Wednesday, June 02, 2010

High School Newspaper Canceled for Marijuana Legalization Editorial

The Big Spring Independent School District in Texas decided to censor Big Spring High School's semester closing issue of the school's paper, The Corral, because it contained a pro-marijuana legalization editorial written by a student. District Superintendent Steven Saldivar took the action because he said the editorial ran contrary to the district's long-stated position on drug usage.
"We were embarrassed by it," Saldivar said. "At the same time we're trying to get kids to see the dangers of using drugs, (The Corral) ran that editorial. In no way do we advocate legalizing drugs, so we didn't feel this was something that was in our best interests to support."
Recently graduated Editor-in-Chief Marisa Nieto doesn't see why the editorial is considered inappropriate.
"I just couldn't believe that someone was making such a big deal out of such a little thing in my eyes," she said. "It was just an editorial on legalizing marijuana and giving facts on it. That's it."
It would seem that students have a right to freedom of speech. However, in the 1980's, the Supreme Court ruled public schools have the final say when it comes to student publication content. In protest, Big Spring High School journalism teacher Bill Riggs resigned. Some Big Spring residents were also unhappy with the decision.
"Why are we going to only provide them with a minimum of what the ideas and concepts of what journalism are?" Big Spring resident, Lisa Trejo, said. "So they can be prepared for what; half-way (knowledge) of how to do their job when they get into the real world, because their ISD wanted to protect them? That's not fair."
A zero-tolerance policy on the open discussion of drug use and prohibition is really a step backwards. It is this kind of close mindedness that prevents us from collectively progressing towards a more just and compassionate future. 

While the Supreme Court  has ruled that school districts can censor school publications, the Court has also ruled, thanks in large part to SSDP, that free speech about drug policy reform is protected in schools and students can not be punished for discussing drug policy. 

We hope to see a SSDP chapter start at Big Spring High School.


Anonymous said...

Omg u shouldn't censor someone for telling the truth about marijuana, its safe, there are no deaths and its a PLANT, its just illegal because govt hasn't made money off it yet, but to censor someone for telling the truth???? They should sue the hell out of them because that's wrong, its proven facts about it, grow up, its a plant, not meth or crack.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous: Everyone knows it's a plant. That doesn't influence anyone's opinion.

As for the story: absolutely disgusting. Even schools are controlled by the media.

Malcolm said...

Prohibition is a sickening horror and the ocean of incompetence, corruption and human wreckage it has left in its wake is almost endless.

Prohibition has decimated generations and criminalized millions for a behavior which is entwined in human existence, and for what other purpose than to uphold the defunct and corrupt thinking of a minority of misguided, self-righteous Neo-Puritans and degenerate demagogues who wish nothing but unadulterated destruction on the rest of us.

Based on the unalterable proviso that drug use is essentially an unstoppable and ongoing human behavior which has been with us since the dawn of time, any serious reading on the subject of past attempts at any form of drug prohibition would point most normal thinking people in the direction of sensible regulation.

By its very nature, prohibition cannot fail but create a vast increase in criminal activity, and rather than preventing society from descending into anarchy, it actually fosters an anarchic business model - the international Drug Trade. Any decisions concerning quality, quantity, distribution and availability are then left in the hands of unregulated, anonymous, ruthless drug dealers, who are interested only in the huge profits involved.

Many of us have now, finally, wised up to the fact that the best avenue towards realistically dealing with drug use and addiction is through proper regulation which is what we already do with alcohol & tobacco, clearly two of our most dangerous mood altering substances. But for those of you whose ignorant and irrational minds traverse a fantasy plane of existence, you will no doubt remain sorely upset with any type of solution that does not seem to lead to the absurd and unattainable utopia of a drug free society.

There is an irrefutable connection between drug prohibition and the crime, corruption, disease and death it causes. If you are not capable of understanding this connection then maybe you're using something far stronger than the rest of us. Anybody 'halfway bright', and who's not psychologically challenged, should be capable of understanding that it is not simply the demand for drugs that creates the mayhem, it is our refusal to allow legal businesses to meet that demand.

No amount of money, police powers, weaponry, diminution of rights and liberties, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safer, only an end to prohibition can do that. How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution?

If you still support the kool aid mass suicide cult of prohibition, and erroneously believe that you can win a war without logic and practical solutions, then prepare yourself for even more death, corruption, terrorism, sickness, imprisonment, unemployment, foreclosed homes, and the complete loss of the rule of law and the Bill of Rights.

"A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."
Abraham Lincoln

The only thing prohibition successfully does is prohibit regulation & taxation while turning even our schools and prisons into black markets for drugs. Regulation would mean the opposite!

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