Discussion of Marijuana Legislation Held in ACC

Published 11.09.2007


More than 170 students packed the ACC Auditorium on Thursday night for "An Open-Forum Discussion on Marijuana Legislation, Enforcement and Consequences."

The event was sponsored by Community Assistant Ben Bryan (an information technology: weband application development major from Spring City) and Resident Assistant Eric Bruno (automotive technology management, Spring City), and moderated by George W. Matthews, assistant professor of ethics/philosophy.

The forum began with a presentation by Elliott Strickland, special assistant to the vice president for student affairs, and Penn College Police Chief Chris Miller on current trends and statistics, college policies and Pennsylvania laws relating to marijuana. Strickland said the program was initiated because marijuana use is highly prevalent among college students, including Penn College students.

"Our most recent research indicates that 18.9 percent of students are current marijuana users," Strickland explained, "making it the most highly used illegal drug by students." Miller's presentation focused on the legal and career consequences of marijuana convictions, which are significant for many students in the areas of construction, transportation, human services and health sciences.

The program was highlighted by an in-depth presentation by Chris Goldstein, an author who presents weekly podcasts for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Based in New Jersey,Goldstein has been a talk-radio personality for about 10 years; interviewing state senators, governors and local political activists, as well as internationally recognized authors and journalists. He has broadcast NORML News on public radio formore than eightyears.

Goldstein spoke in great detail about the history of marijuana use, the current debate on medical marijuana, and current trends in marijuana legalization and decriminalization. The program was capped off by a open question-and-answer period by students and faculty.