WT to host debate on legalizing recreational use of marijuana

Students, faculty and staff associated with the criminal justice association at West Texas A&M University will host a debate about the recreational use of marijuana at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3 in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center, Legacy Hall.

The department has hosted many debates over the years ranging from religious doctrines to the death penalty, but this is the first time in more than 10 years that cannabis use will be discussed on campus. Regardless of topic, debate forum will remain the same and ultimately, revolves around critical thinking for conclusion. Audience members are asked to consider facts from both sides to make an educated decision rather than voting based on biases and opinion.

Participants for the debate are Jeff Blackburn, criminal defense attorney (for), James Farren, former district attorney for Randall County and instructor of criminal justice at WT (against), and Dr. James Stoll, bio-chemist and professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (neutral), will be discussing the mental and physical effects of marijuana use. The debate will be moderated by Dawn Marie Jordan, instructor and advisor of the criminal justice association at WT.

“We chose well-respected law specialists in the Amarillo area to represent each side because they show great examples of how to have a civil discussion with maturity. My students have passionate discussion in the classroom, and I think they and the community will enjoy observing professional debating,” Jordan said. “College is all about exercising your critical thinking skills, and events like this help encourage that.”

The debate is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dawn Marie at djordan@wtamu.edu or 806-651-2435.
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