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April 09, 2001 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-04-09

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 9, 2001

Nibian alig

420 MAYNARD STRuie
ANN ARBnOR, MI 48109
dailyletters( umich. edu

Ready or not: Done with the Daily
EMILY ACHENBAUM DIAMOND iN T R

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UN ; SITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890 ,

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS
NICHOLAS WOOMER
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Daily s editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessari/y reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

nd so graduation,
less than three
weeks away,
looms over me as both a
promise and a threat.
Year-end barbeques,
meetings and parties
abound; most of us know
we should be working on
that 20-page term paper
assigned in January but instead we grudg-
ingly attend. Events that honor culmination
are important. Important because they are
the Last Time We Will (fill in the blank).
Frustrating because things that should feel
significant are typically anti-climactic.
This is the last time I will ever write for
The Michigan Daily. "Ever," like the words
"never" and "no," has a ring of finality to it
and thus does not sit particularly well with
me. My entire college career has depended
on wiggle room, on second-third-fourth
chances. Not a lot of "no's" or "you're
done." At least the "no's" I heard were the
kind where I asked mom first and she said
no but if I finished my math homework and
then asked dad, I was going to get to go to
Sarah's slumber party after all. Sometimes I
had to walk the dog, be nice to my sister
and clean the garage, but there has always
been some sort of way to land on my feet,
to not let things end before I was ready to
give them up.
The dilemma with the Last Column is

the precedent before me: The brilliant and
incisive manifesto on all things wrong with
the University; the weathered words of wis-
dom on what you, young friend, should
really get out of college; the relevant to no
one else but it's my last column I can do
what I want piece on What the Daily Means
to Me. You "aren't supposed to" throw
away four years at the Daily by writing
your final piece on why Hash Bash is a
gross display of grossness.
Naturally, I only became irritated by
the restraints the expectations of Last Col-
umn brings. After all, the true joy in hav-
ing this column - the thing that even
unsentimental me will actually miss -- is
the freedom I have had in being able to
write whatever I want. This is the last time
for a long time (or maybe ever? Will I be a
columnist in 15 years? A lawyer? Pregnant
with a dark-haired baby?) I will be able to
write whatever I want - and publish it.
What freedom! The glorious spoils of col-
lege.
I have had a chunk of text in a publica-
tion that thousands of people read. Crazy,
really. I have been able to write about what-
ever I've wanted not only because this is
the opinion page, not only because this is
the Daily, but because this is college.
College: To which for the next month I
will cling to as the ultimate excuse, the ulti-
mate enabler. Smoking, drinking, all-
nighters; questionable beliefs, fashion

statements, dating choices and column top-
ics (Feminism! Depression! Guns n' Roses!
God, it's been fun) can all be forgiven with
a bright smile and shoulder shrug and the
panacea statement "I'm in college." The
"college" defense implies that I don't know
better, when in fact I know that responsibil-
ity is best suspended with the excuse that
has consistently pardoned the actions of
every generation.
College is freedom because it is life
without judgment; skipping class, eating at
4 a.m., participating in rallies - none of
this raises an eyebrow, but outside of our
realm the rules are different; skipping work
means getting fired, 4 a.m. feedings point to
gluttony, attending rallies makes you an
aged hippie, the one that never really got
over college. I have loved living without
tangible scrutiny. I imagine you all can con-
cur. But the freedom of college is more than
weekend adventures. The best playgrounds
are the ones I have found for my mind - at
the Daily and in, well, maybe two or three
of my classes (long live NELP!). This is the
freedom that I cling to the most. That is why
writing my last column makes me sad.
Maybe finally (finally!) not being in school
is not going to be so freeing after all.
This is Emily Achenbaum's last column for
The Michigan Daily. Give her feedback at
www.michigandaily.com/forum or
via e-mail at emilytsa@umich.edu.

