It seems that the Student Life administration didn't follow its rules when it decided to boot Matt Holford from his dorm room for committing a crime that many of us commit.
But administrative errors aside, pot is illegal. Dean Cole-Newkirk's office can do nothing to change that, nor can they bypass it. All the signatures in the world will not somehow magically make Dean Cole-Newkirk ruler of the world, able to change laws as she pleases. So even if you could manage to convince her not to attack the drug community, even then pot would still be illegal. If you want to change this, gather all of your energy and head to Washington, D.C. and try to convince Congress that you should be free to make the choice about drug use.
The administration is not our collective parent, it shouldn't be. But think of it this way. We, the student body, are riding in Administration's car. We are smoking some pot, leaning back, relaxing. The Law pulls the car over because one taillight is out. Administration loses it's federal scholarship money. We can't afford to go here anymore. Who wins in this situation?
The issue here is one of picking your fights. Some things cannot be challenged only at the campus level. The War on Drugs is one of them. Too much administrative interference can be fought. And the power to motivate people to action is important. It's about knowing that you can make a difference; and that, if you want to, you can change something -maybe not the world, but someone's closed, bigoted mind or an unjust rule.
The point is that not only ignoring a law, but believing it shouldn't apply to you is stupid. As much as we hate it, does apply to us. The only way it will cease to apply to us is if we can convince the government to get rid of the law. In that matter, administration is pretty much powerless, and they will continue to uphold the laws already in place. If you want to change that, lobby Congress. If you want to sit back and complain, continue what you are doing now.
Copyright © 1996, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 124, Number 18; March 15, 1996
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