Penn Today

Negotiating a truce in the war on drugs

On March 13, the student-run University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law & Public Affairs brought experts from the legal realm, activists, social workers, and members of the community together at Penn Law for a daylong symposium, “Addicted to the War on Drugs.”

The conversations focused on a tough question: How to steer the ship in a different direction and get different results?

Jennifer Prah Ruger, the Amartya Sen Professor of Health Equity, Economics, and Policy at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, said policies need to be evidence-based and focused on empowering people to make healthy choices and flourish, starting from early childhood. That means improving educational, health care, and work opportunities, as well as bolstering family and neighborhood networks.