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IQ2 Debates: Should Drugs Be Legalized?

11/23/12 12:00PM

Last Wednesday’s debate, “Legalize Drugs,” couldn’t have been more timely. It was a topic that everyone in attendance seemed to have a personal connection to.

Over light appetizers at Boulud Sud, donors, media guests and the debaters mingled, continuing the conversation. Issues of social class, race and age all came up throughout the debate, leaving many to feel that the night’s topic was representative of more than just legal issues. Paul Hertel, editor at Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine, said the debate “was smart and very clean…I found it effective when the debaters brought the conversation to social issues, since this topic is much bigger than just laws.”
Deputy editor of the Council on Foreign Relations’ publications Toni Johnson loved the energy in the audience during the debate, citing the topic’s over-arching effect on modern day society as the reason. “There was this vibe in the air…the audience was really engaged. Not a single person there hadn’t been effected in some way by this topic.”

Moderator John Donvan appreciated the diversity, knowledge and respect of debate winners Paul Butler and Nick Gillespie, and their opponents Asa Hutchinson and Theodore Dalrymple: “There were law enforcers on both sides of the debate & I think they both really respected one another and the work they’ve done.”

Will Godfrey, managing editor of The Fix, also praised Intelligence Squared and the composure of the participants for effectively tackling such an emotionally charged topic, calling the debate “a much more civil conversation on this topic than I’ve seen in the past.”


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