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Legalization Debate | Web Update

Legalization of marijuana debated by detective and professors

Published: April 4, 2014, 5:53 pm ET
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Yueyang Cao /The Collegian
Thaddeus Williamson and detective Tim Meacham debate the issue of marijuana legalization April 1.
Features Assistant

Students who wanted to learn more about the controversy surrounding the legalization of marijuana attended a debate hosted by the Young Americans for Liberty April 1 in the Alice Haynes Room.

There were three debaters at the event, Detective Tim Meacham of the University of Richmond Police Department — although he was not representing the viewpoint of the URPD — along with Thad Williamson and Jessica Flanigan, who are both professors in the Jepson School of Leadership.

Flanigan said all drugs should be legal, and people should be able to buy heroin at Walgreens, if they are so inclined. “I think it’s not wrong to use marijuana,” she said.

Williamson said marijuana should be legal, but he added some caveats. People need to think through a system for legalization before legalization occurs, he said.

Meacham said he would consider himself a conservative. However, he said in his 24 years as a police officer, he would rather deal with a person who was high on marijuana, as opposed to a person who was drunk on alcohol.

Tyler Lipositz, a freshman and the vice president of the university’s YAL chapter, said he was disappointed there had been a lot of consensus on the issue among the debaters.

Not one of the debaters argued in favor of keeping marijuana illegal.

Diana Reighart, a sophomore and the president of the university’s YAL chapter, said one of the goals of the debate had been to find a subject that would interest students and educate them on one libertarian viewpoint through the event.

Alex Lawson, a freshman and member of YAL, said, “The purely libertarian viewpoint is you’re allowed to make whatever choices you want as long as you don’t hurt anyone.”

Lawson said on a personal level he disagreed with the legalization of marijuana. People do not fully understand the implications of legalizing marijuana, Lawson said. “You can’t just legalize it and let it be,” he said. “There has to be education.”

One source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said she smoked marijuana both as recreation and as a way to medicate herself. “It should definitely be legal,” she said. “People smoking on their own aren’t hurting anyone.”

Approximately 50 people attended the event.

Contact staff reporter Brennen Lutz at brennen.lutz@richmond.edu

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  • claygooding

    Tyler Lipositz, a freshman and the vice president of the university’s YAL chapter, said he was disappointed there had been a lot of consensus on the issue among the debaters.

    Not one of the debaters argued in favor of keeping marijuana illegal.

    Tyler,,the reason your panel did not support keeping marijuana illegal is that none of your guests depend on marijuana prohibition for their income,,if you had invited kevin sabet from SAM or calvina fay from the Drug Free orgs you would have had a paid prohibitionist to spew their lies and skewed statistics trying to keep America scared of marijuana.

  • Brian Kelly B Bizzle

    There is absolutely no doubt now that the majority of Americans want to completely legalize marijuana nationwide. Our numbers grow on a daily basis.

    The prohibitionist view on marijuana is the viewpoint of a minority of Americans.. It is based upon decades of lies and propaganda.

    Each and every tired old lie they have propagated has been thoroughly proven false by both science and society.

    Their tired old rhetoric no longer holds any validity. The majority of Americans have seen through the sham of marijuana prohibition in this day and age. The number of prohibitionists left shrinks on a daily basis.

    With their credibility shattered, and their not so hidden agendas visible to a much wiser public, what’s left for a marijuana prohibitionist to do?

    Maybe, just come to terms with the fact that Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think, and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

    Legalize Nationwide!…and Support All Marijuana Legalization Efforts!

  • MikeParent

    We’d all be better off if the police focused on crimes that have actual victims!

    Does anyone honestly believe that wasting $20 Billion and arresting 3/4 Million Americans annually for choosing a substance Scientifically proven to be safer than what the govt allows, is a sound policy?