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On April 18, the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) will be hosting the Pre-4/20 Pot Party Forum at Festival Concert Hall to discuss marijuana legalization and allow students and the community to learn and engage.

Bradley Foster, president of SSDP, who was in charge of organizing and outreach for the event, said the event was an idea that came up among the group’s executive team in which they thought up “the nature of the event and kind of been bouncing ideas off of each other.”

“It’s a forum on marijuana legalization,” Foster said. “(Legalize ND) is trying to pass the best marijuana reform that this country has seen today.” Legalize ND is the group in North Dakota working to place a measure on the ballot this November that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

“We understand that coming from North Dakota, there’s a lot of uncertainty about it,” Foster said. “So you want to have a forum where the people of the public can come and listen to the ideas, ask questions and learn about topics related to marijuana legalization.”

Foster said the event is going to include numerous figures to address issues and the context surrounding the legalization of recreational marijuana. “We’re going to have attorneys there, information on what to do if you’re car gets searched. We’re going to have different political representatives there. We’re really going to try and cover all of the bases so that other people can get informed.”

Foster said the event is important because it’s an opportunity for “someone to step and say, ‘Hey, this is an issue that we’re going to be confronting.’ With the signature gathering and once we get to the election, people are going to have to make some very important decisions that are going to have some serious impacts on North Dakota.”

Regardless of people’s position on the issue, Foster stressed the importance of bringing people together and having a serious discussion on the issue and just creating an opportunity for people to learn and engage, especially due to the subject of the forum. “It’s a very intimidating topic to just completely change.”

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is hosting the event on campus, but Foster credits some help from Legalize ND and the College Democrats and College Republicans, but most of the work for the event has been put in by SSDP.

Foster said the response for the event has been overwhelmingly positive and “they all seem to think it’s a good idea to have a primer for the community to be able to come together so that we’re speaking the same language when the election comes around.”

The event is being held on 6-8 p.m. April 18 in Festival Concert Hall and is hosted by the Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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