Inns of Court sponsor documentary viewing, panel discussion on the legalization of marijuana

BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford criminal justice program will host a documentary showing and panel discussion Sept. 18 about the legalization of marijuana.

The Justice Robert H. Jackson Inn of Court and the Robert H. Jackson Center Inn of Court will show the documentary “Code of the West” at 7 p.m. in the Bromeley Family Theater in Blaisdell Hall. The film and discussion are free and open to the public.

Set against the sweeping vistas of the Rockies, the steamy lamplight of marijuana grow houses and the bustling halls of a state capitol, “Code of the West” documents the Montana state legislature as it debates marijuana regulation and repeal of the Medical Marijuana Initiative that the state’s voters passed in 2004.

The documentary follows key figures on each side of the debate, including drug policy reform activist Tom Daubert and medical marijuana grower Chris Williams. Both were indicted after their former medical marijuana business, Montana Cannabis, was raided by federal agents in 2011.
“Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, but the federal government doesn’t recognize any legitimate medical use,” says film director Rebecca Richman Cohen. “The chance to explore the cultural and legal tensions at the heart of this divide drove me to make this film.”

The screening is part of a national tour of the film across the country, which began with the film’s premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas, in 2012.

The discussion following the film, which runs 76 minutes, will feature Tim Whitcomb, Cattaraugus County (N.Y.) sheriff; Richard Shires, who teaches a course on “Drugs and Society” at Pitt-Bradford; Dr. Walter Rhinehart, an adjunct faculty member in the psychology program at Pitt-Bradford; Matt Bedekovich, a criminal justice major from Monaca and president of the criminal justice club at Pitt-Bradford; the Rev. Ray Gramata, pastor of St. Bernard Parish; Lisa Chapman, pre-doctoral clerkship coordinator at the Center for Rural Health Practice; Greta Billings, prevention specialist with Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services; and Dr. K. James Evans, vice president and dean of student affairs at Pitt-Bradford. Nicki Kellogg, a senior criminal justice major from Cuba, N.Y., will serve as moderator.

The American Inns of Court are designed to improve the skills and professionalism of members of the bench and bar. The Robert H. Jackson Inns are named for Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, who was architect of the international trial process and then chief prosecutor of the surviving Nazi leaders at Nuremberg, Germany. Jackson grew up in Frewsburg, N.Y., and spent 25 years in nearby Jamestown, N.Y., practicing law.

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