in a space of five minutes he all wehave. Homosexualsst
managed to bump into six people, spill rights, but is a gimmick
ns when two beverages, forget to pay his phone bill really helping any? And
o back to and miss the toilet. Friendly Days, the people i
Project Bull. The key to this is just lying have become some of ti
heels of your way through everything. For instance, students on campus. Thai
eople are if someone asks you a question, every an- commentary.

s acceptable.
here's the bath-
gm, but the bath-
r since the scor-
Phis has already
is of the world,
nym "winter."
ry, and it should
n effort to giv
d rally together
from going to
good week to do
e spring break.
of the possibili-
en into the really
Day and Project
Day" will prob-
projects" like
ay is not with the
e silly, but harm-
hese projects are
hould have equal
like Jeans Day
by organizing
in Project Smile
he most active
's a pretty sac

Jim LAssER


How Presidential Candidate Lamar Alexander,
a former Secretary of Education, W
can call himself an "outsider":
\t a
- CJ~#A3 i 9

"The fight for
education is the
fight for the
American Dream.
It is the fight for
America's middle
class. It is the
fight for the 21st
Bill Clinton

Not a crime
Marijuana should be legalized, regulated

A s tomorrow's Hash Bashers walk, talk
1 and smoke, they will be doing more than
getting high and littering the Diag. They will
be committing what their government de-
fines as a crime. And while those cavorting
though Ann Arbor may look and sound a
little silly, their protest - intentional or not
- is right on target.
Marijuana has been illegal in the United
States since the 1930s. The government classi-
fies it as a drug in the same category as LSD
and crack cocaine. Yet while pot is undeni-
ably a drug, its effects are much closer to
those of alcohol than to other illegal sub-
stances. To outlaw it, while keeping alcohol
legal for anyone over 21, makes little sense.
Opponents of legal marijuana argue that
the drug's dangers obligate the government
to keep it out of citizens' hands. This claim is
flawed in several respects. First, the physical
effects of pot have been debated for years,
with the majority of researchers concluding
that it is not physically addictive. While other
studies may dispute this, there has been no
evidence proving that marijuana is any more
physically harmful than alcohol - and it is
certainly not destructive in the same way that
other illegal drugs are.
That leaves the potential for psychologi-
cal addiction. Like alcohol, that potential is
there - any chemical substance can be
abused. Yet if this were justification for
criminalization, not only alcohol but ciga-

rettes, caffeine and a host of other products
would be outlawed. Whether to use - or
abuse - a substance is a personal choice.
Many opponents believe that to legalize pot
is to condone its use. On the contrary, to
legalize pot is to admit the right of adults to
control what they do and do not put into their
bodies. The government has no right to inter-
fere in this choice.
Furthermore, even the present illegal sta-
tus of marijuana has not prevented people
from using it. On the contrary, the thrill of
breaking the law by using pot enhances its
appeal, especially for teen-agers. Rather than
pouring dollars into futile enforcement of an
ineffective law, the government would do
much better to legalize pot, heavily regulate
its availability and usage and impose heavy
"sin" taxes on its sale. The money could go to
drug education and prevention programs -
a much more worthy endeavor than fighting
the losing battle against marijuana use.
Some who will participate in tomorrow's
fray would have us believe that pot will save
the world, and that the drive to legalize it is a
moral crusade. But for the most part, this is
simply a front for their real desire -to get high
without facing the law. The real reasons for
legalizing pot are more prosaic: Quite sim-
ply, there is no good reason not to do so. To
legalize marijuana is not to surrender in the
"war on drugs." Rather, it is to focus on other
fronts in the war - the ones that truly matter.


