April 18, 2012
Volume 63 | Issue 19
THE PACE PRESS SERVING PACE UNIVERSITY’S MANHATTAN CAMPUS SINCE 1948
2012 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
AND THEIR STANCE ON A HIGHER EXPERIENCE “[It is an] entirely legitimate topic for debate...On drugs, I think that a lot of times, we have been so focused on arrests, incarceration, interdiction that we don’t spend as much time thinking about, How do we shrink demand?”
President Barack Obama Democrat
Pres. Obama has not addressed the topic of marijuana in his recent campaign.
“I think Jefferson or George Washington would have rather strongly discouraged you from growing marijuana and their techniques with dealing with it would have been rather more violent than our current government.”
Newt Gingrich Republican
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-January 2012 (Norml.org)
New Hampshire Voter Event
“We’ve got to not only continue our war on drugs from a police standpoint but also to market again to our young people about the perils of drugs.” - August 2011 (Norml.org)
New Hampshire Voter Event
“This war on drugs has been a detriment to personal liberty and it’s been a real abuse of liberty, Our prisons are full with people who have used drugs who should be treated as patients — and they’re non-violent. Someday we’re gonna awake and find out that the prohibition we are following right now with drugs is no more successful, maybe a lot less successful, than the prohibition of alcohol was in the ’20s.” -January 2012 (Norml.org)
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NEWS Synthetic marijuana sparks legalization debate PAGE 3
ARTS University Professor earns grant for innovative art PAGE 6
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Mitt Romney Republican
Ron Paul Republican
FEATURES The origin and myths behind 4/20 PAGE 11
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April 18, 2012
Medical marijuana is legal in 16 states across America Federal legalization for medicinal purposes continues to ensue debate in the U.S.
The decision over the use of marijuana as a medical treatment is an ongoing debate in the United States. Presented is a map of states highlighting their stance on medical marijuana and, if applicable, the years when the state approved the policy for medicinal use of the substance. Although not many states have legalized medicinal marijuana use, a number of them have decriminalized the non-medicinal possession of the substance. Because possession of non-medicinal marijuana is still a federal offense, however, states that have decriminalized possession may only downplay the offense. In lieu of arresting or filing charges against the suspects, these states instead choose to institute fines or drug education and treatment programs. The states where marijuana possession is decriminalized are as follows: Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.
An interactive map of the United States identifying where medical marijuana is enacted and the year enacted for each state. digital illustration by Jaehee Lee | The Pace Press State: CA ENacted:Y Year Passed: 1996
State: CO ENacted:Y Year Passed: 2000
State:VT ENacted:Y Year Passed: 2004
State: AZ ENacted:Y Year Passed: 2010
State: AK ENacted:Y Year Passed: 1998
State: HI ENacted(Y/N):Y Year Passed: 2000
State: RI ENacted:Y Year Passed: 2006
State: DE ENacted:Y Year Passed: 2011
State: OR ENacted:Y Year Passed: 1998
State: NV ENacted:Y Year Passed: 2000
State: NM ENacted:Y Year Passed: 2007
State: WA ENacted:Y Year Passed: 1998
State: MD ENacted:Y Year Passed: 2003
State: MI ENacted:Y Year Passed: 2008
State: ME ENacted:Y Year Passed: 1999
State: MT ENacted:Y Year Passed: 2004
State: NJ ENacted:Y Year Passed: 2010
OPINION What are your thoughts on medicinal marijuana or the legalization of marijuana? Email your opinion or an Op-Ed response to: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Yorkers exempt from state sales tax under Bloomberg
Four percent sales tax exemption made available to those spending within monetary limit SHYAM NOOREDEEN Staff Writer As of April 1, New York State consumers who spend $110 or less on clothing or footwear will be exempt from the state’s four percent sales tax. Such measures were previously approved before, but as of April 2011, tax exemptions were only for clothing and footwear items $55 or less. NYS had taken this route to balance its budget before. According to the NYS Budget Division, the $55 limit generated $330 million in revenue for the state. However, with support from several lawmakers, NYS has adapted its prior decision to restore tax exemptions on clothing and footwear. NYC consumers had already been
exempt from the 4.5 percent city sales tax from purchases at $110 or less, but were paying the four percent NYS sales tax for purchases at or below $55. JoseFrancisco Mendoza said, “I think this time the law would last because of how well our economy is doing. We’re doing better than we were a year or two ago.” Some students, however, are very skeptical of whether NYS will continue the decision in the long run. Freshman Nicholas Mulvihill said, “I don’t think this decision will last because the government does not want to give up money and give it to the private sector. If they don’t vote to appeal it, the middle class that is relying on social security, Medicare and Medicaid would not give their vote to representatives, resulting in them not
getting re-elected. Ultimately, yes, they will probably take it away.” This new exemption allows consumers to withhold the four percent NYS sales tax and deduct the 0.375 percent Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District tax. In total, subtracting the NYS, NYC and MCTD sales taxes altogether allows each purchase, at or below $110, to be tax-free, saving about $10. The entire state is not tax-free however, with only those counties within NYS who are willing to drop their local taxes, which are set at a price limit, similar to that of NYC. Consumers in counties that still adapt a local tax are however exempt from the state’s four percent sales tax. Therefore, the state exemption does in fact affect consumers because they are
saving nearly half in taxes. Suffolk County, Long Island for example does have a local sales tax that requires consumers to pay the 4.5 percent. Nonetheless, this is why residents usually travel to the city or surrounding boroughs to purchase clothing and footwear. Mendoza said, “I would shop more if I didn’t have to pay any taxes, especially here in New York. Coming from Texas, the tax here is way higher than down south so it prevents me from wanting to make purchases on clothes and other accessories.” The new tax exemption could help many New York consumers save money this spring.
