[Front page coverage in the ProJo! Remember to vote in their poll. And congratulations to Jared Moffat for organizing such an informative and well-run event — even the sound worked! The range of speakers with their unique perspectives illuminated both the problem and the solution. BC]
(11.18) Regulate Rhode Island has organized an educational community forum, including Q&A from the audience, on marijuana policy and the proposal to regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol in Rhode Island.
Scheduled panelists include: Professor emeritus Dr. David Lewis who established the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University in 1982; RI Senator Josh Miller who, with Rep. Edith Ajello, is sponsoring the Tax & Regulate legislation; Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP); public health researcher Michelle McKenzie; myself, a former police officer and speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP); and more. There will be two separate panels.
Opposition to marijuana reform often stems from the misguided belief that prohibition is somehow protecting the children, which is why I love having Michelle McKenzie on these panels. Because, in addition to her public health credentials, she speaks as the mother of two daughters, and handily dismantles that assumption.
“As a public health researcher, I know that regulation works. Over the past 20 years, we have reduced levels of teen cigarette use by nearly 50 percent, and we have done it through enacting strict regulations and providing comprehensive, evidence-based public education. We can do the same thing when it comes to marijuana. I am confident that regulating marijuana will make Rhode Island a safer and healthier place to live.”
Of course, you don’t have to be a mother to make that argument. At any rate, Regulate RI has lined up an array of knowledgeable speakers who have traveled widely disparate paths to reach the same conclusion — marijuana should be legalized.