The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Sept. 25, 2001

(Editor's note: Media and other photo opportunities are available prior to the symposium by arrangement, and a symposium pep rally of JGRJ editor and writers will take place Monday, Oct. 1. Contact information listed below.)

Law symposium tackles the politics of the American drug war

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Fifteen respected scholars and critics of the American drug war and its polices will gather at the University of Iowa to discuss the tough issues related to the topic during an Oct. 5-6 symposium at the University of Iowa College of Law.

The symposium, "The Law's Treatment of the Disadvantaged: The Politics of the American Drug War," convenes Friday, Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday, Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Levitt Auditorium of the Boyd Law Building.

Panel presentations by the scholars and critics are expected to focus on international issues, the collateral consequences of the drug war on the poor, and how the drug war has affected certain Jewish communities. Other discussion topics may include: how racism is endemic to the drug war, juries' responses to the drug war, and the drug war's effect upon women and children.

Among those expected to attend are: law professors Kenneth Nunn, University of Florida Levin College of Law; Eva Nilsen, Boston University School of Law; and Abraham Abramovsky, Fordham University Law School. Ethan Nadelmann, executive director, Lindesmith Center and a drug control policy critic, will present the Oct. 6 keynote address following dinner and a social hour.

This year's symposium is the sixth such event hosted by members of "The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice," a UI law student journal.

"The Journal's annual symposium allows students, professors, and the community to engage in critical discourse about a select area of law," says Sarah Pettinger, senior articles editor for the symposium.

"This year's symposium is particularly important because it examines the U.S. drug war's impact on various groups of people that have generally been ignored in traditional legal scholarship."

The JGRJ symposia seek to test, shape and strengthen scholarship by introducing multiple perspectives into the purview of legal thought.

Admission is free for UI students and staff; $25 for non-UI students; $40 for the general public. For more information, contact Sarah Pettinger, office of "The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice," (319) 335-9093 or or visit