April 18, 2012
Synthetic alternatives to marijuana cause safety issues Doctors express concern over new drug trend sweeping teens and young adults SARAH AIRES News Intern Formerly legal alternative substances to marijuana such as “K-2” and “Spice” are being banned due to their adverse effects. Some of the other alternative substances are known as “Mr. Smiley” and “Skunk.” The ban proposal came after numerous reports of serious side effects linked to the substances. As reported by the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there were over 6,959 phone calls made to poison control centers across the U.S. relating to side effects caused by smoking the synthetic marijuana. NYC’s poison control center has received 44 calls related to the synthetic drug in the first three months of 2012 alone. Marijuana substitutes can currently be found online marketed as “bath salts,” “incense,” or “potpourri” as well as in bodegas throughout NYC. The products are often smoked because of the ingredients’ effects on the mind when inhaled. Despite the substance’s lack of Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the chemical compound in marijuana responsible for the sensation of a high,
K-2 and other synthetic replacements have gained notoriety because of their similarities to marijuana high. Another upside to the synthetic marijuana is that it is very difficult to detect in traditional urine samples for drug testing. Bruce Goldberg, Professor of toxicology at the University of South Florida, said in an interview with ABC News that, “The test for these substances are not readily available. The tests aren’t routinely available and are costly.” According to AOL News, K-2 was developed at Clemson University in South Carolina where researchers were working to create synthetic alternatives to marijuana for patients who require marijuana for medical treatment. The original intention was to create concentrated forms of cannabis to help treat specific ailments. The “cannibanoids” created by the researchers at Clemson University have now been duplicated by individual sellers who have created the new synthetic drugs for profit. The concern of legislators and poison control centers has become the toxicity of the synthetic materials
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and the setting in which the drugs are being manufactured without significant regulation. These symptoms have never been reported with use of genuine marijuana, which has now raised questions about whether or not the decriminalization of weed has become the safer option. Due to marijuana’s illegality, these kinds of legal and toxic substitutions have been part of the mainstream drug culture and make the job of anti-drug laws much more difficult. Sophomore Samantha Scadron said, “I see no reason for there to be a fake substance. Just legalize [marijuana]. I think it should be legalized because it would make the drug safer due to the fact that it could be monitored. The government could tax it, thus create revenue, and in all honesty, alcohol is much worse for a person and that’s legal.” The “bath salts” are extremely hard to monitor and in the cases of adverse side effects that have resulted in teens being sent to the hospital, many times the physicians are poorly equipped to properly treat their symptoms. Genuine marijuana has had previously opposite effects on the body and medical
marijuana has been used to assist the ill with distressing symptoms. Studies released during the petition hearings in Massachusetts on April 10 revealed that marijuana usage is tied to decreased physical pain, muscle relaxation and decreased nausea. Massachusetts is currently in the process of putting together a vote on whether or not to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. During the petition hearings in Massachusetts, legislators argued legalization of the real drug would decrease crime because of the lack of a need for dealers. Teens and young adults who desire a quick high will continue to replace the concern for safety unless there are alternative ways of regulating the massive drug market.
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and fee payments are due August 3 ■ The last day to drop/add a course is September 18 ■ Register at www.pace.edu/register* or in person at any OSA/Student Solutions Center ■ Tuition
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April 18, 2012
Mayor Bloomberg expands pedestrian space on 6th Avenue ERICK MANCEBO Features Intern In what many are calling Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest move in a decade-long campaign against motorized traffic in the city, the Transportation Department last month introduced plans to create a pedestrian walkway that cuts vertically through West 51st and 57th Streets in Midtown Manhattan. The walkway, called Sixth-and-a-Half Avenue because it would denote the halfway point between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, could be finished as early as this summer. The New York Times reported that the Transportation Department would not have to do any heavy construction in order to create the walkway, as pedestrian walkways already exist along the proposed path— serving as a sort of hidden shortcut through which locals can easily avoid the congested traffic of Sixth and Seventh Avenues. The plan, which legitimizes the unofficial shortcut by instituting stop signs at the point where the walkway meets each street, is under criticism from some local pedestrians and motorists who argue that the stop signs will only add to traffic congestion in the already gridlock-prone area. On March 29 The New York Times spoke to area residents who said pedestrians and motorists in the area who knew about the passageway had an unspoken agreement; drivers who technically had the right of way would usually pause for the pedestrians. Adding stop signs, they argued, would only add a confusing and unnecessary step to the process.
