Marijuana Legalization Debate draws large crowd

To a packed house in Amarillo Collegeâ??s Oak Room, Defense Attorney Jeff Blackburn and Randall County District Attorney James Farren went head to head on the issue of marijuana legalization.

Blackburn focused on issues such as anti-marijuana propaganda and the high cost of the war on drugs. "Thatâ??s what weâ??re spending our money and our time on. Weâ??re criminalizing an activity that by virtue of being criminal, causes a lot of people to be stigmatized."

Farren argued that the legalization of marijuana would lead to the use of other drugs, which could lead to the disintegration of society. "My libertarian friends would legalize it all. Heroin, crack, everything. And let the chips fall where they may. Youâ??re all responsible for your own actions. The city will create a new department that will come by and pick the bodies up out of the gutter."

Later, the audience called out Farren on this comment: "I glanced around the room and Jeff pointed out all of his friends and I realized itâ??s not a debate about marijuana. Itâ??s a pep rally for weed smokers."

John Dayse, an audience member, later commented on the performance. "Both came across clear. Made some good points. Iâ??m leaning toward Jeff Blackburn though because heâ??s a good guy."