Time to Rethink the War on Drugs?

Policy Forum
May 22, 2001 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT


Featuring Joseph diGenova, Former U.S. Attorney; Randy Barnett, Boston University School of Law; Sally Satel, American Enterprise Institute; Dennis Knizely, Criminal Defense Attorney.

A recent poll suggests that most Americans regard our nation's drug war as a policy failure. Yet the public continues to support traditional drug war strategies, such as interdicting drugs at the border and arresting and incarcerating drug dealers and users. Policymakers also seem to be divided about the future direction of drug policy. Federal officials, for example, are pouring more resources into Latin America even as an increasing number of states are passing medical marijuana initiatives and other policies indicating leniency. Is it time to escalate and expand the war against drugs? If so, should policy initiatives focus on interdiction, education, incarceration, or treatment of offenders? Should efforts go beyond our own territories? Alternatively, is it time to reverse course and move toward the decriminalization or legalization of drugs? Join us for a vigorous exchange of views on those questions.

Read the event transcript (PDF, 36 pp, 103 kb)