Pedestrians accounted for 52 percent of traffic fatalities from 2005-2009.
Pedestrians crossing between 6th and 7th Avenues in Midtown - the future site for Bloomberg’s plan. The New York Times
- The New York City Transportation Department
Email your opinion or an Op-Ed response to: email@example.com
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Junior Linh Le agreed with the area residents, saying, “They’re the ones who know the area, they should have a say of whether or not they want it there. Because it is [already] unofficial.” Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to make the city more pedestrianfriendly, however, comes after complaints from years of pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents. In a report by the Transportation Department published in August 2010, researchers examined accident data from 2000-2009, and “worked diligently to identify the common factors, the causes and the geographic distribution of more than 7,000 pedestrian accidents in the City.” The report, which is available on the Transportation Department’s website, sheds new light on pedestrian accidents in the city. Most notably, the report found that pedestrians accounted for 52 percent of traffic fatalities from 2005-2009, with drivers who failed to yield for pedestrians accounting for 27 percent of crashes that killed or severely injured pedestrians. The report additionally found that Manhattan had four times as many pedestrians killed or severely injured per mile of street compared to Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens or Staten Island. These findings are said to be part of the push to make NYC more pedestrian friendly. Graduate student Natascha Morris, however, thought the proposed plan was redundant, saying, “There are bigger sidewalks here, [and] there are more crosswalks than anywhere else. So, I already feel like New York is pretty walker-friendly and you don’t want to hurt your economy because you do have a lot of people that drive in and use the roadways.” The plan for the new pedestrian passage space Sixth and Seventh Avenues follows the creation of pedestrian plazas similar to those found around Times Square, 34th Street and Union Square.
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April 18, 2012
THE PACE PRESS
In memoriam of Patricia Woodward
Kim Bui Editor-in-Chief
Kaitlynn Blyth Associate Editor Ivonna Thompson Managing Editor Hilda Adeniji Creative Director Fotini Sachpatzidis News Editor Stephanie Hansen Arts Editor Craig Held Features Editor Kate Hamzik Copy Editor Leucepe Martinez Advertising Manager Nazary Nebeluk Web Editor Kathryn Bosch Circulation Manager Michael Oricchio Faculty Consultant
University Performing Arts Department staff and adjunct faculty member Patricia Woodward passed away April 2 at the age of 62. Prof. Woodward received her Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts from the University in 1976. As a University alumna, she began working at the University in 1990 and became a vital member of the University community.
A memorial service for Prof. Woodward was held April 9 at Central Presbyterian Church in her hometown of Montclair, N.J. In addition to her work as a professor and administrator for the Drama Department, she was a member and leader of the Torchbearers Club here at the University. She was responsible for the theater group at Central Presbyterian Church and directed programs at both Montclair High School and Clifton High School.
Sarah Aires Olivia Beteta Erick Mancebo Nicole Morales Damien Morgan
STAFF Patrick deHahn Joanna Gonzalez Anthony Mastroianni Shyam Nooredeen Shannon McMahon Julia Yeung
Through her dedication to the University and the craft of acting, Prof. Woodward left a great impact both inside and outside of the University community. With her immeasurable devotion to her work, Woodward grew to develop many relationships with students and faculty alike and she will be greatly missed. An on-campus memorial will be held for Prof. Woodward in the upcoming fall semester. If interested in submitting words of dedication for Patricia Woodward to be printed in the next issue of The Pace Press, please email submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pace Press is the student newspaper of Pace Universityâ€™s New York City Campus. It is managed and operated entirely by members of the student body as it appears above. The Pace Press welcomes guest editorials and letters from students, faculty, administration and staff. The Pace Press reserves the right to not publish any submitted material, both solicited and unsolicited.
All submissions must include the authorâ€™s full name and contact information.
Colloquium 2: The Gray Area, scheduled to take place in the Student Union on April 23 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m has been postponed until the Fall 2012 Semester.
