The First Great Marijuana Debate: Marijuana Policy, Which Way Should It Go?

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There is no shortage of marijuana conferences and events these days. You probably don’t have to leave your neighborhood to attend one. On a local level they proliferate meetups. On a regional level, there are conferences all over the place that seek to educate the public on this frontier industry that produces an estimated $50 billion in cash crops and probably another $50 billion in potential ancillary business. Nationally there are also several players who have entered the market.

For the first time an event that is clearly geared towards opportunities for profit in the legal marijuana industry takes a hard look at the risks associated with the decision to go legal—not just the financial risk, but the social and moral risks associated therewith. You can purchase a day pass for Thursday to attend The Great Marijuana Debate regardless of which side you support. It is our hope that people who do not support the legalization movement will show up to the debate and voice their opinions. There will be an audience Q & A.

With that in mind we have created a pro/con look at the topic titled:

The Great Marijuana Debate: Marijuana policy, which way should it go?

The debate will be sponsored by and takes place March 3, 2016, in San Francisco at the Hilton Union Square during a three-day event. Ethan Nadelmann will represent the “pro” legalization side and David Evans will represent the “con” side. The debate will be moderated by While Nadelmann believes all drugs should be legalized and regulated and drug users should be more humanely addressed, Evans opposes any form of legalization of marijuana even for medical purposes.

This is not the first time these two have squared off on the subject. On Fox news they went at it and this round promises to be even better than the last.

There is no denying the fact that this is a public policy issue and economic policy issue so it is time to get those responsible for public policy talking to each other in a responsible manner. Billions of dollars are washing through our economy via criminal enterprises and those who are trying to regulate it and tax it are being prevented from doing so.

The current conditions are unsustainable. We have millions of dollars of cash sitting in safes alongside a drug that is approved for both medical and recreational use and creating targets for violent criminals to violate. Banks cannot take the cash, the IRS requires taxes to be paid so business owners are pulling up to the tax assessor’s office with bags of cash and those offices have no capacity to deal with the cash, yet the tax money somehow finds its way into the federal reserve.

This is no longer a question of should it be legal or not, the questions need to go further than that and discuss how to manage the reality of the current climate. We cannot pretend it is not happening and allow things to boil over into a crisis. We need to address the questions and provide answers.

It is our hope that this leads to a series of debates that responsibly look at the issues and gives a voice and platform for those who oppose one another to find common ground around the voice of the people who have spoken to legalize the drug.

Whether you’re pro or con, purchase a day pass for Thursday’s debate or a three-day pass for the full Expo and voice your opinion in the audience Q&A for The Great Marijuana Debate: Marijuana policy, which way should it go?

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