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Marijuana Advocates Make Unusual Case Against Prohibition

Cannabis Plant
Photo by LancerenoK
Cannabis Plant

Women and college students in favor of legalizing marijuana made an unusual case for it at the state capitol today, saying greater acceptance of pot could reduce alcohol-related sexual violence on campus.

Several groups have pushed - albeit unsuccessfully - for college campuses not to punish students more harshly for pot than for alcohol possession, pointing out that alcohol is closely linked to sexual assaults. 

“College campuses are rampant with binge drinking; it’s socially acceptable,” says Toni Fox, a founding member of the Denver-based Women’s Marijuana Movement – and the mother of a daughter in her first year at Metro State College.  “We don’t condone any (substance use by those under 21) but if they are going to choose to use a substance, we implore them to have it be cannabis and not alcohol.  It’s a safer choice. There’s no violence against women associated with cannabis.”

Fox says alcohol is referred to as the “number one date rape drug” by rape awareness and prevention groups nationwide, but marijuana is rarely mentioned.  She hopes state policy makers will consider the idea that current laws incentivize the use of alcohol over marijuana, possibly fueling more incidents of sexual assault on campuses.

As the host of KUNC’s new program and podcast In the NoCo, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. Northern Colorado is such a diverse and growing region, brimming with history, culture, music, education, civic engagement, and amazing outdoor recreation. I love finding the stories and voices that reflect what makes NoCo such an extraordinary place to live.