Matthew Stolick, Ph.D., will present as part of The University of Findlay’s Third Annual Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy Lecture Series. His lecture, titled “If You can Drink a Beer, Then I can Smoke a Joint: Equal Rights and the Legalization of Marijuana,” will discuss the legalization of cannabis for recreational and medical use. It will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 in the Alumni Memorial Union’s North Multipurpose Room.
Stolick’s talk is timely, given two upcoming statewide ballot issues. Issue 3, if Ohio voters approve it in the Nov. 4 election, would legalize marijuana for recreational and medical marijuana use. Issue 2, if it passes, is an anti-monopoly constitutional amendment that would prevent Issue 3 from succeeding. Stolick will talk about why supporting Issue 3 would do more to protect children than voting against it, and illustrate why he thinks Issue 2 is “a red herring argument.”
Stolick will discuss the neurological, botanical, historical, therapeutic, and experiential data related to cannabis as well as the strongest arguments on each side of the debate. His primary moral argument for cannabis legalization will address equal rights and respect for persons. Utilitarian and severe individual and social consequences will be discussed as counterpoints to his stance.
“It is simply unfair and not respecting equal rights for society to not also do the same for the marijuana user and tolerate his use of marijuana as society does for alcohol,” states Dr. Stolick. He contends the latter is a more dangerous substance. Marijuana, on the other hand, could be used to combat opioid addiction and as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
He believes that it is for this reason that 24 states and Washington D.C. have legalized cannabis, including several with legalized recreational use, and why other states have cleared a path for legalization as well.
The lecture will also discuss what is conceived as “responsible” drug use and what is considered “abusive.”
“The main point in the legalization debate is that adults themselves, not the government or individuals who are not harmed by its use, should make the ultimate call on whether or not an adult can legally consume marijuana,” said Stolick.
At the end of the lecture, Stolick will invite comments, questions and discussion.
Stolick is the author of “Otherwise Law-Abiding Citizens: A Scientific Moral Assessment of Cannabis Use” (2009), and is a member of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicine.