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President Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs” in 1971. The expectation then was that drug trafficking in the United States could be greatly reduced in a short time through federal policing—yet the war on drugs continues. The cost - in terms of lives, money, and the well-being of many Americans, with a disproportionate impact on minorities, the poor and less educated - may not outweigh the benefits. The direct monetary cost to American taxpayers of the war on drugs includes spending on policing, court personnel prosecuting and defending drug-related cases, and incarceration of those convicted of drug offenses. Total current spending is estimated at over $40 billion a year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Our El Paso quarterly meeting will delve into the socio-political impact the war on drugs has had in Texas and the nation. Important questions and varied perspectives on the war on drugs will be part of the weekend discussion. Some of the questions participants will explore include: Could legalization or decriminalization of drug use be in Texas’ future? What have we learned from other states that have legalized marijuana use? How could this radical change potentially impact our economy and our legal systems?
The Texas Lyceum will convene in El Paso to discuss this provocative topic. Local, state and federal elected officials, judges and various law enforcement agencies will discuss their views and roles on this much-debated subject. In addition, we will provide an exclusive view of how law enforcement agencies deal with the drug trade as it enters the country through our Texas borders and offer interactive experiences to get a close-up look at policing from local and federal agencies.
The Lyceum has a block of rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn, 111 W. University Avenue, for three nights beginning Thursday, August 13. Call 915-351-2121 to reserve a room at the Lyceum rate of $109/night by August 3, 2015.
Please note: The times on the agenda are in Mountain Time!
No refunds will be given after Monday, August 10, 2015.
As always, the Lyceum welcomes guests of its members to our quarterly meetings. Please be reminded that "Where a Director or alumnus invites a guest, that person should attend the meeting and serve as the guest's host."
Thank you to the following sponsors:
Mounce, Green Myers, Safi, Paxson & Galatzan Attorneys
The Gifford Foundation
Sandra Almanzan, Dr. Keith Johnson, Eric Pearson, Laura Ponce, Deb Zuloaga
Texas Lyceum Class of 2009