By Michael Walsh
A forum on drug policy will be hosted at Central Connecticut State University on Thursday, March 18.
The event, which will be held at Alumni Hall at 2 p.m., is an informational forum centering around the current Connecticut gubernatorial candidates. All of the individuals who have either expressed interest in running for Governor of Connecticut or confirmed their candidacy have been invited to the event. Among the invited candidates are Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman, entrepreneur Ned Lamont, Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi, Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele and former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley.
The goal of the forum is to address issues concerning drug policy and hopes to promote discussion and understanding among policy makers and stakeholders. Potential gubernatorial candidates will be able to answer questions based on speaker presentations, which focus on the history of drug policy in Connecticut, the costs of criminalization and possible drug treatments among other topics.
“Connecticut’s approach to drug policy has a very significant impact upon all of its residents, both in human and economic terms,” said Andrew Clark, director of the Institute for Municipal & Regional Policy, in a CCSU press release. “Unfortunately, it is a widely misunderstood topic that is seldom publicly and meaningfully discussed. Our hope is that the March 18 forum will help to change this dynamic.”
The event, which will be moderated by former State Representative William Dyson, features speakers such as CCSU dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Dr. Susan Pease, CCSU policy analyst Dr. Robert Painter and Dr. David Shapiro, associate director of trauma and critical care at St. Francis Hospital.
“It’s critical to examine the impact of current drug policy on families, especially children,” Dyson said in a press release. “By bringing together educators, practitioners, policy makers and the general public, we hope to create an atmosphere that allows for the free exchange of ideas and the movement towards rigorously examined and implemented drug policy”.
The final portion of the forum is scheduled to be dedicated to allowing members of the audience to ask questions to the candidates.
The free and public event is a collaborative effort between CCSU, Yale University, University of Hartford and St. Francis Hospital.