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April 18, 2012
Fine Arts Professor receives award for merging art and technology William Pappenheimer garners attention in the world of digital art
photo by Mark Skwarek all other photos from manifestarblog.wordpress.com DAMIEN MORGAN Creative Intern As a founding member of the artist collective Manifest.AR, Fine Arts Professor William Pappenheimer was recently awarded the ARtSENSE Commission at The Foundation for Creative Technology in Liverpool, England. Prof. Pappenheimer was awarded the grant by the foundation known for creative art and technology to films and new media for his proposal entitled, “Invisible ARtaffects.” “Invisible ARtaffects” is, in a sense, a new type of media for the art world that gives viewers a completely new experience. Imagine entering an exhibit and being greeted with an eight-foot tall red painting. If that piece were to make the patron uncomfortable, through the Invisible ARtaffects experience, as soon as any sense of discomfort is felt, the red painting would simply change to a soft blue right before the viewers eyes. To make this new experience even remotely possible, “Invisible ARtaffects” offers a device for all to wear. Before entering a museum or gallery, patrons would receive a set of glasses that would allow them to see the art work in their own way. Through bio-sensing, this technology would be able to not only change a canvas
into something pleasing to the viewer, but also receive information about it to be displayed on the lenses. Prof. Pappenheimer stated that the technology, “involves sensing the viewer biometrically. It senses where the viewer is looking, how they’re experiencing excitement and how they’re moving in space. With eye-tricking and transparent screens giving you information, this is the definition of augmented reality.” Not only would this new genre of art be able to change a drawing or painting purely to one’s liking through their feelings, but it would also capture the space of the exhibit like no other. By overlaying images or colors over what we see in the real world, or fluctuating the dimensions to create a 3D experience rather than the 2D experience that a painting simply hanging on a wall offers, the new genre promises to entirely reinvent the way art is exhibited. With “Invisible ARtaffects,” it may be seen as though art is taking a turn towards the future and pushing for a science fiction appeal, but it is merely a new form of art. Prof. Pappenheimer is just one of many artists working on projects and exhibits closely related to this one involving augmented reality. Just like an airplane flying across the open sky to write or draw a message for those on the ground to see, augmented reality art provides something very similar
that anyone can do from the safety of the ground. Prof. Pappenheimer talked about this project as a type of canvas in the air. Pappenheimer said, “visitors would come in wearing the special glasses and they would be able to draw with a cursor. When finished they can sit and see their creation in the sky as a collection of sky writing.” The collection of sky writing would give the public a way to draw in the sky high enough that the creations would sit above buildings. With the GPS tracking that this technology requires, if one were to turn off their glasses and booted them back up, their pieces of work would still be where they last left them. Even though this new genre of art could be used for artists and the public to express their emotions through virtual creations, it could also be used to help us see what we’ve lost. Prof. Pappenheimer said that another project that he was working on was one that could rebuild trees that have been torn down. In this virtual world, someone wearing the glasses would be able to see the vast rainforest towering over them, giving a person the feeling of sitting under the trees that have been torn down. This virtual experience could help viewers better understand about an environment that was once there. With “Invisible ARtaffects” only being constructed in a FACT building
scheduled to go on exhibit in 2013, anyone can have a taste of augmented reality to supply them for the meantime. On an iPhone or BlackBerry, one can download the app developed by Prof. Pappenheimer called Pyrite. Through the phone’s camera, the real world is presented on the phone where the handler is able to craft it to their liking. With a flick of a finger, an arrow can be shot to shatter the sight of reality on the phone that can then be morphed to look how the artist wants. In addition, no matter how many times the user turns the phone or shuts it off, the creation once made will always stay in the same space to be revisited. This new genre of art will surely bring a great influence to the art community. The idea of an augmented reality in museums for everyone to see brings no surprise that FACT acknowledged Prof. Pappenheimer and his work at Manifest.AR with the prestigious grant.
Use your smart phone to scan the QR code above and download Pyrite.
