Travel writer and public television host Rick Steves will compare and contrast attitudes and the approach to marijuana use in the United States and Europe at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Schofield Auditorium as part of UW-Eau Claire's ongoing Forum series.
Immediately following the performance will be a reception with refreshments in the Dakota Ballroom of UW-Eau Claire's Davies Center.
Steves sees the current prohibition on marijuana to be similar to the prohibition on alcohol during the 1930s: ineffective, wasteful and counter-productive. An experienced traveler, Steves will argue that a European perspective on the issue offers alternatives — alternatives which may seem radical to some people in the United States, but which have been proven to work both in Europe and in his home state of Washington. Steves will use his travel expertise to share his observations on marijuana use in Europe. While Steves emphasizes that he is not in favor of drug use by anyone, he states that the European emphasis on harm reduction — rather than criminalization — offers a way forward for the United States.
"Here we're tough on drugs; in Europe, they're smart on drugs," Steves says.
Steves will provide a unique approach to the familiar topic. Steves’ travel expertise and years of experiences will provide for an eye-opening view of marijuana in America.
The Forum, one of the longest continuing programs of its kind in the United States, is now in its 75th season of promoting the elegance of ideas by bringing to UW-Eau Claire speakers on the topics and trends of the day.
The Forum is funded by UW-Eau Claire student segregated fees. Presenters are selected and administered by the Activities, Involvement and Leadership office and by an administrative committee composed of students, faculty/staff and community members. General promotional support is provided by WHYS Radio and Wisconsin Public Radio.