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.
Speaker William Martin
William Martin, Ph.D., is the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy at the Baker Institute and the Chavanne Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Rice University. His areas of research and writing at the Baker Institute focus on two major sets of issues: 1) the political …
William Martin, Ph.D., is the Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy at the Baker Institute and the Chavanne Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Rice University. His areas of research and writing at the Baker Institute focus on two major sets of issues: 1) the political implications of religion, particularly fundamentalist religions and the importance of the separation of religion and government, or “church and state”; and 2) ways to reduce the harms associated with both drug abuse and drug policy. His articles, most of which deal with aspects of religion, have appeared in such publications as Texas Monthly, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s and Esquire, as well as in professional journals. His book “A Prophet with Honor: The Billy Graham Story” is regarded as the authoritative biography of Billy Graham. An updated edition of his 1996 book “With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America,” the companion volume to a six-hour documentary PBS miniseries of the same name, was reissued in June 2005 by Broadway Books. He is a frequent guest on national and local news and discussion programs. During his 44 years at Rice, Martin has received numerous teaching awards, including a Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching. Martin received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1969.