Has the War on Drugs Been a Success or a Failure?

Determine the answer for yourself this Friday at a debate hosted by Liberty on the Rocks titled, Examining the War on Drugs 40-Years Later: Is it Worth the Cost?”

When: Friday, June 17 from 6:30-9PM
Where: Denver Open Media, 700 Kalamath Street in Denver
What: Cocktail Reception/Free Appetizers & Debate

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Friday, June 17, 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s official declaration of the “war on drugs”. Since that time we have seen victories and failures in our quest to lessen drug abuse in America, but it cannot be argued that we do not still have many problems today regarding this issue. With violence constantly erupting on our southern border, hundreds of thousands of individuals in jail for drug offenses, and millions more users throughout the country, it is clear that the use and abuse of drugs in the United States has persisted over time. The question that we must now determine is, where do we go from here?  Is the government led drug war an effectual means of lessening drug abuse and violence that needs to be strengthened, or is it time to consider an alternative approach altogether?

To discuss this important topic, we will be joined by four speakers for this event:

Jessica Peck Corry: Jessica Corry is a Denver-based attorney, public policy analyst, and political strategist. She has been named a “PR force to be reckoned with” by the Westword, one of Colorado’s top political “Movers and Shakers” by the Colorado Statesman, and has been highlighted as one of Colorado’s most influential women by the Denver Examiner. A self-described libertarian conservative, Jessica’s legal and political efforts have been featured by media across Colorado and around the globe, with highlights including the Wall Street Journal, the Times of LondonWashington PostRolling StoneL.A. Times, CNN, USA Today, PBS, NPR, MTV’s “Choose or Lose” series, MSNBC and FOX News.

District Attorney Carol Chambers: Ms. Carol Chambers received her nursing degree from Texas Christian University, and then went on to work in the ER for two years at Denver General, while attending the University of Denver College of Law. It was here that she witnessed the results of things like drug abuse, poverty, violent crime, child abuse and mental illness, all for the first time. Upon receiving her law degree from the University of Denver, where she was given the American Jurisprudence Award in Ethics, Ms. Chambers went on to work at a private law firm before becoming employed at the District Attorneys Office for the 18th Judicial District in 1990. In 2004, she was elected to the position of District Attorney for the same district. Since that time, she has been working to implement programs to benefit and protect the community, assist victims, prevent crime, and increase sentences for criminals who commit crimes in Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties.

David K. Williams, Jr.: Mr. Williams is co-founder and Executive Director of the Gadsden Society, a non-partisan, non-profit, public advocacy group that fights for the preservation and expansion of individual liberty throughout Colorado, and is also former State Chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado. Dave attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he obtained his B.A. in Economics in 1989, as well as the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he earned his Juris Doctor, with honors, in 1992. Dave was also named one of the state’s “Hottest Politicos” by Face the State for 2009. He currently runs his own law firm, The Williams Law Office, P.C.

Thomas J. Gorman: Mr. Gorman is the Director of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area based in Colorado. He began his law enforcement career in 1968 when he went to work for the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE).  During his career, he has served in many capacities including over ten years as an undercover agent.  He has made more than 1,000 undercover purchases of all types of illicit drugs and has received two Purple Hearts resulting from being shot and later stabbed. Mr. Gorman has written many articles on drug enforcement that have been published in magazines, and was also responsible for writing the attorney general’s office first drug and user ID manual.

Our Moderator for the evening’s event will be  Mike Krause of the Independence Institute. In addition to his role as the Director of Operations for the Institute, Mr. Krause is also the Director of the Justice Policy Center.

This event is free of charge and appetizers will be provided to guests. We will also have a cash bar. Limited space is available, please RSVP to

Liberty on the Rocks would like to provide special thanks to the Drug Policy Alliance, who has helped make this event possible.