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33rd Annual Jefferson B. Fordham Debate

October 19, 2016 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Be it resolved: That all dealing in non-medical narcotic drugs should remain criminal.

5:30-7:30 p.m., S.J. Quinney College of Law Moot Courtroom (Level 6)
Should marijuana be legalized in the United States?  Several states have legalized the drug for non-medical purposes and other states have loosened regulations and made exceptions for its use.  Advocates believe that legalization will help enhance the well-being of citizens and economic prospects of these states and reduce crime associated with illicit drug markets.  Opponents argue that legalization will only lead to more dependency and usage of other drugs, a harm to young people and vulnerable citizens and increased criminal activity.  Who is right?

On October 19, Paul Butler, Professor of law at Georgetown University, and Kevin Sabet, Director of the Drug Policy Institute and Assistant Professor at University of Florida College of Medicine, will debate these issues in the Moot Court room at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. Professor Shima Baughman of the S.J. Quinney College of Law will moderate.

Watch the event live online »

5:30 – Reception
6:00 – Debate

Free and open to the public. 1 hour CLE (pending).

The Fordham Debate is named in honor of Professor Jefferson B. Fordham, an outstanding legal scholar and defender of individual and civil rights who joined the University of Utah College of Law faculty in 1972. The annual debate addresses relevant contemporary public policy and legal issues.

kevin_rome2-640x290Kevin Sabet, Director, Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida, Assistant Professor in the College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry
Author, consultant, advisor to three U.S. presidential administrations, and assistant professor, Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D., has studied, researched, written about, and implemented drug policy for almost 20 years. He has worked in the Clinton (2000), Bush (2002-2003) Administrations, and in 2011 he stepped down after serving more than two years as the senior advisor to President Obama’s drug control director, having been the only drug policy staffer to have ever served as a political appointee in a Democrat and Republican administration. He has appeared since at the Aspen Ideas and New Yorker festivals, on the Organization of American States blue ribbon commission advising hemispheric drug policy, and in hundreds of forums and discussions promoting the ideas outlined in his first book, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana, published by Beaufort. He has been featured on the front page of the New York Times and in virtually every major media publication and news channel on the subject of drug policy.

butler-paulPaul Butler, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
Professor Butler researches and teaches in the areas of criminal law, race relations law, and critical theory. His scholarship has been published in many leading scholarly journals, including the Yale Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review (two articles), the Stanford Law Review and the UCLA Law Review (three articles).  He is the author of the widely reviewed “Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice,” which received the Harry Chapin Media award. Professor Butler is one of the nation’s most frequently consulted scholars on issues of race and criminal justice. His scholarship has been the subject of much attention in the academic and popular media.   His work has been profiled on 60 Minutes, Nightline, and The ABC, CBS and NBC Evening News, among other places. Professor Butler has written a column for The Legal Times and has published numerous op-ed articles and book reviews, including in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Daily Beast. He lectures regularly for the American Bar Association and the NAACP, and at universities and community organizations. Professor Butler has been awarded the Soros Justice Fellowship. He was elected to the American Law Institute in 2003. Butler is the author of the book, Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice.

For questions contact Miriam (801) 585-3479.

Free parking is available at the Rice-Eccles Stadium. We encourage you to use public transportation to our events. Take TRAX University line to the Stadium stop and walk a half block north. For other public transit options use UTA’s Trip Planner or click the “public transit” option under “Get Directions” on Google maps. The law school is on the Red Route for the University’s free campus shuttles (Carlson Hall stop).


October 19, 2016
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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College of Law
801-585-3440 | 801-585-3479


S. J. Quinney College of Law
383 South University St
Salt Lake City, UT 84112 United States
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