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Pot or Not? The Decriminalization Debate (2013)

Louisiana Public Square



Genre: Panel

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2013-10-23

Duration: 00:56:11

Subjects: Filmed panel discussions | Drugs | MARIJUANA | Drug addiction


  • Courtney, Beth Host
  • Goidel, Kirby Host
  • Gautreaux, Kevin Producer
  • Drake, Diana Interviewee
  • Wolf, Michael Interviewee
  • Mack, Sherman Interviewee
  • Tuttleman-Kriegler, Emma Interviewee
  • Iverson, Erik Speaker
  • Laurent, Maureen Speaker
  • Nelson, Otha "Tre" Speaker
  • Runnels, Celeste Speaker
  • Walker, Brenda Speaker
  • Greenup, LaKaila Speaker
  • Lefebvre, John Speaker
  • Woodson, Isaiah Speaker
  • Graham, Caroline Speaker
  • Samuels, Albert Speaker
  • Gaudin, Clark Speaker
  • Haller, Catherine Speaker
  • Taylor, James Speaker
  • Cataldie, Louis Panelist
  • Esman, Marjorie Panelist
  • Scott, Charles Panelist
  • Honore, Dalton Panelist


This episode of the series “Louisiana Public Square” from October 23, 2013, features Kirby Goidel leading a discussion between the audience members and panelists on the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana debate in Louisiana. A background report on the topic precedes the discussion. It includes interviews with: Diana Drake of the New Beginnings Treatment Center in Lake Charles; Michael Wolf, an attorney in Baton Rouge; State Representative Sherman Mack; and Emma Tuttleman-Kriegler of Tulane Students for Sensible Drug Policy. The audience members then discuss their views on the current laws for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. A panel of experts then joins the audience members to answer their questions. The panelists are: Dr. Louis Cataldie, the medical director at Woodlake Addiction Recovery Center in Ethel; Marjorie Esman, the executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana; District Attorney Charles Scott of Caddo Parish, the president of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association; and State Representative Dalton Honore. They discuss: their view of the decriminalization of marijuana in Louisiana; marijuana addictions; marijuana as a gateway drug; the current sentencing guidelines for marijuana possession; racial disparities in sentencing; the influence of race on drug policy; medical marijuana; teaching kids to make good choices; the possible restrictions if marijuana is legalized; and the possible impact of decriminalization on people already incarcerated for drug possession. Hosts: Beth Courtney and Kirby Goidel