Cannabis has
several valid
medicinal,
economic uses
VIEWPOINT
In 1996, California's Proposition 215
decriminalized the use, possession and sale
of marijuana for medical purposes.
Although voters have passed similar mea-
sures in eight other states, terminally ill
patients with doctors' prescriptions can
still be prosecuted and thrown in jail under
federal law for merely possessing marijua-
na. No matter what our views are on gener-
al legalization, as informed citizens, we
must recognize cannabis as valuable medi-
cine and crop and implore our government
to legalize it.
Marijuana helps people keep food
down, especially those who must swallow
daily drug cocktails and endure nausea-
inducing chemotherapy. "It's important to
keep weight on because HIV eats away
body-muscle mass," says a 43-year-old
AIDS patient with "wasting syndrome."
Another man told author Jack Herer that
"without pot you are dying with cancer,
while with pot you are living with cancer."
Marijuana decreases seizure frequency in
up to 30 percent of epileptic patients for
whom side-effect-ridden drugs like Valium
and Percodan fail. It also eases glaucoma
patient's ocular pressure and assists
patients with such debilitating problems as
multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus,
post-polio syndrome and severe arthritis.
Legal, oral synthetic forms of THC
(marijuana's active ingredient), such as
Marinol, help many, while others complain
Marinol is too strong, is anxiety-provoking
and difficult to control. California patients
grow marijuana in their backyards and
process it into butter for brownies and Rice
Krispie treats, or a tincture for soy milk.
Decriminalization would eliminate the
need to pay for expensive Marinol or
black-market pot. The ill could simply
grow it themselves (away from drug deal-
ers), or buy from pharmacies that could
sell it at two percent of its $4,000 per
pound street value. However, many AIDS
and cancer patients with such nausea can't
stomach anything and smoke is the only
option.
Many reputable sources maintain the
legitimacy of medical marijuana. The
BBC reported that 80 percent of British
doctors would prescribe marijuana to
patients with serious illnesses; a 1991
Harvard Medical School survey of 1,035
oncologists found that 54 percent favored
making it a prescription drug; 44 percent
said they'd broken the law by illegally
recommending it. Even former-Drug Czar
Barry McCaffrey concluded, in a National
Institute of Medicine Report, that patients
suffering from severe pain, nausea and
appetite loss might find "broad spectrum
relief not found in any other single med-
ication" in marijuana.
Federal laws also fail to distinguish
between marijuana and industrial hemp.
Why? Marijuana's botanical cousin, bred for
its fiber, seeds and oil, contains only .05-1
percent THC, while pot contains 3 to 20 per-
cent THC. Clearly no one can get high by
smoking industrial hemp. Thirty industrial-
ized democracies recognize the difference.
Canada legalized hemp, and the European
Union subsidizes hemp farms. One acre pro-
duces the fiber pulp of 4.1 acres of trees.
Hemp grows quickly, naturally and pesticide-
free in a wide variety of climates and soil
tvnes: it's a weed reuiring far fewer rocess-

'' like my students to see me as a human being, not
just a person talking to them in a classroom.'
- Retiring history Prof Sidney Fine on his
53 years of teaching at the University.

""
..
z

0"

I DON'T SEE W ...O
Some people shouldn't be allowed to use e-mail

A strategy to win affirmative

action and
VIEWPOINT
Last Thursday, a three jud
6th Circuit Court of Appear
District Court Judge Bernar
segregationist anti-affirmativ
sion in Grutter v. Bollinger.
Law School is now free to us
mative action plan in admitt
incoming class. The appeals
and decisive rebuke of Frie4
week after 3,000 Univer
answered the call of BAMN
Jackson and rallied to den
Friedman's racist decision.t
the appeals court reflects
strength of our new civil rig
and the increased political r
the courts and in our society.
Friedman's sweeping an
action decision served as a
for this campus and for this n
ing made clear he did not
about the facts, the law or
minorities.
His decision mirrored tt
result-oriented method used by
of the Supreme Court when
Florida presidential ballot
December. Both decisions s
about the racism, cynicism an
the increasingly emboldened
the federal judiciary. This sec
eral courts shares the ideolog
to further the policies of the ri
Republican Party. They do no
able to or bound by the pro
sentiment of the vast majority
We cannot allow the Suprem
away with a Friedman-style r
v. Bollinger.
Getting a majority of the
to rule for affirmative actio
assertion of a powerful soc
capable of convincing at le,
wing justices that ruling for s
provoke an angry backlash ar
diminish the authority of the

integration m the U.S..
law. Only a new militant, mass, integrated,
youth-led civil rights movement can galva-
nize the forces needed to achieve this victory.
ge panel of the Throughout the last year and a half, stu-
s ruled to stay dents and youth in particular, but also large.
rd Friedman's segments of the black community, have
e action deci- made clear that we are prepared to defend
The University affirmative action and integration. Large,
se its old affir- loosely connected demonstrations for affir-
ing this year's mative action and integration in Florida,
court's swift South Carolina, California and here in Michi-
dman comes a gan have laid the foundation for a powerful.
sity students new national movement for equality. A,-
and Rev. Jesse national march on Washington can make the.
nounce Judge courts and the nation conscious of the deter- ,
Our victory at mination, strength, breadth and demands of
the growing the new civil rights movement. The 1963.,
hts movement March on Washington led by Martin Luther
polarization in King united labor and civil rights, old and-
young, secular and religious, and moderate
ti-affirmative and radical leaders of the last civil rights
wake-up call movement in common struggle. W
cation. His rul- This march signaled to our nation that the
give a damn fight against segregation and for equality
the rights of would extend to every corner of this nation.
Our defense of affirmative action and inte-
he ideological gration requires that we build a national-
y the right wing march on Washington now based on this
it stopped the model.
t recount last BAMN and the Rev. Jesse Jackson have
peak volumes issued a joint call for a national conference of
id arrogance of students and youth leaders of the growing
right wing of new civil rights movement to be held in Ann
tion of the fed- Arbor from June 1-3, 2001. This conference
,y of and seeks will be an important step forward in building
ght wing of the a national movement in defense of affirma-
at feel account- tive action, integration, and equality. It will
-integrationist begin planning the national march on Wash-.
lof Americans. ington.
ie Court to get All those interested in building for the
cling in Grutter national conference are invited to attend a
planning meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in the
Supreme Court Wolverine Room of the Michigan Union.
n requires the AGNES ALEOBUA
ial movement JESSICA CURTIN
ast some right Aleobua, an LSA sophomore and Curtin,
egregation will a Rackham student and Michigan
rid will sharply Student Assembly representative are both
members of the Coalition to Defend
courts and the Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary.

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