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Monday, March 10, 2008

S.J. Quinney College of Law Hosts "Drugs: Addiction, Therapy, and Crime"

Luna The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law hosts “Drugs: Addiction, Therapy, and Crime,” a conference to explore drugs, drug use, and related public policy, on March 13-14, 2008. Admission is free and open to the public.

“Despite the ubiquity of drugs--including prescription and over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, and illegal recreational substances--our nation’s drug policy is based on an inconsistent and sometimes contradictory and incoherent set of rules and theories,” S.J. Quinney College of Law CrimProf Erik Luna. “The conference hopes to challenge this mentality by examining the various responses society takes to such drugs, from laissez faire capitalism and social norms to governmental regulation and criminal prohibition.”

Joseph A. Califano, Jr., chair and president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, presents the Utah Criminal Justice Center Distinguished Lecture at 7:30 P.M. on March 13.

A special assistant and senior domestic policy aide to President Lyndon Johnson, and the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare from 1977-1979, Califano is the author of several books on health care and substance abuse. “Over the past several decades, Mr. Califano has been a national leader on drug policy and health care reform,” Luna says.

Other presentations and panels include experts in criminal justice, law, medicine, philosophy, pharmacology, psychology, public policy, and toxicology. Participants represent the University of Utah and other educational institutions from across the nation.

“We hope the audience will obtain a better understanding of the full spectrum of drugs and drug-related issues from an interdisciplinary perspective, which may provoke new questions about society’s current stance on drug theory, policy, and practice,” says Luna.

Luna co-organized the conference with Allison Behjani, symposium editor of the Utah Law Review. Sponsors include the Utah Criminal Justice Center, Utah Law Review, S.J. Quinney College of Law, College of Social Work, College of Social and Behavioral Science, Utah Criminal Justice Society, Office of Undergraduate Studies, and Utah Addiction Center. [Mark Godsey]

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