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By Hempology | February 20, 2006

Is the war on drugs really worth it? That’s one of the most contentious questions in the criminal justice system and one that will be tackled by leading criminal justice professionals in a live debate at UCFV Abbotsford later this month.

The debate will take place on Feb. 28, when Dr. Norm Stamper, a well-known American advocate of ending the war on drugs takes on Dr. Darryl Plecas, the UCFV/RCMP research chair in criminal justice, and Abbotsford Chief of Police Ian Mackenzie, who is also a lawyer and adjunct professor of criminology at UCFV.

“While we will argue that the war on drugs is not a failure, we will also emphasize that it’s not inconsistent to embrace aspects of harm reduction while also taking a hard enforcement approach to drug laws,” said Plecas, who has conducted extensive research on the marijuana industry in Canada.

Stamper, who holds a PhD and is the former Seattle chief of police, is the author of Breaking Rank: A Top Cop’s Expose of the Dark Side of American Policing. The title of his book refers to going up against police traditions.

For example, in one chapter, he discusses his argument for the relaxation of American drug laws, including decriminalization of some drugs.

The debate starts at 5:30 p.m. in the main lecture theatre ( B101 ) of the UCFV Abbotsford campus, 33844 King Road.

The public is welcome to attend the debate. Admission is free. Pay parking applies on the Abbotsford campus.

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