The Heads vs. Feds event in the Tangeman University Center's Great Hall on Friday night pitted Steven Hagar and Robert Stutman against each other in public debate.
Beginning with a short biographical video about each speaker, the two then launched into a quick review of why they thought marijuana should or should not be legalized, then fielded questions from students.
They finished with a summary of their points.
Hagar, former editor in chief of High Times magazine and founder of the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, argued that marijuana is the sacrament the Rainbow Family of Living Light, of which he is a member.
According to an unofficial Web site, the Rainbow Family of Living Light is concerned with "international community building, non-violence, and alternative lifestyles."
To defend his point, Hagar pointed out that while high, marijuana smokers, "eat great, sleep great and have the best sex of [their] life."
Robert Stutman, on the other hand, used examples from his time as an agent with the New York City office of the Drug Enforcement Agency to strengthen his arguments.
"It's not the drug, but the delivery system," Stutman said. Hagar agreed and said that smuggling is funding terrorists and drug cartels with over $500 billion worth of drugs circulating around the world every year.
"If its medicinal benefits are so great, why do you have to smoke it?" Stutman said. "If the FDA finds that is medicinally beneficial, I will be the first one to support it, but until the experts make that decision, why believe those that aren't experts and are using health reasons to legalize it?"
The two argued on freedom of choice and the concern that dependency could skyrocket with legalization.
Later, they answered students' questions on the chemical content in marijuana versus cigarettes.
One student asked Stutman if anyone had considered the economic impact legalization would make to the U.S. economy.
"Alcohol taxes account for only $9 billion, so compared to the $2.5 trillion government budget, that figure is rather insignificant," Stutman said.
During the debate, Hagar offered his counterpart a free trip to the yearly cannabis convention in Amsterdam, which was turned down amid laughter from the crowd.
One student said that she had a change of heart due to the debate not about the content but about the speakers themselves.
"I came here in favor of Stutman's point of view, but based on his arguments, I am leaving in favor of legalization," said Tara Hush, first-year graphic design major. "Steve [Hagar] really had a passion about legalization and the benefits of marijuana, but Bob [Stutman] didn't have really any passion about what he was arguing."
"The former DEA guy kept turning Hagar's words around, kept twisting everything he said," said first-year fine arts major Erin Henwood. "Stutman didn't really have anything original."
"It seemed he was only supporting the 'against' stance because of the DEA, not because he really wanted to," Henwood said. Both speakers remarked several times about the quality of the student questions.
MainStreet, Friday Night Live and the Program and Activities Council hosted the event.