Perhaps the most anticipated and certainly the most heavily attended of all the Hemposium speaker panels at Seattle Hempfest 2012 was the I-502 debate, which took a balanced look at the marijuana "legalization" initiative which will be on this November's general election ballot in Washington state.
I jumped at the chance to serve on the panel, especially once I learned my team-mate on the "No On 502" side of things would be the brilliant legislative analyst/cannabis activist Kari Boiter of Seattle.
Serving on the pro-502 side were Keith Stroup, founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), and Alison Holcomb of the Washington ACLU and New Approach Washington, sponsors of the initiative.
Thankfully, no foreign celebrity spokesmodels or clueless trophy wives were included in the debate.
While the informal poll taken at the beginning and end of the debate didn't show much movement in either direction, I felt it was important to at least present the factual side of the issue, and feel satisfied that both Kari and myself gave it our best effort.
"When you encounter ignorance, you educate it, you do not legislate it. You do not encode ignorance into law." ~ Steve Elliott