Marijuana. This little plant sure generates a lot of drama. And it seems these days everyone has an opinion about what should be done about it, from allowing only medicinal usage to full recreational use legalization for adults to full criminalization for any use.
In Colorado, marijuana's legality is a study in paradoxes--what is legal in the state is illegal federally. And in the last several months that paradox has been extraordinarily clear. In February, Colorado voters found out that they will get a chance to decide if recreational marijuana use should be legalized for adults effectively ending prohibition in the state, on the November 2012 ballot.
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Yet, that same month that the legalization initiative got enough signatures to appear on the ballot, the federal government pursued the most aggressive law-enforcement action against the medical marijuana industry in Colorado to date, forcibly shutting down 22 dispensaries.
And just prior to the ballot initiative and the federal crackdown, Colorado also became the fourth state to ask the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana as a schedule 2 drug allowing doctors to prescribe it for medical treatment.
It's a confusing issue. So, The Huffington Post asked two influential and knowledgeable minds to engage one another in an intellectual debate about the legalization of marijuana to help shed some light on the issue.
On the legalization side we have Robert Corry, a Colorado-based attorney specializing in criminal defense and civil rights. He has defended more medical marijuana criminal cases than any other attorney in Colorado and is the only attorney to win multiple acquittals for defendants facing medical marijuana charges.
On the anti-legalization side we have Bob Enyart, a talk radio host on Colorado-based KGOV radio and a pastor at Denver Bible Church who is outspoken about his belief that marijuana should remain illegal with exception for prescription-based medical use.
Vote on how you feel about the issue below. Read Corry and Enyart's statements and then vote on who makes a better argument about the topic. And as always, let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
Let the great debate begin!