**PLEASE NOTE LOCATION CHANGE**
Twenty-two states have decriminalized recreational marijuana, eight have legalized it altogether, and a federal bill was introduced to end the national prohibition of the drug. Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001, treating it as a public health problem rather than a criminal offense. The results are astonishing: drug use declined across all age groups, and overdose deaths plummeted.
But legalization takes a step past decriminalization. In addition to zero penalties for drug use, the cultivation, transportation, and retailing of all drugs would also be legal.
Opponents of this motion point to America's sweeping opioid epidemic as a case study to prove the dangerous effects of unregulated access to legal drugs. Aggressive lobbying to deregulate opioid manufacturers contributed greatly to the large number of addicted citizens, and astronomical profits. Could we see a repeat situation if all illegal drugs become legal businesses? Sounds like an interesting debate, and we're excited to kick off our 2018 season with this topic. We'll see you there!