Notre Dame
entitled to its
To the Daily:
I am writing in response to
the March 13 editorial titled
"Wrongful expulsion: Notre
Dame errs in ban of homosexual
group." In the Daily's effort to
rid the world of intolerance, the
staff showed an all too common
formof it-intolerance of Chris-
tianity. I do not understand how
the Daily could even take a posi-
tion on the issue. Why would
Notre Dame allow a homosexual
group to meet on campus?
Notre Dame is a Catholic uni-
versity. One of its purposes is to
teach Catholic values to its stu-
dents. Homosexuality is forbid-
den in the Catholic religion, so
why would it be permissible on
Notre Dame is not a public
university suffering from
"homophobia" but one simply
enforcing an environment con-
ducive to its beliefs. Many stu-
dents who attend Notre Dame
are of Catholic/Christian back-
ground. These students are pay-
ing $20,000ayear forthe school's
religious atmosphere. They are
entitled to a university that of-
fers a Catholic environment.
This environment does not in-
clude homosexual groups.
If homosexual students wish
to find a community of "support
and understanding" they should

ety. Catholics and other Chris-
tians believe that their beliefs,
however unpopular, are rooted
in something unchanging -
God. To some these beliefs are
offensive, but to label them "ab-
horrent" is intolerance in itself.
Catholics do have a right to view
homosexuality as "morally cor-
rupt," and they have the right to
speak this belief throughout the
country, and especially on their
own campus. Freedom of reli-
gion, however limited, still does
exist in this country, much to
the obvious dismay of the Daily
editorial staff.
April L. Opper
LSA first-year student
'M' athletes
endure unfair
Daily criticism
To the Daily:
I am writing this letter in re-
gards to Paul Barger's article,
"Blue endures trail of struggles
in tough year" (3/20/95). I am a
huge Michigan basketball fan
- regardless of whether they
win or lose. Therefore, I have
trouble understanding why we
constantly harp on the negative
aspects of their season. Why is
it that only when Michigan is
No. 1 do we praise them? This
seems so unfair. Michigan fans
are so incredibly arrogant, or
perhaps it is just Michigan Daily
sports writers who are so arro-
gant. I would love to see all the

lutely not! How can we criticize
him for being so hard to play
I can never understand why
we, fellow University students,
can be so quick to judge our own
peers. To subject us to a Top Ten
list of our worst moments is so
embarrassing. I think we need to
remember that basketball play-
ers are not machines - they are
human just like every other stu-
dent on this campus. Just be-
cause they are in the spotlight
does not make them less prone
to mistakes like the rest of us.
Whatever happened to
school spirit? I guess Paul
Barger was stuck in front of his
computer when we stopped
Indiana's 50-home game win
streak. Why don't we stop be-
ing fair-weather fans and stand
behind the blue!
Tina Bucciareill
Kinesiology junior
Moral decay
stalks society
To the Daily:
How muchorhow farare we,
as Homo sapiens, going to go
with our apathetic, greed-ridden
ways? Are you aware that be-
tween dusk and dawn approxi-
mately 55,000 children around
the world die from malnourish-
ment? Twenty-eight million
American children literally go
to be hungry.
Have you ever wondered
how many crimes are commit-

ion, an lot of foresight, logic
and wisdom is lost. How in
God's name do you build genu-
ine national security when you
vote for and pass measures that
actually add to poverty, hunger,
homelessness and deprivation
of medical care?
Our nation's work force and
voters don't understand ours*
ture. All the job downsizing that
is going on right now, if not re-
versed, will head us into a de-
pression that will make the one in
the 1930s look like-child's play.
The possibilities of a depres-
sion are very evident. This one
would be much different that the
others: no war. This will me
only one thing. All'of America
frustration from not having
enough to survive will be con-
tained within our borders. This
could turn our country into a vio-
lent and very cruel blood bath. It
would be a mistake if our lead-
ers at that point have not figured
this out. They will decide that a
war must be fought somewhe
to relieve tension and frustra-
tion within.
The next.time"your friends,
neighbors and families ask you
to walk that extra mile when
they're in dire straits, consider
doing so. Sometimes just a little
more time, aid, effort and pa-
tience would help solve their
problems. People do not see*
to give a lot of time. People just
help themselves. For the sake of
materialism or love when, if
ever, will we stop treating each
other like the trash we throw

Ann Arbor Mayor ingrid B. Sheldon
Ann Arbor City Hall
100 N. Fifth Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48107
City Council:
Tobi Hanna-Davies (D-1st Ward), Patricia Vereen-Dixon (D-1st Ward), Peter Fink (R-2nd
Ward), Jane Lumm (R-2nd Ward), Jean Carlberg (D-3rd Ward), Haldon Smith (D-3rd Ward),
Peter Nicolas (1-4th Ward), Stephen Hartwell (D-4th Ward), Elisabeth Daley (D-5th Ward),

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