After 40 years and $1 trillion in taxpayer dollars, the war on drugs is widely recognized as a failure. While having a negligible impact on supply and demand, America’s longest war has enriched criminal cartels south of the border and resulted in a U.S. prison population of 2.1 million — the largest in the world.
However, the United States is in the midst of a sea change in drug policy. Nearly 80 percent of Americans support medical cannabis and 55 percent favor full legalization of adult social use of cannabis. With the legalization of cannabis in Colorado and Washington, American politicians seem to understand that a new era is underway.
What impact will legalized marijuana have on the U.S. economy? Will legalization raise tax revenues and reduce youth access and use? Will hemp — the inert, industrial cousin to psychoactive cannabis — put American farmers back to work on a cash crop that can be used as an energy source and help wean the U.S. off fossil fuels? Doug Fine will address these questions and more in a timely and comprehensive presentation on the fast-developing area of U.S. drug policy.
A book signing will follow the event. The Rice University bookstore will be selling copies of two books by Doug Fine ("Too High to Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution" and "Hemp Bound: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Next Agricultural Revolution") before and after the presentation.
Support for this event was generously provided by Lucia and Louis Brandt.
Investigative Journalist and Author
Welcoming Remarks and Introduction
William Martin, Ph.D.
Director, Drug Policy Program, and Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy
Rice University's Baker Institute