By Samantha Biastre
“Heads vs. Feds” presented the issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. It was a free event sponsored by the Association of Campus Events (ACE) and was presented in Schaeffer Auditorium on Nov. 7. This was an interactive event driven by student questions that provided a well-balanced forum for students and community on both sides of this controversial topic.
The program was presented by the former editor-in-chief of High Time Magazine, Steve Hager who debates Robert Stutman, a veteran of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Hager is a writer, journalist and cannabis activist. He has appeared in the marijuana documentary “420.” Stutman was a Special Agent with the DEA serving with them for 25 years as one of the most high-profile drug busters in the world, retiring in 1990. During the 1980s he was a lead agent covering New York City.
Stutman and Hager both took fifteen minutes to explain five points defending their side of the argument, of whether marijuana should be legalized or not.
The main point that Hager gave to wrap up his fifteen minutes was, that he believes that cannabis is the sacred tool to stop violence. In July of every year is the “National Rainbow Family Gathering” that him and his family go to. There, he and his family and everyone else who is there learn more about how it is their duty to get marijuana legalized for world peace, and to end the war on religion. For Hager, the main reason that he uses cannabis is for religious purposes. Another point that he also gives is that marijuana is used to help with many illnesses that people may have including, cancer and AIDS. Hager believes that one should not smoke marijuana since smoking is unhealthy. Instead, one should put it in tea and drink it, bake it into brownies and eat it that way or vaporize it.
The main point that Stutman gave to wrap up his fifteen minutes was that just because something is done for a religious reason does not make it right and any doctor who says to smoke something for health should lose their medical license. He said a doctor should not tell anyone to smoke knowing that smoking is overall bad for health.
“The day we legalize weed, we’re telling kids that it’s acceptable to do,” said Stutman.
Stutman and Hager have presented the event for over thirteen years and they always change it up, but questions from the audience they are speaking to make it interesting for them. They are both close friends, and as Stutman put it they can “disagree about the issue but when it comes to our friendship we don’t let it affect us personally.”
When asked how he felt about the event, Nick Lofton, a sophomore Communication Design major stated; “If I had the time I would have went, because you can hear people express their strong beliefs for or against the legalization of marijuana, so it would have been interesting to hear.”