Concert for Change: LSU students hold concert to create awareness about marijuana reform

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 9:35pm

Marijuana reform is a hot topic right now all over the country and right here in Louisiana. Just yesterday, a marijuana bill was struck down by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but that's not stopping a group of LSU students from pushing for other marijuana bills.

Twenty-one states plus Washington D.C. have already passed bills that allow the distribution of medical marijuana. Students are hoping this legislative session, Louisiana will become number 22.

It's used to treat diseases like glaucoma, cancer, and something that Jacob Irving is very familiar with.

"I have spastic quadriplegia. I'll have it forever. They say I'll always have it. It's just the way it is," said Jacob Irving, a member of LSU's Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

However, there's something that could help him, medical marijuana.

"As of 1991, there's been a medical marijuana bill on Louisiana's books where a doctor can write you a prescription," Irving said.

The problem is Irving has never had access to it.

"They never set up the distribution for it. So you can't legally get those prescriptions filled. Nobody can," Irving explained.

That's why Students for Sensible Drug Policy at LSU want to raise awareness for two of the bills in the Louisiana Legistlature right now, which authorize the use and sale of medical marijuana to help those like Irving.

"I'm very upset with the fact that the infrastructure wasn't set up. It's hurtful for me personally. I feel like they wasted a part of my life," Irving said.

"These bills would provide access to them, and we're trying to raise awareness of that, so people can rise up in support and these bills can pass," said Chris Ambrogio, found of SSDP.

Even though a marijuana bill brought to the Capitol this session has been struck down, it's not stopping them from standing up for what they believe in.

"It's a bit discouraging, but that's the whole purpose of raising awareness through these events," Ambrogio said.

Events like the free concert they're hosting to raise awareness and provide more information on medical marijuana and the marijuana reform bills.

"We're hoping that we get quite a few people to come out, students, people from the community, and we really just want people to come out enjoy the music, learn about medical marijuana, and also just have a good time," said Kirk Magnuson, President of SSDP.

"These are sick people that really need help, and we hope these bills will pass so they can get the help they need," Ambrogio said.

The concert is free to the public and starts Thursday evening at 5:00 on the LSU Parade Grounds.

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