Class debates legalizing marijuana

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Weed, pot, kill, killer, ganja, green, sweet, bud phat nuggets! Marijuana goes by many names as SHSU junior Chris Guidry pointed out in his closing statements at a public debate on the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes held Nov. 14.

The debate was part of a series of debates going on this month and in December for the speech communication class public debates.

The hour-long debate started with senior Summer Ruocco, the debate moderator, explaining how the debate would proceed. Guidry’s partner, junior Monica Johnson, started the pro-advocates for the legalization side of the debate.

“Between 1840 and 1900 European and American medical journals published more than 100 articles on the therapeutic use of the drug then known as cannabis-indica or Indian Hemp and now known as marijuana,” Johnson said.

Over the course of the debate, Johnson and Guidry gave and tried to solidify their reasons why marijuana should be legalized for medicinal purposes.

The blunt of their argument rested on cited examples of how marijuana has been studied as a drug for glaucoma patients, as well as increasing the appetite of AIDS patients and being the most powerful anti-nausea element.

On the other side of the table from Guidry and Johnson sat the counter-advocates, junior Carlton Abernathy and senior Matt Parr. “We say they (the U.S. government) should not legalize marijuana in most cases. We will repute their main arguments,” Abernathy said in his team’s opening statements.

Abernathy and Parr tried to convince the audience the U.S. government should not legalize marijuana for a variety of reasons, mainly because the prescription drug Maryknoll is also available and contains THC, the medicinal element in marijuana.

Furthermore, they argued marijuana is perhaps not physically, but psychologically addictive. Also, the administration of the drug into the body through smoking was described as “bad.”

All of the students involved in the debate are in SCM 284 public debates class taught Dr. Mary Evelyn Collins. Since Nov. 12, her class has held public debates, for students, staff and faculty, as well as the community.

On Nov. 28, the debates continue with “The U.S. government should apologize to the Afghan civilians for the actions the U.S. has taken.”

The debates begin at 2 p.m. in Room 125 of the Dan Rather