Wednesday, September 23rd, 7pm, Edmunds Ballroom For the past forty years, the United States government has engaged in a campaign to reduce the illegal drug trade. Yet, after decades of effort there seems to be scant progress in stemming the flow of illegal narcotics into the United States. With drug violence in Mexico currently threatening American borders, is it time for a new plan? Some experts and policymakers say yes, and believe that legalizing drugs is the ultimate answer to reducing drug-based organized crime both in the United States and in source countries to the south; moreover, they believe that the US government’s campaign against drugs has dangerously eroded civil liberties. Others disagree, citing, among other points, that the government’s anti-drug campaign has been largely successful, that the alternative to prohibition is social decline and that inaction against these dangerous substances is simply unconscionable.
To explore this important issue, the Pomona Student Union is honored to host leading experts Tom Riley and Ted Galen Carpenter. This event will take place on Wednesday, September 23 at 7 pm in Edmunds Ballroom. Visit our website to learn more about our other upcoming events and to sign up for our mailing list.
Tom Riley served from 2001 to 2009 as the Bush Administration’s spokesman for all anti-drug policies, working under President Bush’s drug czar John P. Walters at the Office of National Drug Control and Prevention, where his particular focus was on highlighting effective drug prevention and treatment programs. Mr. Riley served as the agency’s spokesman through an intense time, during which the ONDCP worked to combat drug use through an aggressive program of prevention and prohibition, creating the Merida Initiative to provide Mexican law enforcement with training, equipment and intelligence to combat illegal narcotic trafficking.
Before his work at the White House, Mr. Riley worked at the Philanthropy Roundtable, an organization of charitable donors focused on identifying effective non-profit organizations. Currently, he serves as a consultant for a number of charitable foundations and corporate donors. Mr. Riley received his BA, an MA in History and an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and his JD from Villanova Law School.
Ted Galen Carpenter
Ted Galen Carpenter is vice president for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. He is the author of seven and the editor of 10 books on international affairs, as well as a frequent blogger on his website, tedgalencarpenter.com. In regards to the Mexican Drug War, Mr. Carpenter wrote in February 2009 that “abandoning the prohibitionist model of dealing with the drug problem is the only effective way to stem the violence in Mexico and its spillover into the United States.”
Mr. Carpenter is contributing editor to the National Interest and serves on the editorial boards of Mediterranean Quarterly and the Journal of Strategic Studies. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the National Interest, World Policy Journal, and many other publications. Mr. Carpenter received his Ph.D. in U.S. diplomatic history from the University of Texas.