“That’s ultimately what this event is about,” Neal Turluck, president of SFL, said. “It’s about normalizing marijuana use which has been chastised for a long time.”
The event will “bring together the political left and right into one room to mitigate, moderate and normalize marijuana in today’s society,” according to a press release.
The event will take place in WMU’s Fetzer Center on Friday, Jan. 25 from 5-9 p.m, and is open to the public.
There will be several speakers at the event, as well as a faux-debate, where supporters and those in opposition to legalizing marijuana will address the audience, without addressing one another.
The speakers and what they speak on will appear in the following order at the event:
- John Tarkowski, a local activist, criminal defense attorney and event sponsor, will begin the event speaking on how the fourth, sixth and eighth amendment’s relate to the average recreational marijuana user.
- Daniel Corse, Kalamazoo chapter president of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, will speak on what NORML does locally and how audience members can get involved with NORML.
- Ken Beyer, a medical marijuana advocate and part of the Michigan Testing Authority, will speak on the medical benefits of cannabis.
- Participating in the faux-debate against the legalization of marijuana will be Phil Stinchcomb, Kalamazoo County Commissioner, Bill Beck, President of the VanKal Tea Party, Stephanie Tomzak and Kaitlyn Eubanks.
- Participating in the faux-debate in favor of the legalization of marijuana will be Kevin Spitler, of the Medjoint Community Compassion Center and an event sponsor, Logan Fleckenstein, member of the College Libertarians at WMU and Charmie Gholson, owner of the Midwest Cultivator.
- Mike Callton, State Representative from House District 87, will speak on House Bill 5580, otherwise known as the “medical marijuana provisioning center regulation act,” as well as outline what it takes to get a bill written, passed in the house and senate and signed into law.
- Keynote speaker, Matthew Abel, head of the Cannabis Counsel, attorney from Detroit and the president of NORML in Mich., will speak last.
Turluck said that the event is open to the public and he highly encourages WMU students to attend the event.
Regarding how many students at WMU have opinions either way about the controversy about legalizing marijuana, Turluck said he has come across 20 percent of students who think laws should remain the same, 50 percent who want marijuana to be legal and 30 percent who don’t care either way.
“It’s not equal across the line of those who are for and against it,” Turluck said. “It gets fuzzy.”