At this event, along with sharing the value of travel and how it has impacted his worldview, travel writer Rick Steves describes how Europe is fighting its drug abuse problems differently and, he believes, more effectively than the United States. Europeans treat drug abuse as a health problem rather than a crime, and they measure the effectiveness of their drug policy by its success at reducing harm. Steves believes that the U.S. government"s war on marijuana, like its war on alcohol during the Prohibition, harms society more than the drug abuse problem it targets. He explains how the European approach is not hard on drugs or soft on drugs, but rather is smart on drugs.
Steves is the author of more than 50 European travel guidebooks, and host of the public television series "Rick Steves" Europe" and public radio series "Travel with Rick Steves." He is a board member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the co-writer and host of the ACLU television documentary "Marijuana: A Time for Conversation" and a co-sponsor of Initiative 502 in Washington State, a ballot measure aimed at legalizing, regulating and taxing the sale of marijuana.