April 18, 2012
Brooklyn Museum hosts
work of iconic artist
OLIVIA BETETA Arts Intern Keith Haring was one of the most widely recognized artists in NYC for over a decade. His work has been on display in galleries and clubs all throughout NYC, in addition to the many works he did on the street. To celebrate Haring and his many contributions to the art world, the Brooklyn Museum is holding a special exhibit encompassing the entire fifth floor of the museum. The exhibit, which runs until July 8, chronicles some of Haring’s earliest work from 1978 to 1982. This unique opportunity allows people to watch his work evolve from the time when he first arrived in NYC, to the peak of his popularity. “The exhibit includes a variety of his work featuring 155 works on paper, numerous experimental videos, and over 150 archival objects, including rarely seen sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers, posters, subway drawings, and documentary photographs,” according to the Brooklyn Museum. A Reading, Pa. native, Haring was a precocious child and began drawing at a young age. After dropping out of a commercial art school in Pittsburgh, Pa., he left his home to study at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Not long after arriving, he discovered a budding alternative community encompassing an entire underground art scene that took place in the streets and subways, former clubs and dance halls being repurposed into museums and galleries. It is at those clubs that Haring would later hold shows for promising up and coming artists. Within that community, Haring found some of his closest friends, namely JeanMichel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, who he would later work with. It is with people like Basquiat that Haring brought art to the public. In one of his journal entries featured in the exhibit, Haring wrote, “The public needs art, and it is the responsibility of a ‘self-proclaimed artist’ to realize the public needs art, and not to make bourgeois art for a few and ignore the masses…if the public is afraid of art, should we [artists] be afraid of what we have done to make the public afraid of art?” In order to reach as many people as possible, Haring went out into the city and began taping fragments and pieces of his paintings to random objects like trash cans and lampposts. As his art started to mingle with the many textures and colors of the city, his work began evolving to be more than simple geometric shapes. Haring’s work began to involve graffiti that was found throughout NYC. With his work in public spaces, he developed a new kind of public art that was more involved with people seeing it. Through flyers, buttons and photocopied posters all featuring Haring’s trademark images, he built a name for himself. During this time, Haring was exploring other art forms, specifically video. The exhibit features numerous videos in which Haring’s process is shown. His first video, Painting Myself into a Corner, is literally just that, Haring painting himself into a corner, putting all of himself within that work. Other videos feature Haring doing an assortment of activities from dancing along to music to talking into the camera. One of the most interesting things about the exhibit is the shift in Haring’s work from geometric shapes and abstract forms to figures and objects. It was in 1980 that the figurative drawings and iconography he was known for emerged. These line drawings would prove to be some of Haring’s most identifiable work. Some of the images include the standing figure, the dog, the flying saucer, the dolphin and a variety of other easily recognizable objects. Haring’s journal entries in combination with his larger paintings and video work allows viewers to get inside his mind for a brief moment. His incredible talent truly comes out in this exhibit and viewers are left feeling as if they know Haring and what a great loss the art world suffered upon his death at the age of 31 in 1990. The final years of his life and work are missing from the exhibit sadly, leaving people curious and wanting to know more about what Haring went on to do. Regardless of the gap in years, the exhibit is still immense and definitely worth a visit, even if it is only to the gift shop for some Haring themed trinkets.
1. Untitled, Circa 1980-1985 Keith Haring and Jean Michel-Basquiat Spray paint and paper on ply wood 2. Untitled, 1982 Ink and spray enamel on poster board 3. Untitled, 1982 Ink and Day-Glo on paper
3 all photos by OLIVIA BETETA | The Pace Press
April 18, 2012
Marijuana movies make moves in the mainstream OLIVIA BETETA Arts Intern Stoner films are an integral part of main stream popular culture in the U.S. The latest box office success was the third installment of the Harold and Kumar series, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. The series is one of the first stoner comedies to receive such positive reaction since Cheech and Chong stopped making movies. Similar movies such as How High and Half Baked did not receive the sort of commercial success as the Harold & Kumar trilogy. However, the films proved to be cult classics within the stoner community. There are a wide variety of films the pot aficionado can pick up and enjoy. For those looking to laugh at a piece of history they need only to turn to the 1936 propaganda piece entitled, Reefer Madness. The movie acts out a variety of melodramatic events that occur due to teens smoking marijuana. The hit television show, “That 70’s Show,” which implied the use of pot in every episode, mocks the film in one of its earlier episodes during the show’s run. For those looking for something a little more recent, they only need to look to Pineapple Express starring James Franco and Seth Rogen. The film follows the mismatched pair as they try to escape a pot dealing drug lord. Through its many chase scenes and big explosions, the movie not only appeals to those looking for a comedy, but those who enjoy action as well. The film warranted a decent public response and exposed the world to a different, funnier side of Franco. There are also countless classics such as Dazed and Confused and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Both high school films do more than simply fodder to
the pot smokers for their movie collection. Both tell coming of age stories that are sure to get any viewer excited. Dazed and Confused takes a group of soon to be seniors and chronicles their last day of school before their final year. Taking place in 1976, the film features many late ’70s hits from artists like Alice Cooper to KISS. The movie easily has one of the best soundtracks that is sure to appeal to many. The star-studded Fast Times at Ridgemont High shows a young Sean Penn as the loveable stoner, Jeff Spicoli. The film follows a year at Ridgemont High and the crazy parties, love connections and crimes that follow. Romance goes hand in hand with this stoner flick so those looking to cozy up to someone special on. It can also certainly turn to this film and have a laugh while watching the love. The list goes on and on with Super Troopers, Bong Water, Friday, Friday After Next, and Dude, Where’s My Car? Every movie offers something different and shows pot in a new and interesting light. For some, pot acts as the necessary agent to turn a nerd into a laid-back dude, for others, it is the downfall of a previously good student. These films aid the American public in becoming more de-sensitized to pot and through that it is becoming a more accepted topic in society. Stoner comedies are marketable, not just to those who smoke pot, but also to those looking to see a good comedy. It is no coincidence that as pot is becoming legalized throughout the U.S., that movies about it are gaining popularity. Needless to say, pot movies aren’t going anywhere; in fact it appears as if more can be expected to hit the big screen soon.
