With Pennsylvania having legalized medical marijuana, it’s time for a frank discussion of the implications if Pennsylvania follows in Colorado’s footsteps and pursues full legalization.

This discussion on marijuana is being organized as part of Berks County Community Foundation’s Consider It initiative. State Sen. Judy Schwank and Berks County Commissioners Chairman Christian Leinbach are co-chairs of this nonpartisan program, which is designed to promote thoughtful discussion of divisive local and national issues while maintaining a level of civility among participants.

We’re grateful to the Berks County Bar Association for sponsoring this event.

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The next Consider It Dinner will take place Monday, October 10, 2016, at 5 p.m. in the Crowne Plaza Reading, 1741 Papermill Road.

Tickets go on sale August 23 at 9 a.m. for this dinner and discussion on October 10.

For $12 each, tickets include dinner, the panel discussion, reading material and an opportunity to participate in the conversation.

Register for the event here.

We have lined up an excellent panel:

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Barbara Brohl: She is Executive Director for the Colorado Department of Revenue. She was in charge of the development of the first-in-the-world program to regulate marijuana for recreational purposes – The Colorado Model. She oversees enforcement and regulatory activities for liquor, tobacco, gaming, automotive dealers, horse racing, and marijuana.


Dr. Stuart Gitlow: A general, forensic, and addiction psychiatrist, Gitlow is Executive Director of the Annenberg Physician Training Program in Addictive Diseases at the Frank Foundation, and he is Immediate Past President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He believes marijuana use can cause people to “experience long-term psychiatric disease, and those who use it heavily prior to age 25 are more likely than nonusers to experience a drop in IQ.”


Chris Goldstein: He is Communications Director at the Philadelphia chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws); Senior Editor at Freedom Leaf magazine; and the Philly420 columnist at Philly.com. His research and analysis on marijuana arrests have been utilized by the press and several non-profit organizations to build the case for reform. Chris worked closely with Philadelphia’s city government to decriminalize cannabis possession, allowing tickets instead of custody.


Kevin Sabet: He served in the Obama Administration as Senior Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and he co-founded SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), which is the single biggest financial contributor to anti-legalization initiatives on the ballot in 2016. He has argued for removing criminal penalties for low-level marijuana use but has opposed legalization. He is Director of the Drug Policy Institute and an Assistant Professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine.


Karin Mallett: The WFMZ TV anchor and reporter returns as the moderator for our series.


Register for the event here.