SANTA MONICA—, a site that is America’s leading source for pro and con research on controversial issues is partnering with the Santa Monica Pier to announce and hold the PRO/CON @ The Pier-The Return of Civil Discourse.

PRO/CON @ The Pier is a series of discussions that feature policy experts and independent moderators. Its aim is to help inform public discourse on ballot measures and current issues before Election Day in November. The purpose of the discussions are to empower the people on critical issues and show that politics can be discussed productively. Individuals can learn to disagree without being disagreeable.

The discussions involve two people, one who is pro a specific topic and the other who is against that topic. The first discussion is on Tuesday, October 11. It will be moderated by Kamy Aukhavan, president of ProCon. According to the press release, the organization serves 25 million people. Speakers for the discussion include Dave Murphy, Founder and Executive Director of Food Democracy and Bob Goldberg, Distinguished Professor of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology at UCLA. Murphy is arguing for GMOs. Goldberg is arguing against GMOs.

The next discussion will take place on October 18. The topic of discussion will be the death penalty and whether it should repealed. It is also known as Prop. 62. The debaters for this topic include former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti and former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Dana Garcetti-Boldt. The debate will be moderated by Ben Allen, California State Senator, whose 26th Senate District stretches from Pacific Palisades to the Palos Verdes Peninsula and from Venice to Hollywood.

Former PBS and Bloomberg TV journalist Maureen Langan will moderate the next discussion titled the “Cost of Education-Is College Worth It?” Discussing this topic will be Micnelle Herczog, immediate Past President of the National Council for the Social Studies and Dale Stephens, author of “Hacking Your Education”, Founder of and one of the first recipients of the $100K Thiel Fellowship for high school grads who delay college to pursue their dreams.

The final discussion will be on whether to legalize marijuana, also known as Prop. 64. This last discussion will be held on Tuesday, November 1 and will be moderated by 7-time Emmy winner and author, Alan Thicke. The topic will be discussed by Karen O’Keefe, Director of State Policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), and Californians Against Legalizing Marijuana which is an all-volunteer political action committee dedicated to defeating any effort to legalize marijuana.

The discussions are free to the public and are located at the West End of the Pier on Tuesdays. All discussions run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.