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March 3, 2011

CONTACT: K.E. Schwab



SRU hosts March 17 marijuana legalization debate


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The University Program Board at Slippery Rock University will bring the debate as to whether or not to legalize marijuana to campus March 17 when it sponsors the “Great Debate,” pitting Steve Hager, longtime editor of High Times Magazine, against Robert Stutman, a Federal Drug Enforcement Administration veteran, in a frank discussion of the issues.

            The 8 p.m. program will be in the University Union.

            Hager is creative director and former editor-in-chief of High Times. He formerly founded The Tin Whistle, his first underground newspaper, in 1967 while an Illinois high school student. He went on to receive a masters of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois.

            In 1980, he became the first reporter to travel to the South Bronx to document the history of hip hop, a project that resulted in the book "Hip Hop" and the film "Beat Street."

            Hager became editor of High Times in 1988. That same year, he founded the Cannabis Cup, the "Academy Awards of Marijuana," and became a leading figure in the hemp legalization movement by creating the first national Hemp Tour.

            In 1997, Hager left High Times to concentrate on creating new events for the magazine, including the Whee! festival, the Stonys and the Doobies, while also studying low-budget video production, so these events could be documented. He returned to High Times in 1998 and was replaced six years later as the magazine made an attempt to change its direction. He returned as editor in 2006.

            Hager is one of the most visible and active proponents of marijuana legalization and has campaigned extensively on the social, political, economic and judicial reasons he feels marijuana should be legalized.

            He is the author of several books, including "The Octopus Conspiracy" and producer/director of several feature-length documentaries, including "The Cannabis Cup."

Stutman retired from the DEA in 1990 as special agent-in-charge of the New York Field Division.

During his years with DEA he was referred to as an “S. O. B. on the side of the angels” by the Boston Herald Magazine, and “the most famous narc in America” by New York Magazine.

He became a street agent with DEA in 1965. In 1970, at age 27, he became the youngest supervisor in the agency’s history. In 1971, he formed the International Training Division where he remained in charge until 1976 when he became director of the Office of Congressional Affairs.

In 1979, at age 36, he was promoted to special agent-in-charge of the New England Field Division. He was later given responsibility of SAC of the New York Field Division, the largest division, where he remained until retirement.

Stutman is often credited with bringing crack cocaine to national attention and emphasizing the role of prevention activities in drug law enforcement. As a result, author and columnist William F. Buckley credited him with “single handedly changing the policy of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration”

He has been a special consultant on substance abuse for both CBS and PBS. He has appeared regularly on “60 Minutes,” “48 Hours,” “Today” and “Good Morning America.” He was recently featured in the award-winning PBS Frontline documentary “The Drug Wars.”

His autobiography “Dead on Delivery” was published by Warner Books.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.