Thursday, January 20, 2005

What Is the DA Smoking?

I've got advance word on tomorrow's copy of everyone's favorite campus newspaper, WVU's The Daily Athenaeum. For one day, the Opinion section has become a new arena for marijuana legalization. They were smart by not plugging freedom of chronic in the "Our Perspective" section, but they might as well have, because all of the editorials are pro-reefer. I should have known we were in trouble when new opinion editor Matt Roberson said the section would start having "topical days," days in which all of the editorials would center around one topic.

Amber Corrin, Sarah Asti, and Charlie Wade wrote the pieces promoting legalization. Corrin looks at the drug's history, Wade looks at the current statistics, Asti looks at the current legislation, and they're all completely off-base. What is my real problem here? Well, you know, whose bright idea was it to have the campus newspaper play Reefer Love-Fest while the university ranks as the 4th biggest party school in the country? Running with this in such a biased manner is damaging to the faculty, the students, and prospective students. Our school is trying to improve its image, and you aren't helping. You're the campus newspaper, DA. Remember: the college is first, the pet issues are second.

(This has nothing to do with my personal feelings about marijuana use. Personally, I don't care what people do in private, and I don't agree with playing "moral police." If you think I'm writing this out of self-righteous indignation, you're dead wrong.)

Curiously, we never hear Travis Doyle's feelings on the matter, as he's busy writing about how to mod PRT cars. (For the uninitiated, WVU has a Personal Rapid Transit system that works kind of like Disney's Monorail, except it looks like the short bus and breaks down if you look at it funny.) Michael Withrow, who is consistently one of the most balanced and reasonable columnists for the paper, doesn't write a single word about Mary Jane; instead, his column is all about how much he likes Simon Cowell from American Idol. So much for point-counterpoint.

Oh, and by the way, DA: I posted this on the conservative forum Free Republic. Assuming they pick up on this, you guys should get ready to be swamped with e-mail. In case they don't pick up on it, here's hoping my readers say something about this irresponsible bit of platform pushing: DAPerspectives@mail.wvu.edu.

UPDATE: The first comment on the Free Republic post was simple and hilarious: "Just remind them it's hard to spell 'Athenaeum' when you're stoned."

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