Student artist brings inspiration from Amsterdam to NYC STEPHANIE HANSEN Arts Editor Even though the University student art show closed last week, one student artist created a piece that goes hand in hand with the upcoming day of 4/20. Senior KT Raffa’s marijuana inspired piece, “Tangerine Nectar,” which is a strain of pot, was submitted as part of the show. Raffa described her mixed media piece as, “heavily inspired by pop art and kitschy artists.” Raffa said, “I wasn’t trying to be subtle with the empty pot bags, but I didn’t spell it out.” According to Raffa, “Tangerine Nectar,��� “was inspired by smoking cannabis and the different feelings that are aroused by the soft drug. “After studying abroad in Amsterdam, I accidentally brought home an empty pot bag. The bag was labeled ‘Tangerine Nectar.’ This inspired me to collect all of the pot bags I encountered [for approximately 18 months] and not to recycle or reuse them. I wanted to put the viewer in a blunt situation and I wanted to cause a variety of emotions depending on the viewer. Everyone has a different relationship with Cannabis, and in the United States, it is a Schedule II illegal drug. I knew many people would find ‘Tangerine Nectar’ risqué,” Raffa said. The piece definitely brings about political and moral issues as far as the issue of legalization of marijuana in the U.S. Raffa said, “There was a mixed reaction at the opening of the show, which
was exciting. Some people loved the piece, some people were obviously indifferent and apathetic, and others giggled.” Raffa didn’t seem to have any apprehensions about submitting the piece. She didn’t have to put the fact that these were pot bags out in the open, but rather let viewers draw that conclusion based on how blatant it was to them. Raffa said, “I guess people could have thought they were other drug bags, but they were obviously not button bags.” As far as the message she hoped her art would send, Raffa said, “The empty bags of cannabis were used to make a statement about consumption and despite how easily accessible the soft drug is, it is still a major taboo. Especially in New York City, one could think cannabis was legal as you watch people smoke in public, other times you hear about the horrors of predominately young, male minorities getting arrested for seriously minor offenses. “There is a double standard because the culture of our country is so divided. Even if ‘Tangerine Nectar’ didn’t encourage group discussion, I hope someone at least thought twice about their own personal opinions,” Raffa said. Raffa is not the only artist to be inspired by marijuana and will certainly not be the last. When asked how she thinks art affects pot, Raffa said, “I think overall it has an uniquely positive affect because it has the ability to alter one’s state of mind and way of thinking. “When used responsibly, pot is not dangerous. I smoke pot recreationally, as
KT Raffa’s marijuana inspired art piece. an alternative to alcohol. I do not smoke cannabis while in the studio, because of its potential to make someone lazy, but I have come up with great ideas for pieces while I was stoned.” Marijuana use will always be a
photo provided by KT Raffa controversial topic. Artists like Raffa, who attack the issue head on with a bit if subtly, will keep the conversation going. Inspiration for art can come from anywhere.
April 18, 2012
NYPD accused of racial profiling in marijuana possession arrests Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly blamed for city-wide increases ERICK MANCEBO Features Intern NYC has been recently ranked as the top city with the most marijuana possession arrests. According to Gothamist.com, the city managed to break 50,000 marijuana possession arrests in 2011. The statistics show a continued focus on marijuana possession on the part of the NYPD, and stand in stark contrast to previous decades, where the rates were relatively low. The New York Times reported that the arrests for 2011 alone top all of the marijuana possession arrests in the city from 1978 to 1996, which totaled 49, 326 arrests.
