Is Legalizing Marijuana a Responsible Public Policy?

Dr. Kevin Sabet vs. Judge James P. Gray

Resolved: “Legalizing marijuana saves money and lives.”

Wednesday, July 16th at 12:45pm ET | Colorado School of Mines | Golden, Colorado

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Kevin Sabet

“Our greatest concern should be the inevitable rise of a second Big Tobacco industry, this time marketing marijuana to our children and youth.”

Dr. Kevin Sabet’s presentation is based on his book “Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana.” In his presentation he will provide an overview of the current drug policy trends in the United States, and debunk some of the most cited myths about marijuana use, for instance: marijuana is harmless and non-addictive, and legalization will solve the government’s budgetary problems. Dr. Sabet makes the claim that our greatest concern should be the inevitable rise of a second Big Tobacco industry, this time marketing marijuana to our children and youth. He will refer to the already arising problems in Colorado and Washington state as examples. His presentation concludes with an overview of our policy options, describing a smarter, science-based approach to marijuana policy that neither legalizes marijuana nor demonizes its users.

Dr. Kevin Sabet is the director of the Institute on Drug Policy at the University of Florida. As a Marshall Scholar, he received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Social Policy at Oxford University and B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. From 2009-2011, Dr. Sabet served in the Obama Administration as Senior Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). His areas of specialization include evidence-based drug prevention, treatment, and law enforcement (both domestic and international), as well as the impacts of drug legalization and “medical” marijuana.

Judge James P. Gray

“If we were truly serious about fighting terrorism, we would kill the ‘Golden Goose’ of terrorism: drug prohibition.”

Judge James Gray has served as a soldier in the “War on Drugs” for more than two decades. He is a speaker and representative for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and the author of the book Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed And What We Can Do. Judge Gray was a staff judge advocate and criminal-defense attorney for the US Navy JAG Corps and he worked as a federal prosecutor for the US Attorney’s office in Los Angeles. In 1983 was appointed to the Santa Ana Municipal Court. In 1989, he was elevated to the Superior Court of Orange County, retiring on January 4, 2009. Although Judge Gray has championed many causes, none has been bolder than his work to combat the illegal-drug problem in America. He has concluded that helping to repeal drug prohibition is the best and most lasting gift he could make to his country.