Legalization of marijuana debate to be held on campus

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Heads vs. Feds, a popular debate event about the legalization of marijuana, is blazing through college campuses across the country and will soon be coming to UVU.

The debate will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 1, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Ragan Theater and will feature High Times editor Steve Hager and former Drug Enforcement Administration agent Robert Stutman.

Stutman worked for the DEA for 25 years before retiring. He began as a street agent in 1965 and quickly advanced through the ranks of the DEA and ended his career as a Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division in 1990.

Hager is the Editor in Chief at High times Magazine, author of several books and producer/director of several feature-length documentaries. He received a Master’s of Science degree from the University of Illinois.

Chris Loumeau, student body vice president of academics, decided to bring this debate to campus because of the controversy and popularity surrounding this subject.

“We are trying to bring more controversial debates to campus,” Loumeau said. “More students are likely to attend when they are controversial and they are more educational.”

The event has filled many venues to standing room only all over the country, sometimes attracting as many as 1,200 people.

Student Kirby Bolick said the subject of the debate is a relevant one and something that should be discussed.

“The subject is out there, so why not talk about it,” Bolick said.

Legalizing marijuana is an issue that has become more relevant since voting last November legalized the use and sales of marijuana in California through proposition 19.

“Having the knowledge of the fact that this could be something that could change the outcome of many people’s lives has a great effect on all of us,” Bolick said. “Making it known to everybody is a good thing.”

Another student, Joseph Padgett, is also excited about the debate and thinks it is good for people to hear a variety of arguments.
“With a subject like that, a lot of students are probably in the gry area, so it’s really good to have to view points that are at each end of the spectrum,” Padgett said.