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February 15, 2001 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-02-15

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One hundred ten years ofeditorialfreedom

wwwinmichigandaily. com

February 15, 2001

~ '

By Courtney Crimmins
Daily Staff Reporter
A report released yesterday by the
Washington-based Marijuana Policy
Project found that medical marijuana
laws, currently instituted in 30 states,
have been unaffected by federal threats.
These laws protect the thousands of
ents who grow, possess and use mar-
ijuana with the permission of a doctor.
The medicinal use laws have raised
great debate concerning their legitima-
cy and whether legalization will
encourage recreational use of the drug.
Michigan is one of 20 states that have
not legalized marijuana for medical pur-
State Sen. Bill Bullard Jr. (R-High-
land) said he is opposed to legalizing
use of marijuana in Michigan.
It is like the camel under the tent, it
is being used to promote general recre-
ational use," Bullard said.
"I will feel more confident in it if they
do more research that proves that it sub-
stantially augments our medical arsenal
in healing patients," said Rep. Paul
DeWeese (R-Williamston). "If this
research shows a quantum leap of added
jlue, it will push the tide to allow it."
ile proponents of legalization for
medical uses are lobbying for the
legality of marijuana cigarettes, some
critics claim a current prescription
tablet containing marijuana extracts is
sufficient for patients. The pill pro-
vides the medical benefits of marijua-
na without the added chemicals
inhaled when smoked.
"I don't favor legalizing marijuana
itself, because it is already in tablet
'," said Sen. John Schwarz (R-Bat-
According to the MPP report, 60
percent of Americans support legal
access to medicinal marijuana use.
The American Civil Liberties Union
of Michigan also supports the legaliza-
tion of marijuana in Michigan and
nationwide. "We support decriminal-
ization because we don't believe crimi-
aization accomplishes its objectives.
bs counterproductive and creates a
black market, no different, than prohi-
bition," said Kary Moss, executive
director of the Michigan ACLU.
This decriminalization is supported
by some senators but not when it is
under the guise of medicine.
"I think the question is more should
marijuana usage be a criminal offense,
and I believe it shouldn't. But to try
and sell decriminalization because of
medical use is a bit clever," said
Swarz, a longtime physician.
While there is some support for
legalization of marijuana for medicinal
use, the likelihood that the Michigan
Legislature would agree is slim.
"I don't think the Legislature will
take it up. It will only get on the ballot
if there is a petition and that takes a lot
of money and organization to propose
an initiative," Bullard said.
drive to put a marijuana legaliza-
tion measure on the state ballot last
year failed after proponents missed the
deadline to turn in a sufficient number
of gignatures.

By Louie Meizlish
Daily StaffReporter
Last year's Census failed to count between
0.96 percent and 1.4 percent of the total U.S.
population in households, according to Census
Bureau undercount estimates released yester-
The 2000 Census data is more accurate than
the 1990 count, which was estimated to be 1.61
percent too low, about 4 million people off.
These numbers were praised by William
Barron, the acting Census director, who said
in a written statement that the bureau took "a
significant step toward improving census
Although data for Michigan's undercount esti-
mates has not yet been released, if the national
decrease in the percentages of undercounts mir-



Democrats worry their
districts will still shrink

Neither the federal government nor the Michi-
gan Legislature has approved the use of statistical
The 1990 undercount, Denno said, cost the
state "millions in federal funds."
At this time, Republicans hold majorities in
both houses of the state Legislature, the Supreme
Court and the governor's office. This worries
many Democrats, who fear the Republicans will
draw legislative district lines in a way that largely
favors their party.
Ed Sarpolus, vice president for Lansing-based
polling service EPIC/MRA, said due to the pro-
jected drop in undercounts, "Democrats were
hoping to use the data as a means of suing in fed-
eral courts to get the lines redrawn." Because of
the lower undercounts, he added, a Democratic
challenge to the way districts are redrawn could
See CENSUS, Page 9A

rors that for Michigan, the state's undercount rate
would be about 0.61 percent, or 58,000 people,
as compared to 0.7 percent, or about 66,000 peo-
ple in 1990.
Census counts are important because they
affect the amount of funding given to munici-
palities and states from the federal govern-
ment as well as the way in which
congressional and state legislative districts
are redrawn.
But many Democrats expressed concern

that the undercount was still too high.
"That is why we need to ensure we use statisti-
cal sampling as opposed to the hard count
because there is such a huge undercount," said
Michigan Democratic Party spokesman Dennis
Statistical sampling would involve using
adjusted population counts in areas that tradition-
ally have high undercount estimates, especially
urban areas such as Detroit, which are usually
Democratic strongholds.