“Young men of color…are hyper-policed in this city.” -Kassandra Frederique, Drug Policy Alliance In a response, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly issued a memorandum asking police officers not to arrest suspects for small amounts of marijuana during stop-and-frisks. Gothamist.com reported that the memo read, “A crime will not be charged to an individual who is requested or compelled to engage in the behavior that results in the public display of marijuana.” The memo from the Commissioner served as a reminder to officers that since 1977, possession of 25 grams or less or marijuana has been decriminalized, carrying the same penalty as jaywalking or a small traffic violation and not necessarily warranting an arrest. Critics of Commissioner Kelly continue to argue that stop-and-frisks, a practice that is said to contribute to the skyrocketing arrests, are inherently racist. In a Village Voice article from last September, Kassandra Frederique of the Drug Policy Alliance blamed the high minority arrest rates on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk program, saying, “young men of color…are hyper-policed in this city.” The numbers and statistics back Frederique’s claims. Gothamist.com reported that of the 350,000 arrests made under the mayor and commissioner’s time in office, the overwhelming majority were young Black and Latino
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, speaks at a press conference with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly. mintpress.net men. More specifically, The Village Voice reported that of 600,000 supposedly random stop-and-frisks in 2010, 53 percent involved Black suspects, 32 percent involved Latino suspects, and a measly nine percent involved White suspects. Moreover, males accounted for 90 percent of frisks. Those familiar with the situation argue that young Black and Latino men in the city are at an extreme disadvantage because of the higher probability that they’ll be arrested for possession of marijuana. Junior Erkinaz Shuminov doesn’t think it is a coincidence that the arrests seemed to target minority males. Shuminov said, “The poor people are in the [highlypatrolled] neighborhoods because of the government,
NYPD officers arresting a suspect for possession of marijuana.
because of systematic issues, so it’s not like you could avoid being there. “If you’re black, you are more likely to be in a poor neighborhood. So it’s not a coincidence. It is a problem because, well, that’s why a lot of black families are still failing, because a lot of black males are in jail. … It’s definitely a problem that affects the whole country,” Shuminov added. Junior Rudy Luna disagreed, arguing that the arrests aren’t necessarily racist. Luna said, “I think…those number do hold water. I know back home, a lot of black or Hispanic kids just do whatever [they want]…I feel like… some don’t care.” Unfortunately, although Blacks and Latinos are arrested for marijuana possession at a higher rate than their White counterparts, studies indicate that marijuana use is in fact more prevalent among young Whites. As Gothamist. com stated, “The fact [is] that young whites use marijuana at higher rates than Black and Latinos.” In the matter of the high marijuana arrests, city officials are distancing themselves from the racial controversy the statistics are stirring and instead focusing on marijuana arrests in general. City Council Member Jumaane Williams wishes to refocus on Commissioner Kelly’s directive to police that appears to have gone largely unnoticed or ignored. Speaking to Gothamist.com, Williams said, “This [new] data shows that Commissioner Kelly’s memorandum is not being enforced. For instance, the 240% increase in arrests in the last week of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010 is highly troubling.” Luna said the increase in arrests may not be entirely racially driven and argued instead against NYPD policies, saying, “I know the police have quotas for things…like [traffic] tickets and so there’s always the time of the month where tickets just soar through the roof because there have to be some kind of guidelines about things to turn in.” Shuminov, however, maintained that while the arrests may not be on a superficial level tied to racism, they are the after-effects of a formerly perpetually racist environment. “I think you have to rewrite the whole criminal justice system,” said Shuminov before adding, “Rewrite the rules [for police] and the laws. That’s the only way you’re going to pin down arrests.”
April 18, 2012
What do you think about 4/20 as “Marijuana Appreciation Day”?
“It’s okay, if you’re the type of person who likes it.
-Monique Nuetzel, Freshman
“I’ve never really cared about 4/20...I’m from Caliifornia so...I think 4/20 is bigger here.
-Kaleigh Weston, Freshman
“I didn’t know it was [considered] a holiday, honestly. It’s interesting.
“It’s cool. It’s just a chill day for people to do whatever.
-Diana Mendez, Freshman
-Giau Nguyen, Freshman
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April 18, 2012
The unlikely roots and myths behind the day of 4/20 OLIVIA BETETA Arts Intern For many April 20 is a day like any other. For some however, its a date commonly associated with marijuana. The unofficial holiday code for “Marijuana Appreciation Day” known as 4/20, is one where some choose to partake. For those aware of this cannabis subculture, few are aware of how this date came to be. Though there are countless stories and myths surrounding the start of 4/20 and its reasoning, its impossible to know which is right. Some speculate that 4/20 is the number of active chemical compounds in marijuana, while others think it is the number of a bill in U.S. Congress aiming to legalize the substance. There has also been speculation that it was the police code for smoking pot or the official tea time in Holland. All, however, are false. The common thread between the many stories however is that the term started in San Rafael, Calif. According to editor of High Times magazine Steven Hager, the Waldos, a group of student athletes who smoked pot outside the walls of San Rafael High School in the Fall 1971, overheard a Coast Guard service member discussing a plot in which he grew potent marijuana near Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard Station in the San Francisco Bay area. Being inquisitive young minds, the Waldos set their sights on finding the elusive plant. With a great deal of determination, they formulated a plan in which they would meet in front of a statue of Louis Pasteur right on the campus. They set their meeting time for 4:20 and began using that as the code word for their mission. They would walk through the halls reminding each other of their 4/20 plans. Week after week, the Waldos would meet at 4:20 and pile in an old ‘66 Chevy Impala to head to Point Reyes Forest. The entire ride to the forest and throughout the time they spent searching, the Waldos would smoke. They repeated this process for weeks without any sign of the mysterious cannabis plant. While they never did find the marijuana, they did develop a new code phrase. Not long after, 4/20 began to be used to secretly discuss marijuana use. Eventually, the secret code that the Waldos created spread to the remaining members of The Grateful Dead. The Grateful Dead, best known for their influence on the hippie generation in the ’60s, were based in San Francisco during the height of the flower power movement but escaped into Marin County Hills, Calif., just a few blocks from San Rafael High School. The Grateful Dead met the Waldos, who would attend the band’s concerts. Before long, 4/20 became a part of the band’s lingo and they would say it during their shows and tours around the world. The term spread throughout their fan base and soon High Times heard it and hopped on the 4/20 train. Through High Times, 4/20 got international exposure and the date became the center of hemp conferences and cannabis festivals alike. It’s doubtful that a group of stoners ever thought a phrase they pioneered would lead to a full on holiday but over 40 years later, 4/20 is still an integral part of marijuana culture. Part of the sensation may have to do with random strangers uniting for one moment in time once a year, or maybe people are just looking for an excuse to smoke. Whatever the reasoning may be, it is clear 4/20 will continue to be recognized for the following years.
