The Ultimate Odd Couple

Heads vs Feds

On September 21st the Campus Activities Board sponsored a debate over legalization of marijuana.  The Heads vs Feds debate featured Steve Hager, Editor-In-Chief of High Time Magazine versus veteran drug enforcement administrator, Robert Stutman.

Hager opened the debate with five reasons why marijuana should be legal.  In his opinion he gave these reasons.

“It’s good medicine”  Currently marijuana is a schedule 1 drug meaning there is no medical use.  Steve gave a long list of conditions that marijuana could be used for medicinal reasons.

“Hemp is good for the environment”  Hemp can be used to make an endless list of products, from clothing to paper and can be grown anywhere in the world.

“Marijuana has built the largest prison system in America”  A person arrested for growing marijuana to treat their glaucoma condition is held to a mandatory sentencing while murderers and rapists are not.

“Legalization of marijuana will stop funding corruption”  The illegal sale of marijuana is connected to a much larger problems, from murder to dirty cops.

“Marijuana is part of culture”  It always has been part of culture and always will be, regardless of its legal status.

Stutman opened his side of the debate stating “recreational use of marijuana will never be legalized” and gave his reasons backing this statement.

There have been 19 attempts to legalize marijuana and all have failed.

There are no regulations of THC content or dosage regarding marijuana.

Smoking of any kind is unhealthy and causes cancer.

If marijuana would be legalized there would be 2-3 times more users.

Marijuana affects depth perception and mathematical abilities.

14% of users become dependant on marijuana’s effects.

Hemp is not reasonably priced, even in countries where marijuana is legal.

There are 4,532 legal drugs, none of which can be legally produced in a private household.

Stutman believes strongly that prison sentences for drug users is “stupid” and that rehabilitation and treatment is the answer.  His opinion concerning a person who receives a mandatory sentencing for marijuana use will exit prison in worse condition than entering.  After serving a prison sentence, this man will forever be labeled a criminal and encounter difficulties finding employment.  Had he been in a relationship prior to conviction, most likely that relationship would have dissolved while he served his sentence.  There are generally no good results for people sentenced for marijuana possession.

Hager and Stutman have grown to be close friends over the ten years they have been traveling together and debating the legalization of marijuana.  Referred to as “The Ultimate Odd Couple” they seriously debate the pros and cons of marijuana use and its legalization.  While sticking to the issues at hand, they try not to get personal and attack each other.  That was easier said than done, but no hard feelings seem to be held following the debate.

There were a few points Hager and Stutman did agree on.   Smoking anything is harmful.  Hager strongly suggested marijuana consumption be in the form of vaporizing, tea or brownies.  He quit smoking marijuana three years ago.  Driving under the influence is unacceptable as vision and reaction time are impaired.  Marijuana is not a “gateway” or “stepping-stone” drug, cigarette tobacco is.

Following the debate, Hager and Stutman took questions from the audience and afterwards joined students in the lobby for more personal conversation, pictures and book signing.  During this time, a petition was started to form a campus club  supporting the legalization of marijuana.

Steve was a funny guy!

Just reporting.. not consuming,

~P.

Go ahead...take a swing. I'll duck and listen.

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