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CCSU NORML Chapter Prioritizes Semester Goals

By Michael Walsh

Ross Martowski

The CCSU chapter of NORML, the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, met last week to discuss their goals for the rest of the spring semester.

The group came away from its third meeting with a list of top priorities. Their main focus lies with a variety of events, such as a few potential rallies, speaker events and fundraising.

Ross Martowski, president of the CCSU chapter of NORML, expressed strong desire to have rallies both on the CCSU campus, possibly on April 20, and at the state capitol. They are currently in the planning process, researching the proper information necessary for coordination of the rallies.

“That’s the biggest event, that’s priority number one. It’s on state level and we can organize with other groups,” said David Allard, secretary of CCSU NORML. “We just need to figure out what we need and what our tactics are going to be.”

NORML is a non-profit group seeking to make the responsible use of cannabis by adults no longer subject to penalty

“As far as decriminalization goes, the concept doesn’t really make sense to me. I don’t see how something can be legal to own and use, but illegal to sell and distribute,” said Martowski. “Legalization would work. It just has to be regulated right.”

NORML was not currently represented in the state of Connecticut before the CCSU chapter became official.

“We are the only chapter in Connecticut,” said Martowski.

While the group is currently official with NORML, as of press time they have yet to become an official group with CCSU. Because of this, the group must hold off on fundraising on campus until they have become officially recognized by the school.

“As far as fundraising goes, NORML basically hooked us up,” said Martowski.

The organization provides the chapter the opportunity to purchase items such as t-shirts, lapels, bumper stickers and pins at manufacture price to sell in hopes of raising enough money that in addition to their budget will allow them to pull off the events they want to.

The chapter is also looking at having a few speaker events, such as a “Feds vs. Heads” debate, similar to the porn debate held at CCSU last semester. The event might feature a former editor from High Times, a cannabis culture magazine, against a former DEA agent.

Also brought to the attention of the group is an upcoming forum at CCSU about the impact of drug policy on Connecticut’s economy, which will be held in Alumni Hall on March 18.

All Connecticut gubernatorial candidates have been invited to the non-partisan event. A few of the anticipated speakers include Dr. Susan Pease, professor of criminology and dean of arts and sciences at CCSU and Dr. Robert Painter, policy analyst at CCSU.

The group meets every Thursday afternoon at 12:30 in the Blue and White room.