On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, Brown University’s Office of Continuing Medical Education will sponsor a public forum with expert speakers on both sides of a bill to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use in Rhode Island.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — As Rhode Island considers a bill that would legalize marijuana, experts pro and con will convene at a Brown University forum April 28 to discuss three key aspects of the issue: effects on personal and public health, social and legal implications, and fiscal impact for the state.

“There has been a big push for legalization in Rhode Island,” said organizing committee member Dr. Peter Friedmann, professor of medicine in the Warren Alpert Medical School and program director of the addiction medicine fellowship at Rhode Island Hospital. “We’re hoping for a reasoned civil discussion of the issues on both sides.”

Friedmann acknowledges he is a skeptic of the Marijuana Regulation, Control and Taxation Act (“What is the societal problem for which sanctioning another form of legal intoxication is the answer?”), but among those taking the other side at the morning forum will be State Sen. Joshua Miller, a sponsor of the bill, and Dr. James Crowley, professor emeritus of medicine at Brown, who has written about potential benefits of legalization.

In all, 10 speakers will present perspectives and information in three panels. The event, held at the Providence Marriott but produced by Brown’s Office of Continuing Medical Education, will provide physicians, psychologists, social workers, and other professionals with continuing education credit.

All members of the public are welcome to attend and to address questions to the panelists. There is a $95 registration fee to cover event costs. Space is limited.

Panel 1: Health Impacts
Dr. Friedmann
Dr. Crowley
Dr. Jeanette Tetrault, assistant professor, Yale University
Dr. Jeffrey Hunt, professor, Alpert Medical School
Col. Stephen Lynch, Burrillville Police Department
A.T. Wall, director, Rhode Island Department of Corrections

Panel 2: Social Justice and Public Safety Impacts
Bishop W. Nicholas Knisely, Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island
Andrew Horwitz, assistant dean, Roger Williams University School of Law
The Hon. Edwin Gale, retired R.I. Superior Court judge.

Panel 3: Taxation, Revenue, Regulation and Social Costs
Gene Valicenti, journalist, WJAR and WPRO
Sen. Miller
Josh Simmons, R.I. Public Expenditure Council

Three panel discussions each followed by 25 minutes of questions from the audience

Tuesday April 28, 2015
Walk-in registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and includes breakfast
Program runs from 8:20 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Space is Limited. Preregistration is required online. The registration fee is $95.

The Providence Marriott
1 Orms Street
Providence, R.I.

For more information contact: Office of Continuing Medical Education call or 401-863-2871.