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K-State Today

April 15, 2019

Experts to debate marijuana legalization at 'Legalize it?'

Submitted by Hannah Ens

Hear two legal experts debate the pros and cons of marijuana legalization at 7 p.m. Friday, April 19, in Forum Hall on the ground floor of the K-State Student Union. No videotaping will be allowed at this event.

Kevin Sabet, Ph.D., is an author, consultant, advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations and assistant professor. He has studied, researched, written about and implemented drug policy for almost 20 years, first beginning as a junior high school student reporting on drug issues in Orange County, California. 

In 2013 he co-founded Project SAM, or Smart Approaches to Marijuana, with former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, which advocates for a public health-based marijuana policy. He is the president of SAM and leads an advisory group comprising the most prominent scientists in the field of marijuana research. He is also the director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Addiction Medicine and the author of numerous monographs and peer-reviewed journal articles.

Sabet also regularly advises foreign governments, several nongovernmental organizations working to reduce drug abuse and its consequences, and serves in an international role as an advisor, in various capacities, to the United Nations and other multinational organizations.

Aaron Houston is a co-founder and member of the board of directors of Marijuana Majority, and a strategist for Ghost Group, a private equity technology company working to legalize marijuana. Named a "Rising Star of Politics" by Campaigns and Elections magazine in 2008, Houston is a nationally recognized expert on drug policy and marijuana law, having appeared on NBC's "Today Show," "The Colbert Report," FOX News, CNN and NPR, among others. He has also written for The Nation and Foreign Policy. As executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Houston oversaw the work of a staff that coordinates students on more than 200 campuses worldwide from 2010 until 2013.

Houston served as the only full-time marijuana legalization lobbyist on Capitol Hill from 2005 until 2010. In that role and later, he worked with Congressman Barney Frank to craft the first-ever federal marijuana legalization legislation and served as the leader of the coalition organizing support for the bill.

A co-founder of SAFER, a Colorado-based marijuana legalization organization, Houston played a key role in passing Amendment 64, the state's marijuana regulation measure approved by voters in November 2012. He is also a founding board member of Marijuana Majority, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to building support for marijuana legalization among politicians.

For more information on this free event, visit the Union Program Council website or call 785-532-6571.

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