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Coast to Coast

Drug policy reformers and others interested in the topic might want to check out "Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure," a recently released book by DRCNet subscriber Dan Baum, a former reporter with the Wall Street Journal and the Atlanta Constitution. Smoke and Mirrors is published by Little, Brown & Co., and received a favorable review in the New York Times last Monday, May 27. You can probably find it in your local bookstore, but if they don't have it, you can help get the truth out about the drug war by asking them to carry it for the store.

Those on the East Coast, in the Washington, DC area, can meet Dan Baum on Tuesday evening, June 4, at a reception hosted by the Fund for Constitutional Government and the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, at the Washington Home of Stewart Mott, 122 Maryland Avenue NE, Washington, DC (near the South Station and Capitol South stops on the Metro), from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. RSVP to Tracy Glisson, (202) 546-3732.

"As wars will do, the War on Drugs escalated piecemail, a product of the hopes, fears, and ambitions of people with varying motives and disparate points of view. Some Drug War hawks have labored cynically, others with the best of intentions. Smoke and Mirros is the story of how they kindled Drug War fever and led the country into the intractable mess we call the War on Drugs."

Those on the West Coast might be interested in the following event taking place the very next day:


Stanford, CA- An expert panel will discuss US drug policy and its effects on American society in a program entitled Re-evaluating the Drug War, on Wednesday, June 5 from 4 to 6 PM. It will be held at Stanford University's Oak East Room in Tressider Memorial Union and coincides with a six-day showing of the powerful photo exhibit, Human Rights '95: Atrocities of the Drug War. The exhibit is free for public viewing, and open from June 2 to 7 in the Upstairs Lounge in the same location.

Former San Jose and Kansas City police chief Joseph McNamara, now a fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institute, will participate in the discussion, along with Chris Conrad, author and director of Family Council on Drug Awareness; Virginia Resner, California Coordinator of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM); and Steven Faulkner, activist and former prisoner. A 10-minute slide show on drug war facts and figures will be presented by Oakland attorney, Robert Raich.

Human Rights '95: Atrocities of the Drug War views American drug policy through the lens of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the US Bill of Rights. Photo portraits eloquently communicate the painful reality of ordinary people and families who got caught up in the wide net of zero tolerance, in which homes and property are seized without trial. Many have lost their children, freedom and future dreams due to long, mandatory prison terms for minor offenses.

For more information, please contact Virginia Resner at (415) 753-6602.

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