Under the umbrella

on, books
By Whitney Elliott
Daily Staff Reporter
A plan to exempt college textbooks from Michigan's 6
percent sales tax is the first project the Association of
Michigan Universities will work on as a group.
Last weekend at AMU's second conference, Michigan
State University student government representatives Matt
Pritzlaff and Shane Waller introduced a plan by the Associ-
ated Students of Michigan State University's to lobby the
state government to lift taxes on required textbooks for
postsecondary education in Michigan.
"We've been working on a major lobbying project to con-
vince Michigan representatives that this is a bill that has to
get out of committee, onto the floor, ASAP," said Pritzlaff,
ASMSU director of legislative affairs.
State Representative Michael Kowall (R-White Lake)
introduced legislation in December 1999 to get rid of text-
book taxes in response to the tight budget college students
have, but the bill did not make it out of the House Tax Poli-
cy Committee during the last legislative session.
"I have a daughter at Michigan State and it's difficult
enough for students to pay for (all of their expenses) and all
of a sudden, they get hit with textbook bills," Kowall said.
Kowall also said his support of the bill stemmed from
some students choosing to buy textbooks from Internet
companies, which do not charge tax. Without taxes in book-
stores, Kowall said, students will have an incentive to shop
in Michigan stores.
Waller said that the ASMSU has received a commitment
from Kowall to re-introduce the measure this session.
At the AMU conference, ASMSU representatives looked
for statewide student support on their lobbying efforts.
"AMU gives us a forum to coordinate this type of lobby-
ing drive. Before AMU, there wasn't anything that really
worked. For working on this issue, we now have that one-to-
one connection with other universities," said Waller,
ASMSU's vice chair for external affairs.
Representatives from many of the universities that attend-
ed the conference agreed the project is well worth undertak-
"It affects students across the state. There's a real interest
from Michigan Tech to Grand Valley," Waller said. "Over-
all, the response was warm. Our plans for the future look
Jerrod Nickels, manager of the Grand Valley State Uni-
versity Bookstore in Allendale, said the 6 percent sales tax
is a sort of penalty and that students would appreciate the
price cut. But Nickels emphasized that in order for the bill

Gene Lindsay, a cook and maintenance worker at the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority, waits for the bus in front of the Museum of Modern Art in
the rain yesterday.
MSU aks fior imore fiunding

LANSING (AP) - Michigan State Uni-
versity President Peter McPherson pleaded
yesterday with members of a state House
committee to increase the governor's pro-
posed funding for the East Lansing univer-
"We really need your help," McPherson
told members of the House Appropriations
Higher Education Subcommittee.
Gov. John Engler's proposed $1.6 billion
higher education budget for the upcoming
2002 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, asks
for a minimum 1.5 percent increase for the
state's 15 public universities.
Engler also set aside $8 million, or 0.5
percent, to bring spending for each student
more in line among different levels of uni-

"m not begrudging at all the university of
Michigan, but those are the figures. "
- M. Peter McPherson
Michigan State University president

His proposal would guarantee all universi-
ties would get at least $4,500 per student.
But Engler's proposal does not provide
enough to Michigan State to bring it up to
the $9,000 per-student base Engler has set
for the state's major research universities.
McPherson pointed out that only Michigan
State and Grand Valley State University this
year are under their base per-student funding
levels in the state's five-tier system.

Michigan State would receive $8,435 per
student under Engler's 2002 budget, less than
the $9,939 per student proposed for the Univer-
sity of Michigan or the $11,152 per student
proposed for Wayne State University.
"I'm not begrudging at all the University of
Michigan, but those are the figures," McPher-
son said. "We really haven't made any progress
at all."
See FUNDING, Page 9A


one year later

'The main thing that's changed
is that the tower is empty.'


. ,.

By Elizabeth Kassab
Daily Staff Reporter

PA* ol

The drumbeat emanating from the top of the
Michigan Union tower stopped long ago.
The Michigan flag once again flies from the pole
atop the tower.
And the tower itself sits empty.
But one year after the Students of Color
Coalition seized Michigamua's tower space in

tower is empty," Bernal said. The senior honor
society Michigamua, which had been housed in
the seventh-floor tower space, was relocated -
with the help of the University - to 109 E.
Madison St. last fall. Two other societies, Vul-
can and Phoenix, also left their tower spaces
and now lease space at the East Madison loca-
The SCC stormed the tower in protest of the
secret societies, specifically targeting Michiga-

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