Nov. 11, 1993
Vol. 13, No. 6

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    U.S. drug policy focus of annual Legal Forum symposium

    Crucial issues in U.S. drug policy will be the focus of the Law School Legal Forum's ninth annual legal symposium, "Toward a Rational Drug Policy," on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 12 and 13. The event will include an address by Lee Brown, director of the White House Office on Drug Control Policy.

    Co-sponsored by the University's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT), the two-day event will feature public-policy specialists and legal experts who will examine drug policy in terms of treatment, enforcement, racial implications and procedural fairness.

    This year's symposium is "on the cutting edge of legal and public-policy scholarship, and everyone can benefit from attending," said Mythili Tharmaratnam, Legal Forum editor-in-chief.

    "If you think that because you're not on drugs, drug-control policy doesn't affect you, then you're mistaken," added Joseph Kaufman, managing editor of the Legal Forum. "The effects of drugs are enormous on our domestic and international resources, and most people would admit that the current system is broken."

    The Legal Forum is a student-edited Law School journal published annually on a specific topic of legal interest. Each volume of the Legal Forum journal contains articles written by the symposium participants as well as student comments. The Forum has approximately 20 second-year law students on staff and a 12-member board of third-year students. The staff is chosen through a writing competition.

    ADAPT Co-Director Sarah Warren sees this venture with the Legal Forum as an opportunity for the substance-abuse prevention program, now in its second year, to build relations with other departments. "Our mission includes contributing to the policy debate not just on campus but on a national level as well. This symposium addresses important aspects of a complex debate," Warren said.

    The symposium will be preceded by a practical workshop on college alcohol and drug prevention and policy, led by Mathea Falco, former assistant secretary of state for international narcotics matters, at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 12, in the Lower Judson Lounge of Burton-Judson Courts. Falco will also give the keynote address at 4 p.m. at the Law School.

    Panel discussions will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Law School. The first panel, "Race and the War on Drugs," will feature Clarence Lusane, author of the book "Pipe Dream Blues: Racism and the War on Drugs"; Michael Tonry, professor of law and public policy at the University of Minnesota Law School; and John Walters, visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute and former deputy director for supply reduction with the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The panel will be moderated by Norval Morris, the Julius Kreeger Professor in the Law School.

    The second panel, "Setting Priorities: Enforcement vs. Treatment," will include Peter Reuter, co-director of the Drug Policy Research Center at the Rand Corporation; Mark Kleiman, associate professor of public policy and research fellow in criminal justice at Harvard; and Melody Heaps, founder and president of Treatment Alternatives for Special Clients. The panel will be moderated by Stephen Schulhofer, the Frank and Bernice J. Greenberg Professor in the Law School and Director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice and the Legal Forum's faculty adviser.

    The final panel, "Procedural Fairness and the War on Drugs," will feature David Rudovsky, senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania law school; the Hon. James Zagel, judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; and Joseph Grano, professor of law at Wayne State University. Randolph Stone, Clinical Professor in the Law School and Director of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, will moderate.

    White House Drug Control Policy director Lee Brown will give the closing address at 4 p.m.

    All events are free and open to the public. For more information, call the Legal Forum at 702-9832 or ADAPT at 702-3784.