OCR Interpretation


The Racquette. (Potsdam, N.Y.) 1927-current, February 19, 1976, Image 3

Image and text provided by Northern NY Library Network

Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/np00010012/1976-02-19/ed-1/seq-3/


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r Reselling Used Textbooks A Good Way To Save Money by Bette Billington In the midst of the budget cuts and threatened higher tui- tion and boarding rates, some feel that there are many ways in which the college could save money. One way is to purchase and re-sell used textbooks. Currently, Potsdam State's jookstore does not repurchase lsed books. This, according to iookstore employees, is a local ?olicy. This policy, however, is iot SUNY mandated, nor is it Consistent with neighboring branches of the SUNY system. En fact, at Canton ATC, the bookstore does repurchase books. Essentially, re-selling used books, is a money making pro- position. Students who buy used books find that they can better balance their finances. The college, which sells used books at a higher market value than it purchased them, also makes money. This is one of those rare occassions, apparently, where everyone benefits. Students save and the bookstore (and the col- lege) earn. At Kent State University in Ohio, for example, each campus 'bookstore must realize its own expenses from year to year. At Kent a significant portion of the bookstore's income is realized from the resale of textbooks says Kent State's bookstore man- ager, Irene Bent. New books, ordered quarterly by professors, do not sell as well as used books because of the escalating costs of textbooks. New editions are frequently 'bypassed in favor of either the utilization of the library's copy or through a sharing arrange- ment which often finds as many as four students purchasing a continued on pg. 16 Consumer Group Being Organized In Potsdam n> UJ H n NORML Files Lawsuits On Right To Smoke Pot In Privacy by Allan Rabinowitz (CPS) - The joint you are smo- king may soon be protected by the US Constitution, if a number of suits being filed in state and federal courts around the coun- try are successful. Alaska has already given constitutional pro- tection to pot use in the home. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the nation's cording to Keith Stroup, director of NORML. The court decision is not subject to the whimsy of politicians. Once the decision is made in a state supreme court, based on the state constitution, it has funda- mental protection that can only be changed by that court itself or by a constitutional amend- ment. A decision putting mari- juana use under the protection most successful \pot lobby, has of the right of privacy would filed suits claiming that the use of marijuana in the home falls under the protection of the con- stitutional right to privacy. NORML has filed suits in Cali- fornia, Illinois, Tennessee and the District of Columbia. The suits mark a major shift in NORML's strategy, which has formely concentrated its re- sources on lobbying efforts in Congress and various state legis- latures. NORML was instru- mental in getting marijuana de- criminalized in six states. But the decision of the Alaska Supreme Court broke the ice on the constitutional issue and set a strong precedent that will be used in the other suits. NORML will now devote a much greater proportion of its resources to court battles than it had earlier, but will continue to lobby in legislatures as well. The Alaska Supreme Court, in its unanimous ruling, stated that there was no firm evidence that marijuana use was harmful to the user or would \constitute a public health problem of any significant dimension... Mere sci- entific doubts,\ said the court, \did not warrant government intrusion into the privacy of the home. Since the Alaska decision was based on a privacy clause in the state constitution rather than the US Constitution, it cannot be appealed to the US Supreme Court. That aspect is one of the advantages of pursuing mari- juana reform through the courts rather than legislative bodies, ac- also allow someone to cultivate the weed forpersonal use and to transport it as well. Under the Alaska decision, there is no con- stitutional protection for amounts of marijuana for sale rather than for personal use. But at the same time, there is no maximum quantity expli- citly set for personal use and the court generally assumed that amounts of pot ranging from eight ounces to one pound are for personal use. This amount is much greater than that set in even the most liberal laws passed by state legislatures, which gen- erally designate an ounce or less for personal use. In addition to the principle argument of the right of privacy, the suits also claim that current marijuana laws constitute cruel and unusual punishment for the offense involved,, and that the laws deny equal treatment under law, since alcohol and tobacco are not treated the same even though there is definite proof that they can pose health hazards. Some of the arguments opposing constitutional pro- tection for the private use of marijuana state that the sub- stance has indeed proven to be dangerous and that consti- tutional protection would open the door for similar rulings for more dangerous drugs such as heroin. Peter Meyer, legal counsel for NORML, counters these arguments on the grounds that the suit deals only with mari- juana, that there is no positive proof of harm and that the burden of proof is on the state to prove that pot \poses some significant threat to the in- dividual or danger to the public welfare\— a threat that has not been proven. In addition, Meyers said, even if a substance were to prove dangerous to an individual, it would still violate his constitu- tional right to use it personally: \Why don't we have laws against skydiving? That's dangerous.\ Until the Alaska decision, courts would not rule on the constitutional question, but rather take \an easy out\ by claiming that marijuana was an continued on pg. 16 S.U.C. Potsdam will soon see the establishment of a local chapter of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). NYPIRG is a statewide re- search and advocacy organiza- tion of college students whose goal is to effectuate reform in the areas of consumer affairs, the environment, government and corporate accountability, and civil rights and liberties. Ralph Nader originally con- ceived of the PIRG concept and helped to establish the 22 state- wide PUGS located around the nation. PIRG's have since achiev- ed their independence around the nation. PIRG's have since achieved their independence from the Nader empire and each operates autonomously with e- lected students making the deci- sions. In addition, there are a small number of hired staff peo- ple who provide the organization with legal and technical exper- tise at minimal salaries. Elsewhere, NYPIRG has be- gun investigating ETS, Educa- tional Testing Service whose SAT's, GRE's, LSAT's and en- tire array of computerized tests control the destinies of millions of students while ETS operates in a aura of unregulated, biased secrecy while reaping in millions of student dollars. We will con- tinue to inform the public about the dangers of a reliance on nuclear power for future U.S. energy needs. Another continuing project involves an effort to ban throw- away beverage containers - that is, non-returnable bottles and cans and replace them with re- turnable bottles which not only will be cheaper, but will also conserve large amounts of ener- gy- Some local chapters are also working on marijuana reform and are lobbying for the decrimi- nalization fo up to two ounces of marijuana, which incidentally has a decent chance of passing the NYS legislature this session even though mail coming into Albanj' has been 80 - 1 against decriminalization. It should be pointed out that NYPIRG also does lobbying and litigation on a statewide level and is by most estimates the largest and most vocal consu- mer lobbying force in New York. There are schools in N.Y.S. who support a statewide staff of 28 and maintain a bud- get of $380,000. Perhaps its most noteworthy statewide vic- tory of late was our lawsuit challenging the legality of legisla- tive lulus. As a result of winning this action, all but two members of the NYS legislature must re- turn their illegal gratuities which will save the taxpayers $850.00 Anyone interested in more information about NYPIRG or in helping start a Potsdam chap- ter, contact Dr. Miles Wolpin in the Political Science department or Mary Jo Kitchen (265-5615) or John Booth at 268-4729 <D I-K l-f- a> O -4 O\ Potsdam's Alternative Bar The Smiling Dog Tavern presents The Bigfoot Jazz Quartet 9 pm Sunday rate Where the jigger's bigger Located in the Arlington Hotel

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