Ending the war on drugs

13 October 2011

9:00 a.m. — 5:15 p.m.

Due to the expansion project at Cato, this conference will be held at the NAHB Auditorium, 1201 15th Street, N.W., Washington D.C. (Corner of 15th St. and M St., N.W.)

Although the global prohibition of drugs has manifestly failed to stem the use of narcotics, it has generated enormous costs and perverse outcomes. In the United States, the war on drugs is generating alarming violations of civil liberties, weakening the rule of law, and compromising law enforcement efforts. The U.S.-led drug war is also undermining legitimate foreign policy goals around the world, including the spread of liberal democracy and an effective war on terror. This conference will bring together prominent scholars and international leaders to analyze current policy and propose practical alternatives such as legalization.

Speakers will discuss

  • The impact of the drug war in Mexico, on the U.S. border, and in Central America
  • How prohibition helps fund terrorist groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and beyond
  • How Washington's anti-narcotics campaign violates the Constitution
  • The effects of criminalization on minorities in the United States
  • Lessons from South America
  • The evolution of drug policy in the United States and what decriminalization or legalization would look like in practice


  • Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Former President, Brazil
  • Jorge Castañeda, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mexico
  • Tucker Carlson, Editor-in-Chief, Daily Caller
  • Glenn Greenwald, Columnist and Blogger, Salon
  • Mary Anastasia O’Grady, Member of the Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal
  • Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance
  • Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou, Speaker of the House of Deputies, Uruguay
  • Leigh Maddox, Board Member, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Please click here for further information.

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Washington D.C., United States
Date14 November 2011