YAL at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign tabled on campus to bring attention to the failure of the war on drugs. On the quad from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., we gave away free “pot brownies” to passersby. It was an exciting play on words since we were giving away store-bought brownies out of cooking pots. Multiple times we received many double-takes and strange looks from people walking past where they must have thought, “Are you allowed to do that here?” while fully believing that we were giving out marijuana-infused pastries on the quad.
Our goal was simple: raise awareness about YAL and make people question the status quo. Many interested students and teachers stopped by our table to ask us questions and find out what we are about. This event was a great way to get active members more involved as well as force them step up to the plate and defend their beliefs in front of others who might not agree with them.
It is important to us that drug laws do get changed for a few reasons. Either we are preemptively punishing people for crimes they have not yet committed or society punishes individuals for what they do to their own bodies, even when it does not affect anyone else. We, as a chapter, do not believe that this is okay. If we take productive people out of society and force them to become a burden on all Americans (i.e. send them to prison) simply because of what someone does in the privacy of their own home. That does not help our society improve. We are effectively stunting ourselves and allowing others to dictate what individuals can and cannot do.
By reaching out to everyone we can we hope to bring enough attention to the current laws infringing on our rights and to change public opinion and ultimately the laws. Hundreds of people walk on the quad everyday and we were out there to make an impact. We even made the front page of our student newspaper, The Daily Illini!