Needham residents who haven't decided where they stand on Question 3, which seeks to legalize medical marijuana, can hear both sides of the issue at an upcoming debate in Wayland.
Needham health officials have spoken out against allowing Massachusetts residents to obtain and even grow marijuana for medical purposes, as proposed by the ballot question.
But Needham Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Coordinator Carol Read also encouraged citizens to hear more about the topic to ensure they are fully educated before the Nov. 6 vote.
The upcoming debate, "Marijuana Medicine or Public Health Hazard?," is part of the Walden Forum, presented in cooperation with WaylandCares and the Massachusetts Prevention Alliance, of which Read is vice president. The debate will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Wayland High School auditorium, 394 Old Connecticut Path, Wayland.
The debate will feature Kevin Sabet and Jeffrey Miron addressing both sides of the issue of legalizing medical marijuana in Massachusetts.
Brief bios of the two speakers, as provided by the MAPA, are as follows:
Kevin Sabet, PhD., has a doctorate in public policy analysis from Oxford University with emphasis on drug policy, prevention, enforcement and legalization. A resident of Cambridge, he is the president of the Policy Solutions Lab and also directs the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida. He has served at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations.
Sabet has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and books. He is a frequent contributor to editorial pages and news media, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, Al Jazeera, and BBC. His recent New York Times and Los Angeles Times op-eds earned him a “Five Best Columns” distinction from The Atlantic.
He is also currently serving as one of five Americans on the Hemispheric expert panel charged to draft the “Report on Drug Policy for the Summit of the Americas,” organized by the Organization of American States.
Jeffrey Alan Miron, Ph.D. is an American economist. He is senior lecturer and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Economics at Harvard University and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Miron has previously served on the faculties of the University of Michigan and Boston University. He has been the recipient of an Olin Fellowship from the National Bureau of Economic Research, an Earhart Foundation Fellowship, and a Sloan Foundation Faculty Research Fellowship.
He has studied the effects of drug criminalization for 15 years and argues that all drugs should be legalized, not just marijuana, and is author of the book, "Drug War Crimes: The Consequences of Prohibition."
Miron has published more than 25 articles in referred journals and 50 op-eds in CNN.com, nytimes.com, forbes.com, and other outlets. Dr. Miron’s commentary on economic policy has appeared on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, NPR, Bloomberg, and Fox television, BBC radio, and in dozens of others around the world.
According to a press release about the event, the Walden Forum is "a free, public series that brings people together to talk, listen and learn from one another in a civil environment. It fosters discussion about important ethical, religious, political, scientific, social and other topics in a live-forum setting. Featuring dynamic world-class speakers on great topics throughout the year, the Walden Forum is a non-religious community program supported by First Parish in Wayland and others."
For more information, go to www.waldenforum.org.