Letters to the Editor

Weed not the problem
Alex Kingsbury’s op-ed on Thursday (“Fear and Smoking in America,” p. 4) about the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy ads that show the “extreme dangers” of smoking marijuana. Adding to this sentiment, this week the so-called “Guru of Ganja” Ed Rosenthal was found guilty and will be sentenced for up to 83 years for cultivating marijuana. All of this simply adds to my frustration with the country’s obsession with a low-key drug, while there are so many other drugs that pose a more serious threat to humans.

Just as Kingsbury said, I cannot think of the last time I read about rape, violence, or an accidental pregnancy that resulted from marijuana use. While it is entirely true that marijuana is an illegal drug that does affect the brain, the WHONDCP is overlooking a type of drug abuse that has a larger effect on the teenage population – alcohol.

According to a study published by CBS News, 17,448 people were killed in 2001 due to alcohol-related car accidents. That is 41 percent of the total motor vehicle accidents that occurred nationwide. Additionally, about 20,000 people die each year from alcohol-related causes that do not involve motor vehicles.

A large portion of that group is related to teenage binge drinking. Thurston Hall alone had more than 10 hospitalizations due to alcohol poisoning in the fall semester. There were no hospitalizations due to smoking too much marijuana.

It angers me to see so much money wasted on anti-marijuana ads when it should be spent on educating people about the dangers of driving drunk.
-Liz Roth

In the Feb. 6 editorial (“Game, set, match, D.C.?” p. 4), you advocate that until GW produces beds for 70 percent of students to live on campus, as required by the campus plan BZA order, it should be allowed to count its off-campus Foggy Bottom housing toward this number. (i.e. Hall on Virginia Avenue, City Hall, Pennsylvania House, Aston). I respectfully disagree with your position, but I write regarding words used when discussing the recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision upholding the BZA’s campus plan order – the Hatchet wrote, “The University has little room to maneuver an alternative decision.”

Why “maneuver?” Why not strive to “achieve” or “obtain” a different decision? At a BZA hearing in 2001 on the campus plan, a GW Student Association president testified in support of GW’s promise to build more dorms on campus. When asked about zoning approvals for other combined uses GW proposed for these sites, he indicated that we need not worry about those approvals because President Trachtenberg has a way of getting what he wants.

I am sure GW’s administration agrees with me that we are all governed by the rule of law. It provides a framework for us to respect each other.

If the Board of Trustees missed The Washington Post Magazine article cited in the editorial (in which I point out that Trachtenberg characterizes himself as a Chief Executive Officer of a conglomerate), I hope they will take note of how some students approvingly describe the administration’s behavior. If we attempt to “maneuver” results or take future governmental decisions for granted, it is unlikely we will be open to fully appreciating each other.
-Jim McLeod
Pennsylvania House resident

Bad decision
Friday morning’s decision not to close the University was the most bizarre decision of its kind the administration has taken since it decided to open GW on Sept. 12, 2001. Literally every other major educational institution – from public school districts to research universities – closed because of what NewsChannel 8 reported as the “biggest snowfall in two years.” While most GW undergraduates live within walking distance of their classes, most of their professors and teaching assistants do not. Graduate students are scattered all over the metropolitan area. The administration’s decision unwisely endangered their lives and showed a callous disregard for the safety of this part of the University community. Students from the Midwest may laugh, but the D.C. metropolitan area simply is not equipped to handle nine inches of snow.
-Donald Jacobsen
Doctoral student and teaching assistant

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