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Clearing the Haze

October 9, 2018

Residents and students wanting more information about the coming vote on the legalization of recreational marijuana can visit Delta College October 18 from 2 – 4pm to discuss, ask, and learn about potential benefits and drawbacks of voter approval.

The forum will take place in the Delta College Commons (Red Brix Café) on the Delta College main campus' lower level. The forum and is free and open to the public.  

This dialogue will feature a panel delving into the health, public safety, economic and cultural impacts of marijuana legalization in Michigan. "Our community stakeholders need more information about how this law could affect them," said Kathie Marchlewski, Delta Professor and member of the event’s organizing team. "Attendees will hear from a variety of experts here, and more importantly, will have an opportunity to discuss their concerns and have questions answered."

Marchlewski said the panel has been curated to include perspectives on attendees’ most likely questions about recreational marijuana legalization.

Among the panelists is Dr. Gus Rosania, University of Michigan professor or pharmaceutical sciences, Nicholas Zettell, representative from Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and Michael Covarrubias, Michigan State Police drug recognition expert. Terry Moultane, planning abd zoning manager for the city of Bay City will discuss how cities have handled licensing for medical marijuana dispensaries and how existing ordinances might apply to recreational marijuana retailers, and Lori Ziolkowski, Delta Professor and vice president of the Great Lakes Bay Region Families Against Narcotics will discuss the possibility that marijuana use could lead to addiction.

The panel will respond to audience members' perspectives on the benefits and drawbacks to the pending ballot initiative. The dialogue will be moderated by Delta College Associate Professor of History Amy French.

Delta College Marijuana Ballot Proposal Forum: Listening, Asking, Learning

Ask about the ballot initiative: Nicholas Zettell is the Field Manager for Students for Sensible Drug Policy's involvement in the Michigan legalization effort. Zettell is a founding board member of the MI Legalize ballot initiative with the goal of adding legalization to the Michigan ballot. Nick has served as deputy campaign manager, field manager, and campaign manager with MI Legalize.

Ask about legal matters and driver safety: Michael G. Covarrubias, Michigan State Trooper, is a certified Drug Recognition Expert Instructor through the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. He is a member of the ground-level group of instructors implementing the Michigan Drug Recognition Program to prosecutors and police officers across the state.

Ask about the physical effects of marijuana: Gus R. Rosania, PhD, is Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. He has 30-plus years of experience investigating drug toxicity and reactions. He has published more than 65 original research articles and holds six drug discovery and development patents. In 2017, Rosania was selected as a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.

Ask about marijuana abuse and potential effects for users and families: Lori Ziolkowski is an Associate Professor at Delta College and a mother whose family has been struck by the heroin epidemic. Her daughter survived a 2013 overdose and has been in recovery since 2018. Since then, along with Judge Harry Gill, she formed the Great Lakes Bay Region Families Against Narcotics (FAN) chapter in October 2017 and serves as its Vice President. The chapter launched the Hope Not Handcuffs program at eight local law enforcement agencies in July 2018.

Ask about "Pot Shops" in your neighborhood: Terry Moultane is the Planning and Zoning manager for the City of Bay City, which has issued 25 licenses for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to operate within city limits. Moultane has researched municipal responses to dispensary requests, and crafted Bay City’s ordinance language.