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Kaufman Open House Explores 'Failed War on Drugs'

State Rep. Jay Kaufman. Photo credit: Patch file photo.
State Rep. Jay Kaufman. Photo credit: Patch file photo.

State Rep. Jay Kaufman's next Open House will look at the costs of the "war on drugs."

The event from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 in the historic Depot in Lexington Center, 13 Depot Square. 

State Rep. Tom Sannicandro (House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Higher Education), Barbara Dougan (Executive Director of Families Against Mandatory Minimums-FAMM), and Lexington Police Detective James Rettman will join Kaufman in the discussion. 

According to Kaufman's office

"Chairman Sannicandro, an Ashland attorney, was formerly the Chair of the Ashland School Committee and has been an outspoken advocate for legislation that reduces onerous penalties for non-violent drug offenders and focuses on education and treatment options. As Executive Director, Ms. Dougan has helped lead the way for the first-ever reforms to the state’s drug sentencing laws in 2010 and more substantial changes in 2012. She has built a base of over 3,000 local members, including the families of drug offenders, prisoners, advocates and concerned citizens. Prior to joining FAMM, Barb was a staff attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in Boston, handling racial violence and police misconduct litigation. Officer Rettman is a decorated police detective and is the Lexington Police Department’s liaison to the Middlesex County Regional Drug Task Force.

"When and why was the War On Drugs launched? What was the rationale for its launch? What are the real costs, both human and economic, of the War On Drugs? How do we measure success in the fight against drug use? Is this battle really being won? What’s the alternative to the War On Drugs?

"As always, the forum will take its shape largely from questions from the audience. Questions can also be submitted in advance at www.jaykaufman.com, or tweet your questions to @repjaykaufman."

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