U. Illinois Students Celebrate Hash Wednesday 

U. Illinois Students Celebrate Hash Wednesday 
Posted by FoM on April 21, 2000 at 12:01:40 PT
By Valerie Sivicek, Daily Illini, U. Illinois
Source: U-WIRE
U. Illinois students held a poster saying "Hemp for Healthy People and Planet" as they stood behind a table on the Quad on Wednesday, while others sat in a group smoking, playing drums and letting their pets stretch their legs. They were celebrating Hash Wednesday, an event traditionally held on the third Wednesday in April.
According to Emily Sunderman and Mairin Barney, juniors in LAS, the purpose of the event is to tell students that it is possible to be a responsible citizen and a successful college student and still smoke pot. Sunderman and Barney said that while the event has been going on for many years, it normally "doesn't get so involved." They said the student involvement was what the demonstrators were trying to accomplish this year. "It's usually just a bunch of hippies sitting on their butts," Sunderman said. Organizer James Fagerman, senior in LAS, said he tried to help make the event more coordinated this year. Fagerman said he wanted to educate people and to "get them to look at things in different ways." Fagerman said last year's event "didn't reach out as much to people who don't agree with us and don't smoke pot." This year's event is about legal issues, not just smoking pot, said Daniel Beveridge, sophomore in ACES. "People should start to take this seriously," said Scott Kaplan, freshman in LAS. Kaplan said he stands for the legalization of hemp and marijuana. "It's getting a lot of people in trouble and costing the government money for a victimless crime," Kaplan said. "Hemp and weed don't kill or hurt anyone." "Pot smokers aren't criminals," Fagerman said. Kaplan said he doesn't believe people who get arrested for marijuana should be in the same category as murderers and rapists. He added that alcohol causes much more crime and violence than marijuana does. "(Marijuana) doesn't cause the problems that the punishments imply it does," Kaplan said. Ben Dubois, sophomore in LAS, said people need to realize that hemp and marijuana are relatively harmless. Dubois said people should start to see hemp and marijuana as beneficial to mankind rather than as drugs. He said hemp farming in the United States could save money and resources. "One acre of hemp supplies the same amount of pulp for paper as 4.1 acres of trees," Dubois said. He said cellulose from hemp could be used as fuel. Beveridge said hemp can be recycled more times than paper because its fibers are longer, and it can be grown almost anywhere. Michelle Smudde said hemp oil could be used to fuel cars. She said hemp seeds are nutritious because they are a good source of protein and amino acids. Dubois said hemp cannot be smoked and has no benefits as a drug. He said powerful, wealthy companies in the United States prevent the legalization of hemp because they would lose money if hemp was used as fuel. Billy Kirst, junior in LAS, said he is disappointed that hemp is not legal. He said the United States is the only industrialized country that doesn't recognize the benefits of hemp. Kirst said the government's laws concerning hemp and marijuana are outdated. "I think the government knows the laws should be overturned, but it's too proud to admit it's wrong," Kirst said. Kaplan said the government is wasting money by arresting and imprisoning people and by running anti-marijuana advertisements. "People at this campus (need to) question why things are the way they are," said Kirst. (U-WIRE) Champaign, Ill.Published: April 20, 2000(C) 2000 Daily Illini via U-WIRE Copyright  2000 At Home Corporation. CannabisNews Hemp Articles & Archives:
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