Baylor debate team will hash it out at Feb. 12 event

By Rachel Leland
Staff Writer

The Baylor Debate Team will host a public debate about the controversial topic of marijuana legalization.

The open-to-the-public debate will take place Thursday Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in Castellaw 101.

The event features Baylor students who will affirm or negate the U.S. Federal Government’s legalization of cannabis, which according to the Global Drug Survey in 2014 is the third most used recreational drug after tobacco and alcohol.

Des Moines, Ill., sophomore Simon Sheaff chose to argue for the legalization of marijuana and hopes that those who have only concerned the moral arguments for and against legalization will also hear the practical arguments and learn about government policy.

“When the debate stoops there you miss out on a lot of things about how the government works, about how policies are implemented, what happens right now when people smoke marijuana. That money goes to drug lords and fuels terrorism around the world,” Sheaff said.

Though Baylor’s policy on alcohol and other drugs prohibits the possession, sale and distribution of illegal drugs, Dr. Matt Gerber of the department of communication, who is the debate team’s coach, does not think the controversial topic should be banned as well.

“We can choose to ignore it or debate it. Controversial issues are not off topic just because we are at Baylor,” Gerber said.

Leawood, Kan., sophomore Sara Evans will negate the legalization marijuana despite her personal conviction that the drug should be legal.

Even though she is supports the other side of the argument, she enjoys researching and defending other positions in debates.

“You have to be prepared to be really engaged to understand the material so that you know the arguments for and against it and I think that really gives you a broader perspective of a lot of issues that are not as one sided as we make them to be,” Evans said.