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Paul Armentano on Individual Liberty, NORML and Marijuana Legalization vs. Decriminalization

Sunday, June 8, 2014 7:06
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from The Daily Bell

Introduction: Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of NORML and the NORML Foundation. He has reviewed and commented upon thousands of academic studies and white papers pertinent to cannabis use and its impact on behavior. His writing and research have appeared in over 750 publications, scholarly and/or peer-reviewed journals including The New York Times, Medscape, Drug Testing & Analysis and Congressional Quarterly, as well as in more than a dozen textbooks and anthologies. He has spoken at numerous national conferences and legal seminars, including those sponsored by the California Association of Toxicologists, the National Association of School Psychologists and the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. He has testified on numerous occasions before state lawmakers and federal agencies. Mr. Armentano is also a court-certified expert, having testified to the behavioral effects and pharmacokinetics of cannabis and cannabinoids.

[...] Daily Bell: Hi, Paul. Tell us why you’re involved in the push for marijuana legalization.

Paul Armentano: I believe that it is an inappropriate use of state power to infringe upon the liberties of an individual simply based upon what he or she puts in their body. And nowhere do I believe this infringement upon the individual’s liberty is more egregious than in situations involving the private consumption of marijuana by an adult. The government in this country has drawn an arbitrary line that says, on the one hand, we will allow adults to alter their moods by ingesting certain substances like alcohol and, in fact, we celebrate the ingestion of alcohol, while on the other hand, this same government says that we will stigmatize and criminalize those who choose to ingest a less dangerous substance like cannabis.

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