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It's Debatable: Students and drugs

Drugs, student power, non-conformity, problems in education - adults can talk about these subjects all they want, but it's the students who really know the score. This was the premise behind It's Debatable, a CBC Radio program that ran on Friday evenings during the socially turbulent years of 1967 to 1969. Recorded in high school auditoriums, the panel would typically consist of two teenage students (usually a girl and a boy) and an adult expert in the topic at hand. Walter Pitman hosted during the spring of 1967, but the host from September 1967 onward was the witty and provocative Elwy Yost.

Who uses marijuana? In 1969, it's not just hippies, dropouts and miscreants. According to the students in this high school auditorium, up to half of their classmates have tried pot, including supposed "straights" - athletes, scholars, student council members. In this episode of It's Debatable, York Mills Collegiate students talk to host Elwy Yost and an Addiction Research Foundation expert about morals, taboos, experimentation and pot. 
• Marijuana is a green or brown leafy substance made from the leaves and flowering tops of female plants of the Cannabis sativa genus. Other common names for it include cannabis, pot, weed, grass, reefer and joint. The term marijuana (sometimes spelled "marihuana") is a Mexican word that originally meant a "cigarette of poor quality." Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in Canada, the United States and Mexico.
  • Widespread drug use is a stereotype often associated with youth of the late 1960s. "If you can remember anything about the 60s, you weren't really there" is an often-repeated quote, attributed to Paul Kantner of the band Jefferson Airplane.

Medium: Radio
Program: It's Debatable
Broadcast Date: April 18, 1969
Guest(s): Diane Jones, Kate Levitt, John Palmer
Announcer: Bill Paul
Moderator: Elwy Yost
Duration: 28:29

Last updated: June 18, 2013

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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