On Friday night, UF welcomed producer and rapper Snoop Dogg to the stage as he performed at our annual Homecoming event, Gator Growl, on Flavet Field. And, in traditional Snoop Dogg fashion, the man himself had with him what we can only assume was a joint — for the record, we’re avoiding the use of “marijuana cigarette” because the word cigarette implies tobacco, not just because we’re hip like that. And let us emphasize, dear reader: A man — a black man, no less — was openly smoking marijuana (we’re gonna make the leap in logic and assume it was marijuana) on a university campus in front of law enforcement. When our reporter spoke to both law enforcement and Gator Growl officials, their responses were along the lines of, “Eh, it’s probably just a cigarette.” They all turned the other cheek.
And despite how, in a vacuum, this sounds like a big deal, we all just say, “Well, duh. It’s Snoop Dogg. That’s his thing.” And that, dear reader, is a testament to the progress of Snoop Dogg’s movement toward the legalization and normalization of recreational marijuana. A movement, mind you, that includes a pseudo-journalistic, marijuana-centric website called Merry Jane and his own brand of “medical” marijuana called Leafs By Snoop. If you get a chance to visit leafsbysnoop.com, please do. It’s a journey. The man really knows his pot — after all, he claims to smoke about 80 joints a day. It seems his forward momentum cannot be stopped.
And that’s a big problem for UF. Let’s do some math here.
According to a University of Michigan study, one in 17 college students smoke pot on a near-daily basis, which they define as at least 20 times a month. Now, let’s be generous and assume and equate that to 30 joints a month (because one joint a sitting is never enough for some of you). The UF Student Body is comprised of about 52,000 students, so that’s 3,058 students who smoke 30 joints a month, or one joint a day. Actually, let’s make that 3,059 — to include UF President Kent Fuchs. If Snoop Dogg smokes 80 joints a day and the UF Student Body smokes 3,059, then it would only take 38 Snoop Doggs to easily outsmoke the entirety of the UF Student Body.
This is an abysmal situation for UF to be in. That is to say, we have some serious catching up to do.
It goes without saying that any credible university should be out-smoking Snoop Dogg by at least two orders of magnitude, not the measly 1.58 we’re at now. If we want to be taken seriously as an academic institution, we need to step up our game.
Luckily, our community has made great strides toward catching up to Snoop Dogg in recent years. In November, Florida passed Amendment 2, which allowed medical marijuana to be prescribed to those who suffer from cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Crohn’s syndrome, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. So, if you know someone who suffers from these diseases but can spare a little extra, don’t hesitate to ask for it. Every little bit helps.
Also, Alachua County has passed an ordinance that basically decriminalizes marijuana possession under 20 grams. Even Gainesville Police and Alachua County Sheriff’s Office are helping UF make sure students are doing their part.
So, you’re already smoking your daily blunt. What else can you do to help? For one, spread the word. Attend parties and pass around that joint. Always bring a lighter, just in case someone forgets. Learn how to roll a joint; turn every social gathering into a teaching moment. Get informed. Write a letter to your local congressman. Do some research. Find your local dealers, and touch base with them every now and then — let them know you appreciate the work they do. It can go a long way.