University of Pittsburgh
February 15, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 15 -- Two leading spokesmen on U.S. drug control policy will debate the topic at a forum sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh William Pitt Debating Union Monday, March 1, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the William Pitt Union (WPU) Ballroom, Oakland. A student forum on the subject will be held earlier that day from 3 to 5 p.m.

Evening debate participants Ethan Nadlemann, director of the Lindesmith Center and high profile critic and commentator of U.S. drug policy, and William J. Olson, director of the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, will hold a media availability session at 6:15 p.m. in WPU Dining Room B.

Nadlemann served as an assistant professor of politics and public affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs before becoming director of the Lindesmith Center, a leading drug policy and research institute created with the philanthropic support of George Soros. Nadlemann's writings have appeared in numerous scholarly and mainstream publications. He has appeared on radio and TV including ABC "Nightline," BBC "Newsnight," NBC "Nightly News," and CNN's "Larry King Live."

As director of the only standing caucus in the U.S. Senate, Olson oversees much of the policy research conducted by Congress on drug policy control. A frequent witness on Capitol Hill, Olson has been a prominent voice in Beltway dialogues on drug issues since being named to the post in 1994. Olson was formerly deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of International Narcotics Matters in the Bush and Clinton administrations.

Gordon R. Mitchell, Pitt assistant professor of communication and director of the William Pitt Debating Union, will moderate. The debate, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by Pi Sigma Alpha, a political science honors organization.