Oct. 23, 2014: Public debate on Alaska Ballot Measure 2 at the Bear Tooth

by Michelle Saport  |   

Thursday, Oct. 23, 5:30-7 p.m. Bear Tooth Theatrepub

A nation-wide reconsideration of America's drug policy is underway; November's Ballot Measure 2 puts that consideration before Alaskans. Should we continue to treat marijuana as a criminal problem or do other models offer appealing alternatives? Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize the recreational production, sale and use of marijuana, but long before they did so Alaska wrestled with the question of how to balance the potentially negative effects of a popular intoxicant with the personal liberties so important to what it means to be an Alaskan. Join us for a public debate that will attempt to shed some light on this complex controversy.

The motion: "Alaskans should vote to legalize the production, sale and use of marijuana." The pro side: Taylor Bickford and Bruce Schulte The con side: Deborah Williams and Kristina Woolston

Tickets are $15, available at the Bear Tooth box office or online at beartooththeatre.net. Tickets go on sale Oct. 9.

 Sponsored by the UAA Seawolf Debate Program and Alaska Dispatch News.

For more Information, contact Steven Johnson, director of UAA's Seawolf Debate Program, at (907) 351-8918 or sljohnson@uaa.alaska.edu.

Debater biographies:

Taylor Bickford is a lifelong Alaskan. He was born in Juneau, and currently lives in Anchorage with his wife and daughter, Eden. He is the director of Alaska Operations for Strategies 360, a national communications firm, and serves as a spokesperson for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. He is a graduate of West High School in Anchorage, and received his degree in political science and philosophy from West Virginia University.

Bruce Schulte is a small business owner and commercial pilot. Trained in architecture, he left that field and relocated to Alaska in 1996 to fly in the Last Frontier. As a lifelong Republican, Bruce believes that individuals should have the right to conduct their lives free of government interference, as long as they do not adversely affect their fellow Alaskans.

A resident of Alaska for over 35 years, Deborah Williams has served as the executive director of the Alaska Lung Association, the Alaska Consumer Advocacy Project and the Alaska Democratic Party. Because of her strong commitment to public health, youth and education issues in Alaska, Deborah has been a member of the Municipal Health Commission, served as the director of the Anchorage Youth Development Coalition, tutored math at Central Middle School and participated on the Leadership Team of the 90% by 2020 Education Partnership. Active in numerous efforts to help our community, Deborah has received many awards including the YWCA Woman on Achievement Award and the Anchorage Club Rotarian of the Year award. Deborah holds a bachelor's degree in biology and economics. She also practiced law in Alaska for many years, authoring many articles, including a law review article on Alaska initiative law.

Kristina Woolston was raised in the southwest village of Naknek where she grew up commercial fishing with her family. Kristina went on to graduate from Dartmouth College and has enjoyed a career in advocacy and economic development, with a focus on opportunities in rural Alaska communities. She is the vice president of government relations for Chenega Corporation, an Alaska Native Village Corporation. She has been recognized as an Alaska Top 40 Under 40, and a national Native American Top 40 Under 40. Kristina and her husband Tim are proud to own a small business and partial ownership of a family restaurant in Alaska. Kristina and Tim have two young children, and Tim has two daughters, ages 16 and 20.

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