Pubdate: Thu, 13 Nov 2014
Source: Missourian (MO)
Copyright: Washington Missourian 2014
Author: Karol Ilagan


COLUMBIA - A civil liberties expert and a former drug law enforcement 
officer will weigh in on marijuana legalization during two talks at 
MU on Thursday.

The events will take place a week after marijuana law reform 
advocates filed an initiative petition to the Missouri Secretary of 
State for the 2016 ballot. Both events are free and open to the public.

The first presentation will be by Neill Franklin, national executive 
director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and will be held at 
4:30 p.m. in Room 2-07 of the MU Agriculture Building. Franklin is 
also a former law enforcement officer who oversaw drug task forces 
with the Maryland State Police.

The second presentation will be by Ira Glasser, board president of 
the Drug Policy Alliance and former executive director of the 
national American Civil Liberties Union. Glasser's speech will be at 
7 p.m. at MU's Tate Hall.

Dan Viets, coordinator with the Missouri National Organization for 
the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said the event aims to increase 
awareness on what is happening across the county in terms of 
regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol.

In the Nov. 4 elections, voters in Oregon, Alaska and the District of 
Columbia supported a ballot measure that legalizes adult use and 
cultivation and regulates and taxes retail sale of cannabis. Colorado 
and Washington are two other states where marijuana use and sale are legalized.

Viets said Glasser will talk about the Nov. 4 elections in context of 
the national movement to regulate marijuana like alcohol.

Viets also said Franklin will talk about the same topic but from the 
point of view of a former drug law enforcement officer.

Viets said he expects Franklin to talk about one of his closest 
friends who was killed in the similar line of work. He said this was 
part of the reason that led Franklin to support marijuana law reform.

"Prohibition is not worth it; it is not worth the sacrifice that 
we're making," Viets said.

A reception for Glasser and Franklin will also be held at Bleu 
Restaurant at 811 E. Walnut St. from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Admission to the 
event is $10 for students and $25 for others.

Thursday's events are sponsored by the MU chapters of the National 
Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and the Students for 
Sensible Drug Policy.

Supervising editor is John Schneller.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom