Pubdate: Thu, 31 Jan 2008
Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (TX)
Copyright: 2008 The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
Author: Marlena Hartz
Bookmark: (Marijuana)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


At least one thing was clear Wednesday night at Texas Tech: It was 
high times for the Tech Activities Board, a group of students that 
brings entertainment and educational programs to the university.

Thousands of students packed into an auditorium to hear a former Drug 
Enforcement Administration agent and the editor of High Times 
magazine debate marijuana.

Tickets for "The Debate Over the Legalization of Marijuana: Heads vs. 
Feds" sold out Monday, said Jana Vise, an assistant director of the 
Student Union Building, where the debate was held.

"I know some of you are rooting for the feds," said Arnold Loewy, a 
Tech law professor and Wednesday's debate mediator. "I know," he 
paused, "some of you are rooting for the heads."

The latter was met with riotous applause.

"I personally don't smoke," said Tech Activities Board member Ross 
Girouard, 18.

But, he added, "There's always going to be people out there who smoke 
weed. (This debate) is a good way for people to listen to ideas from 
both sides."

That they did.

As a stereotypical pothead, Steve Hager - who became the High Times 
editor in 1988 - delivered, in a faded T-shirt, his gray hair all a mess.

And as a stereotypical DEA agent, Bob Stutman - sometimes called "the 
most famous narc in America" - delivered, too, his Oxford shirt all 
buttoned up.

There's lots of reasons pot should be legal, but big pharmaceutical 
companies don't want you to know it, Hager said.

Marijuana, he said, is a potent medicine, and anybody with a 
marijuana seed can grow it just about anywhere.

Prisons would be less crowded and peace-loving members of his 
counter-culture wouldn't be harrassed if pot were legal, said Hager, 
who went to the first Woodstock with $4 in his pocket.

"We are not going to give up our sacrament at the point of a gun or 
the threat of jail," Hager said.

Stutman said weed should stay illegal until Americans vote to 
legalize it or lobby so in the courts.

Studies show it's harmful, addictive and dangerous, especially to 
adolescents, he said.

"Just because God made it doesn't make it good," he said.

"There are 435 chemicals in cannibus and only two make good medicine." 
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