March 28, 2010: Marijuana

March 29, 2010 12:56:01 PM PDT
On this edition of NewsViews we'lll have a mini-debate on whether to legalize medical marijuana, and even marijuana for recreational purposes.

We're fortunate to have two experts. Arguing against legalization is one of the nation's foremost authorities on drugs. For more than 5 years Peter Bensinger headed the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. He has also headed the Illinois Department of Corrections, the state prison system. And he was chairman of the Illinois Youth Commission, and executive director of the Chicago Crime Commission. He was also a U.S. delegate to Interpol, the international police organization.

Arguing for legalization is Dan Linn, executive director of the Illinois chapter of NORML, the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws. He's a grant recipient of the Marijuana Policy Project, and has worked and organized in Illinois for seven years against the war on drugs.

Incidentally, the Illinois Senate has passed a medical marijuana bill, and the House sponsor told me he has 52 committed votes for it. He said he's trying to round up the 8 more he needs to reach the required total of 60.