Join us for another engaging year of rational, social and ethical inquiry as our chapter meetings resume on the third Saturday of each month. As a growing organization, some changes are in store. Especially take note of our new location at Field Community School in south Minneapolis. Along with being a more spacious venue, it will give us the ability to offer childcare during our meetings. Please indicate with your RSVP here if you are in need of childcare, along with the number of children and their ages, so we can plan accordingly. As usual, our meeting will be followed with a catered lunch.
Our inaugural speaker of the program year is history professor Patrick McNamara of the University of Minnesota. He will provide an overview of the long history of controlled substances throughout the Western Hemisphere. When and how did some drugs become a social problem? Why is cocaine illegal in the United States? Who is winning the war on drugs? In particular, McNamara will focus on the scope of the so-called “war on drugs” of the past 30 years including drug use, drug markets and the violence surrounding drugs. Not surprisingly, as a historian, McNamara asserts that study of the past helps us understand the present context and imagine a different future regarding these complicated and controversial issues.
Patrick McNamara has been interested in drugs for a long time. While that interest has been primarily academic, he remains interested in the longer, hemispheric history of drug use by indigenous populations for ceremonies, the export and consumption of illegal drugs, and the effects of the “drug war” on populations throughout the Americas. As a historian of Mexico, he has watched a peaceful country fall into the abyss of unrestrained violence and destruction for the sake of a consumer drug market in the United States.