Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon launched what we know today as the War on Drugs. The Drug Policy Program and Latin America Initiative of the Baker Institute are pleased to host a discussion on the successes and shortcomings of that effort, which continues to guide U.S. drug policy. Experts and policy analysts from varied perspectives will offer their assessments of its successes and failures and take a fresh look at plausible new directions for U.S. drug policy.
The panel "Cannabis, Cartels and Crime: Would Legalization Help?" will assess the strengths and weaknesses of federal and state policies regarding marijuana and other popular illegal drugs, while noting the contribution of both drugs and drug policy to the horrendous violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, and consider alternative strategies for reducing drug-related harms. It will bring together some of the nation"s leading and most articulate spokesmen for differing positions on these issues in what promises to be a lively and illuminating evening.
This program is a continuation of the conference "U.S. War on Drugs 1969-2009: From the U.S-Mexico Frontlines of the U.S. War on Drugs," held at The University of Texas at El Paso on Sept. 21 and 22, 2009, and co-sponsored by the Baker Institute.
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.