The Pomona Student Union will present "The Great Debate: The Drug War," a discussion on the pros and cons of the drug war and whether a new approach is needed, on Thursday, April 11 at 8 p.m., at Pomona College (Edmunds Ballroom, Smith Campus Center, 170 E. Sixth St., Claremont).
The panelists are Emmy, Peabody and Sundance award-winning film director Eugene Jarecki, and Kevin Sabet, drug policy consultant to the United Nations and former senior advisor to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
Jarecki's documentary, The House I Live In, was awarded the 2012 Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is an examination of the human rights implications of U.S. drug policy from multiple angles: from the dealer to the narcotics officer and the inmate to the federal judge. Jarecki's previous work includes: the Emmy Award-winning movie Reagan (2011), which examines the life and legacy of the 40th president; Why We Fight, the 2005 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winner about the military-industrial complex; and the online video Move Your Money, which sparked a national movement in 2010 to shift personal banking away from "too big to fail" banks into community banks and credit unions. "Combining the skills of journalist and poet," Variety writes, "Eugene Jarecki sets the gold standard for political documentaries." He is a Soros Justice Fellow at the Open Society Institute and a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies.
Sabet served as senior advisor on drug policy in the Obama administration from 2009-2011, and prior to that worked on research, policy and speech writing at ONDCP in 2000 and from 2003-2004 in both the Clinton and Bush administrations. Sabet went on to direct the University of Florida's Drug Policy Institute and, in addition to working with the United Nations, is a consultant to governments, NGOs, media and other organizations on a wide range of issues, including evidence-based drug prevention, treatment, and law enforcement, as well as the impacts of drug legalization and medical marijuana. He has been quoted in more than 15,000 news stories relating to drug policy, is a blogger at The Huffington Post and a columnist at TheFix.com. His first editorial after leaving ONDCP, published in the Los Angeles Times in September of 2011, earned him a "Five Best Columns" distinction by The Atlantic. He was dubbed the "quarterback" of the new anti-drug movement by Salon.