Russ Belville vs. Dr. Kevin Sabet on Marijuana Legalization

I’m headed to Houston for a debate tomorrow with a bona fide drug warrior – it’s all part of a conference on legalization at the James E. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.  The event will be streamed by the university (when I have the web links, I’ll update and post them here) and I will be recording it as well for the shows next week.  Here’s the agenda (all times Central):

The War on Drugs Has Failed.
Is Legalization the Answer?


Thursday, March 8, 7:00 p.m. Keynote address:

“Travel as a Political Act, with a European Take on America’s War on Marijuana,” Rick Steves, noted travel writer, host of American Public Television Series “Rick Steves’ Europe” and public radio’s “Travel with Rick Steves.”

Friday, March 9, 8:30-4:00 (all sessions plenary)

8:30 a.m. “Examining the Premise, Considering Alternatives”
• Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance
• John J. Coleman, former high-ranking DEA adminstrator and President of Drug Watch International

9:45 a.m. “Law Enforcement Perspectives”
• The Honorable Patricia Lykos, Harris County District Attorney
• Michael Dirden, Execuive Assistant Chief, Houston Police Department
• The Honorable Michael McSpadden, Judge, Harris County 209th Criminal Court
• Adrian Garcia, Harris County Sheriff (invited)
• Russ Jones, LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)

BREAK: 10:45-11:00

11:00 a.m. “Marijuana”
• Russ Belville, Outreach Coordinator for NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws)
• Dr. Kevin Sabet, Senior Adviser at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2009-2011; Assistant Professor, University of Florida College of Medicine, Division of Addiction Medicine.

LUNCH 12:00-12:30.

12:30 p.m. “Are Current Drug Laws the New Jim Crow?
• Michelle Alexander (video), Professor, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University; author, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”
• The Rev. Edwin Sanders, Senior Servant, Metropolitan Interdenominational Church, Nashville

1:45 p.m. “Internationational Alternatives and Insights”
• Europe: Dr. Alex Stevens, Professor of Sociology, University of Kent, UK. (Policy alternatives in Portugal, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, and elsewhere in Europe)
• Mexico. Gary Hale, Retired Chief of Intelligence with 37 years of service for DEA, last assignment with Houston Field Division. Non-Resident Fellow in Drug Policy, Baker Institute.
• United States. Bill Piper, Assistant Director, Drug Policy Alliance

BREAK. 3:00-3:15

3:15 p.m. Closing Plenary
• The Honourable Larry W. Campbell, Senator in the Parliament of Canada. Former member of Royal Canadian Mounted Police Drug Squad; former British Columbia Chief Coroner; 37th Mayor of Vancouver; successful advocate for Harm Reduction measures.

View full post on The NORML Stash Blog