People participating in 4/20 in San Francisco, Calif.
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The iconic ‘60s band The Grateful Dead. nytimes.com
April 18, 2012
Hemp proves to be viable material for number of industries NICOLE MORALES Copy Intern Organic food, clothing and lifestyles have taken center stage in the ever changing world of trends. Riding on the coattails of this trend vehicle is hemp, a fiber derived from the Cannabis plant, noted for the controversy that surrounds it. Steadily growing in popularity, it is currently incorporated into everything from T-shirts to shampoos. Despite the many misconceptions, hemp seems to be the fiber of the future. Before the use of hemp was associated with hippie culture, it had its own story woven into American history. Hemp was used in 80 percent of fabrics and materials produced before the 1920s. Hemp fibers were even used to create the original American flag. In the past 85 years, it has become taboo since its growth was banned due to Cannabis’ growing reputation as a recreational drug. In reality, once used as a fiber, hemp has no value as a recreational drug. The reason for its use in the past, and the resurgence of it now, is due to its inexpensive and renewable nature. The Cannabis plant requires little watering, no fertilizers or pesticides and can be renewed two to three times a year. In the past, the lure was that it was easily found growing virtually anywhere. Today’s appeal is that it is eco-friendly for these very same reasons. Aside from its environmentally friendly benefits, hemp is extremely effective as a fiber in materials, as well as a source for Omega acids. One may notice the increased use of hemp in beauty products sold by both large scale businesses looking to cash in on a trend and local vendors attempting to use it as an inexpensive resource. Popular UK cosmetic brand, The Body Shop, has a line of hemp based moisturizing products that include face and body moisturizers along with body and hand washes.
The company’s mainstream acceptance of hemp as an ingredient isn’t meant to challenge authority. Hemp seed oil, which contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids that moisturize, is the closest chemical in nature to the body’s natural moisturizers. Graduate student Arturo Ortiz would easily incorporate hemp based beauty products saying, “If they were [inexpensive] I wouldn’t mind using it.” As an industrial fiber, hemp is best known for its durability and is more commonly used in everyday clothing. In season five of “Project Runway,” winner Leanne Marshall’s Spring 2012 collection included hemp fibers blended with silk and bamboo fibers to help create her origami fold dresses. Although the U.S. restricts the growth of any sort of hemp, whether industrial or recreational, if it were allowed as an industrial resource, many might be able to greatly benefit from it, namely farmers. When asked if marijuana should be grown for industrial purposes freshman Tory Ramirez believes, “I think [farmers] should be able to grow it.” Other countries around the world like Canada, the majority of Europe and China, allow the use of industrial hemp, which has a great profit turnout. Canada is even in the works of creating a patented refined form of hemp nicknamed “Canadian cotton” which will have the same color and soft texture as commercial cotton. Despite the controversy that surrounds it, Cannabis is inexpensive to grow because it does not require any special fertilizers or pesticides as it naturally repels insects. In addition, it is a great cash crop for struggling farmers due to its low cost and renewability. As the use of hemp continues to increase with the current eco-friendly sustainable resource trend, perhaps more people will find its usefulness as impressive as its inexpensiveness. For centuries, hemp has been used as a reliable resource and it’s showing no signs of burning out any time soon.
The Body Shop’s Hemp line uses hemp seed oil’s fatty acids to treat extremely dry or sensitive skin.
A hemp farm in the United Kingdom
Project Runway Season 5 winner Leanne Marshall’s entire Spring 2012 collection featured dresses made from hemp