Penn State Economics Association To Debate Marijuana Legalization
The Penn State Economics Association will host its annual Great Debate on Tuesday with a topic that is sure to generate attention: the legalization of marijuana. The debate will have two teams, each consisting of three students and a Penn State economics professor or lecturer. They’ll pit the economic benefits of the legalization of recreational marijuana against the legalization of strictly medical marijuana. Interestingly, neither team will assume the position that marijuana should be completely illegal.
The debate is free to attend, and starts at 7 p.m. in the Eisenhower Auditorium. Every attendee will be polled and asked for his or her opinion on the matter. Following the debate, attendees will be polled again, and the side that can convert the most attendees will be declared the winner. This year’s participating professors are Dr. Jadrian Wooten and Dr. James Tierney, each of whom will lead a team of three students. Each team begins with opening statements, followed by a back-and-forth discussion, audience questions, and closing statements.
With such a controversial and timely topic, the debate should provide an interesting real-world application of economic practices. At the very least, it will be a talk about pot, which many of the students will earn extra-credit for simply attending. Last year, the debate centered around the issues and benefits of international free trade, surely an important topic, but potentially one less engaging than Tuesday’s discourse. Previous debates have focused on topics including raising the minimum wage and lowering the drinking age to 18.
The debate is made possible by the Economics Department and funding from the University Park Allocation Committee.
Photo: Flickr, Penn State Economics Association