WCSU hosts panel discussion about legalization of recreational marijuana in Connecticut

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University  Justice and Law Society, together with the Ancell School of Business, will co-sponsor a panel discussion about the “Pros and Cons of Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in Connecticut” at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in the Ballroom of the Campus Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. Panelists will include CT Association of Prevention Professionals (CAPP) Executive Director John Daviau; NYPD retired lieutenant Joanne Naughton, from the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (L.E.A.P.); and Insight Counseling Executive Director Liz Jorgensen. The panel will be moderated by WCSU Division of Justice and Law Professor Dr. George Kain.  

Daviau is a community psychologist and certified dialogue educator with almost 30 years of training, management and consulting experience in nonprofit organizations and schools. He has focused his work on coalition and organizational development, substance abuse and violence prevention, and school safety initiatives. Daviau is a passionate leader in the field of prevention. He also is the project director of Connecticut’s Prevention Training and Technical Assistance Service Center.  

Naughton retired as a NYPD officer after 20 years of service. During her time with the NYPD, she was a member of the narcotics division and sometimes worked undercover making street-level buys. Naughton then worked as an attorney for the Legal Aid Society in Manhattan, where she witnessed the war on drugs from the defendant’s point of view. She now uses her expertise by working with other criminal justice professionals and L.E.A.P. to advance criminal justice reforms to improve public safety.

Jorgensen has 26 years’ experience as a psychotherapist specializing in adolescent psychotherapy and substance abuse counseling. According to her bio, she is a “nationally recognized expert in substance abuse counseling, engaging resistant teens to motivate them to change.” Jorgensen is a recipient of a Congressional Award for her work as an educator and community prevention activist. She worked for 18 years at Danbury Hospital where she helped develop all of the programs for adolescent substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.  

WCSU JLA Adjunct Instructor Marilyn Kain organized this event.
Kain said, “The issue of legalizing recreational marijuana is particularly relevant right now as legislators are examining this as a possibility in Connecticut. This panel presentation will provide the audience with an opportunity to explore the pros and cons of legalizing recreational marijuana in our state. Scholarly research will be presented by mental health, substance abuse and law enforcement professionals, and a dialogue with the audience will follow. Attendees will get the latest factual information to make an informed decision about this very important and relevant topic. Local area politicians, as well as law enforcement officials, are expected to be in attendance.  

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (203) 837-8340 or email kainm@wcsu.edu.



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.


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