If you're in the DC area, don't miss this Thursday panel on drug policy. It features former drug warriors Attorney General Ed Meese, Rand Beers (architect of the Clinton admin's Plan Colombia), and social theorist James Q. Wilson–and Reason's Jacob Sullum.
An Analytic Assessment of U.S. Drug Policy
Start: Thursday, March 9, 2006 11:00 AM
End: Thursday, March 9, 2006 12:30 PM
Location: Wohlstetter Conference Center, Twelfth Floor, AEI
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036
In its efforts to control the use of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and other illegal drugs, the United States spends about $35 billion per year in public funds. Almost half a million dealers and users are incarcerated. In An Analytic Assessment of U.S. Drug Policy (AEI Press, 2005), policy analysts David Boyum and Peter Reuter provide an assessment of how poorly this massive investment of tax dollars and government authority is working.
Boyum and Reuter assert that tough enforcement–the centerpiece of American drug policy in terms of rhetoric, budget, and substance–has little to show by way of success. They also argue that the eradication of drug crops should not necessarily be a routine aspect of international interdiction programs, especially when it conflicts with other foreign policy objectives.
By contrast, more effective or promising drug control policies remain underfunded. Most significantly, drug treatment services are in short supply, even though research indicates that treatment expenditures easily pay for themselves in terms of reduced crime and improved productivity.
The panel, including Edwin Meese, Rand Beers, and Jacob Sullum, will discuss the authors' conclusions.
More info and RSVP here.