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April 15, 2013

A just drug policy for the United States

Symposium to examine social and economic costs of drug war

The substantial social and economic costs of the drug war, which include more than a trillion dollars spent during the last forty years, have led many to question–and voters in Washington and Colorado in 2012 to answer–whether alternative regimes to criminalization are a worthy policy goal. OLR Symposium Poster sm[1]

The Oregon Law Review will examine the nation's drug laws in a daylong symposium titled "A Step Forward: Creating a Just Drug Policy for the United States" beginning at 9:00 a.m. Friday, April 19, at the University of Oregon School of Law, 1515 Agate St. in Eugene.

The symposium brings together experts from a range of disciplines to explore various facets of this important issue, including the benefits and drawbacks of the nation's drug laws, potential alternative regimes such as regulated distribution and medicalization, and the unresolved legal and policy issues surrounding the recent state initiatives.

The event will welcome numerous high-profile speakers, including:

  • Earl Blumenauer, member of the United States House of Representatives (Keynote)
  • Suzanne Bonamici, member of the United States House of Representatives
  • Ann Aiken, United States District Court Judge for the District of Oregon
  • Beau Kilmer, co-director of RAND Corporation's Drug Policy Research Center
  • Kevin Sabet, former senior policy advisor in the Obama Administration at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • Malcolm Beith, blogger and former Newsweek Editor
  • Mark Tushnet, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard Law School
  • Charles Manski, Board of Trustees Professor at Northwestern University
  • David Blake, deputy attorney general for the State of Colorado
  • Bruce Turcott, assistant attorney general for the State of Washington

For the complete list of speakers and additional symposium information, visit law.uoregon.edu/org/olr/symposia.php.

Registration for the symposium is available at law.uoregon.edu/olrs-reg-2013/. Doors for the event open at 7:45 a.m. on April 19.

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