Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Seattle Times: "Live chat | Legalize marijuana in Washington state?"

Seattle Times:
Join Seattle Times editorial writers and guest panelists for an online chat Thursday, March 3 about whether Washington state should enact House Bill 1550, which would legalize marijuana. Moderated by Editorial Page Editor Ryan Blethen, the chat will include both proponents and opponents and begin at noon. Submit questions in advance of the chat.


Ryan Blethen, Editorial Page Editor, The Seattle Times

Ryan Blethen joined the editorial staff in 2005. He is responsible for crafting the editorial voice of The Times and writes about journalism and democracy. Ryan has a BS from Washington State University and attended the William Allen White School of Communications graduate program at the University of Kansas. Prior to joining the editorial department of The Times, Ryan was the regional editor of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, following a reporting stint there and at the Spokesman-Review and the Yakima Herald-Republic. Find him on Twitter: @ryanblethen

In favor of legalizing marijuana

Bruce Ramsey, Associate Editorial Page editor, The Seattle Times

Bruce Ramsey is the author of the Seattle Times editorial of Feb. 20 that argued for marijuana to be legalized, regulated and taxed by the state. He is a Seattle Times editorial writer and columnist. He has been involved in Seattle opinion or business journalism for 30 years.

Douglas Hiatt, Sensible Washington

Douglas Hiatt is a Seattle criminal defense attorney who has specialized in defending medical marijuana patients for the past 10 years and he is the author of the state initiative to legalize it. He is one of the attorneys for Seattle Hempfest and the current chair of Sensible Washington.

Against legalizing marijuana

Patric Slack, commander, Snohomish Regional Drug & Gang Task Force

Patric Slack retired as the Deputy Chief of the Everett Police Department and accepted the commander's position in July 2000. The Snohomish Regional Drug & Gang Task Force consists of 28 full time employees, and 5 part time federal employees. Slack is in his 42nd year of law enforcement.

Stephen Bogan, M.A., Washington State mental health counselor

Stephen Bogan has worked with adult and adolescent chemical dependency, mental health and adolescent development for about 35 years. He is also a National Certified Addiction Counselor and a licensed Chemical Dependency Professional. He specializes in recovery support for marijuana, alcohol and other drugs, co-occurring disorders and father/son relationships.

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