Saturday, September 25, 2010

Marijuana Forum at VCU

VCU Students for Sensible Drug Policy in co-operation with Virginia NORML held a forum to advocate decriminalizing marijuana at Virginia Commonwealth University's Student Commons on Saturday, September 25, 2010 in Richmond, Virginia.

Part 1/3 - Cannabis in the Commonwealth - Sept. 25, 2010 - Duffy, Stroup, Sterling, Gettman - Richmond, Virginia from Silver Persinger.

Dee Duffy, Executive Director of Virginia NORML, opened the meeting.

Keith Stroup, founder of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, spoke about his 40 years of experience in the marijuana movement. It is interesting to note, that in places where marijuana is already legal, NORML is fighting to establish that individuals have a right to raise at least 5 plants for personal use and they are working to oppose to "unconscionable profiteering." Kudos Mr. Stroup and NORML!

Eric Sterling, President of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, discussed excessive government power, some history of alcohol prohibition, and government's immoral persecution of marijuana users, growers, and distributors.

Jon Gettman [Cannabis policy expert, The Coalition for the Rescheduling of Cannabis] had technical difficulties for the first half of this talk, the projector started working where his comments leave off here in Part 2. Mr. Gettman discussed statistics showing that African Americans are disproportionally arrested for marijuana compared to whites.

Part 2/3 - Cannabis in the Commonwealth - Sept. 25, 2010 - Gettman, Leibig, Werth, Sharpe - Richmond, Virginia from Silver Persinger.

Part 2 contains the conclusion of Jon Gettman's PowerPoint presentation on the racial disparity of marijuana arrests.

Criminal defense attorney, Virginia NORML Board of Directors, and NORML Legal Committee Member Christopher Leibig advocates preserving the police's right to illegal searches based on probable cause triggered by the aroma of marijuana as a way to appease law enforcement's opposition to decriminalization.

Lennice Werth from Virginians Against Drug Violence recounted some history of the Marijuana Movement in Virginia and urged the audience to contact their members in the Virginia House of Delegates to tell them to support House Bills 1134 and 1136, introduced by Harvey Morgan (a Republican pharmacist) in Virginia's General Assembly last year.

Robert Sharpe [Media Awareness Project] discussed the history of marijuana law, dispels some popular myths about marijuana use, and makes an economic argument for decriminalization.

Part 3/3 - Cannabis in the Commonwealth - Sept. 25, 2010 - Questions & Comments - Richmond, Virginia from Silver Persinger.

In this portion of the forum panelists solicited questions from the audience. This clip includes helpful legal advice including be polite to police and only tell them your name, but don't answer any questions, you don't have to tell the police where you are coming from or where you are going. Ask, "Am I free to leave? Am I being detained?" They recommended watching the video, "Busted: The Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters."

Watch it here,​videoplay?docid=3435730304776119545#

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