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Leading Experts to Debate: "Drug Wars: Legalization or Prohibition?"

The Pomona Student Union will present a debate on “Drug Wars: Legalization or Prohibition,” between Tom Riley, the Bush Administration’s spokesman for all anti-drug policies from 2001-09, and Ted Galen Carpenter, a leading expert on international affairs and author of Bad Neighbor Policy: Washington's Futile War on Drugs in Latin America (2003). This event will be held at Pomona College on Wednesday, September 23 at 7 p.m. A Q& A session will follow the debate.

This event will examine the United States' policy regarding the global drug trade in supply centers in Latin America, Afghanistan, and Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle, as well as the U.S. domestic drug policy, especially the policy towards public demand. The debate will address questions like “What is the appropriate U.S. and international response to the presence of coca fields in Bolivia?” and “Should calls for the end of prohibition and legalization be taken seriously?”

During the Bush Administration, Riley worked on an initiative to provide Mexican law enforcement with training, equipment and intelligence to combat illegal narcotic trafficking. Carpenter's book, Bad Neighbor Policy: Washington's Futile War on Drugs in Latin America, was reviewed by Foreign Affairs as "a refreshingly candid, controversial, and hard-hitting assessment of Washington's increasingly expensive...utterly futile campaign against illegal drugs."

This event will be held in Pomona College's Edmunds Ballroom (Smith Campus Center, 170 E. Sixth Street, Claremont). For further information, call: (909) 621-8514 or visit: This event is free and open to the public.

Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges, provides its students with a challenging curriculum in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and fine arts, and an unsurpassed environment for intellectual inquiry and growth. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.