On April 20, a small group of students gathered on Texas A&M’s campus in support of decriminalizing marijuana use.
The group of students marched from Sbisa Dining Hall to Rudder Plaza displaying banners and signs in support of cannabis while handing out flyers. The event was organized by Students for Sensible Drug Policies to gain community support for a possible petition to allow residents to vote on the issue in the 2024 election, according to the group’s organizers.
Lydia Simmons, a psychology senior and march attendee, said the goal of the rally was to educate the community.
“This is essentially us trying to spread the word about decriminalizing marijuana,” Simmons said.
Shruti Mavuri, a biomedical sciences junior, said the reason for holding the rally on April 20 was obvious.
“Today would be a day smokers or nonsmokers or social media is pretty active about posting about marijuana,” Mavuri said. “I think the conversation around decriminalization, especially marijuana, is more prevalent today.”
Simmons said that even though April 20, or 420, is often seen as a joke online, the group is very serious about the issue.
“Lots of people are in jail and have had their lives ruined for no good reason because of this,” Simmons said. “We just wanted to take advantage of the day where people are out and about just to show them it is a real issue and not a joke.”
Mavuri also said that Students for Sensible Drug Policies has met with a member of the College Station City Council about decriminalization.
“We’ve been talking to the city councilman and we now have an idea of how we can make that [decriminalization] a reality in College Station,” Mavuri said.
Simmons said the group is trying to find more people interested in helping the cause.
“We’re just trying to figure out how many people are interested in this and start building a coalition because we’re going to need a lot of people who are really involved and really committed,” Simmons said.
Mechanical engineering sophomore Andrew, who prefered to use only his first name, walked by while the demonstration was taking place and said he has no problem legalizing cannabis.
“I’m for it, I think you can do whatever the hell you want,” Andrew said.
If a petition ever got enough signatures for a vote, Andrew said he would definitely vote ‘yes’ on it.
“If it did come across, I’d sign it,” Andrew said. “I’d say it’s been proven already that we know weed isn’t as bad as we thought it was 30 or 40 years ago.”