This week I interviewed Tyler, a representative from The University of Central Florida NORML chapter. Here is our conversation:
Q: What is the primary goal of your organization?
A: To educate UCF students and the surrounding Orlando community regarding the sincere need for marijuana reform.
Q: How many members do you have?
A: We have around 30 committed members, but 100-300 students attend our meetings every week.
Q: What is the biggest issue facing your state today, in regards to cannabis?
A: We have some of the worst (if not the worst) cannabis laws in the nation! Florida is a haven for both anti-drug groups and often times dangerous traffickers. This creates a fairly polarized state.
Q: What are you doing to tackle this issue?
A: We first and foremost try to break the stoner stereotype. We educate students surrounding the dangers of prohibition and the benefits of legalization. We are working on a decriminalization initiative in the city of Orlando. We need over 10,000 signed!
Q: If marijuana were legalized in your state, what is the projected tax revenue?
A: That’s a good question. Judging from the plethora of marijuana users I’ve come to meet, I would say billions. How many billion? I’m not quite sure…
Q: How close is your state to legalizing marijuana?
A: We are pretty damn far. We’ve had medical initiatives in the past. Currently People United For Medical Marijuana is working on their own petition drive. They really need community support to get almost 1 million petitions signed! Check out Pufmm.org for more info
Q: What would be the benefits of having marijuana legalized?
A: Increased tax revenue, a freed up prison system, a cut in drug related violence, medical access to cannabis, that’s only the beginning.
Q: What would the drawbacks be if marijuana were legalized?
A: Certain individuals may use marijuana as a crutch or exacerbate latent mental issues. Of course not everyone falls into this trap, I think Marijuana is just an excuse for laziness and many other pre-existing conditions.
Q: If marijuana were legalized, how would that affect your organization?
A: It would make this job much easier! We would have far more credibility. NORML@UCF would continue reforming for better and more fair laws.
Q: Is there ANYTHING readers can do to help your organization?
A: We are always looking for more support. If you live in Orlando, we hold meetings almost every Wednesday night at 9pm at UCF’s Student Union. You can also visit our website: normlucf.com or check out our facebook: NORML@UCF. Most of all, you can start breaking stereotype and show those naysayers that our cause is legitimate and we are to be taken seriously!