Monday, August 10, 2015 9:16 PM | Anonymous

AUSTIN, TX — The Texas Lyceum, a premier statewide non-profit, non-partisan leadership group focused on public policy issues facing Texas, today announced it will convene its quarterly meeting in El Paso, Texas, on August 14, 2015 to discuss the hotly debated topic, “Have We Lost the War on Drugs?”

“The Texas Lyceum aims to provoke thoughtful and informed discussions about important public policy issues facing Texas,” said Jane Cummins, president of the Texas Lyceum. “The war on drugs is a hot topic, with a wide range of opinions on all sides of this controversial issue and we aim to study, investigate and debate each one.” 

At the day-long meeting, Lyceum Directors and their guests will hear from a wide range of El Pasoans, including journalists and judicial, law enforcement and political leaders who are well versed in these challenging issues. Throughout the day, panelists will address questions such as:

  • ·       Should our state be discussing the legalization of marijuana?
  • ·       Could legalization or decriminalization of marijuana be in Texas’ future?
  • ·       What have we learned from other states?
  • ·       How could this radical change potentially impact our economy and our legal systems?

The El Paso quarterly meeting will delve into these important questions and will include varied perspectives on the war on drugs. In addition, we will provide an exclusive view of how law enforcement agencies deal with the drug trade as it enters the country through our Texas borders.

We have assembled a number of expert panelists, which consist of current law enforcement (E.P.P.D., FBI, DEA, Sheriff) along with a number of Federal, local Judges and elected officials that will provide their views on these controversial issues.

The meeting will include the following panels:

** Morning panels held at the UTEP Undergraduate Learning Center Room 128**

8:45 a.m.         The Battle on the Streets: Law Enforcement Perspective

Moderator: Estela Casas, News Anchor, KVIA Channel 7 ABC affiliate

Speakers: Greg Allen, El Paso Chief of Police; Jaime Esparza, District Attorney for the 34th  Judicial District of Texas; Douglas Lindquist, FBI Special Agent in Charge, El Paso; Will Glaspy, DEA Special Agent in Charge, El Paso

 10:30 a.m.       The Courts and the Price of the “War on Drugs”

Moderator: Patrick Schaefer, Executive Director, Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness, The University of Texas at El Paso

Speakers: Judge David Briones, United States Senior District Judge for the Western District of Texas; Judge Miguel Torres, United States Federal Magistrate for the Western District of Texas; Judge Diane Navarrete, State District Judge, Criminal District Court 1; Jim Darnell, Criminal Defense Attorney El Paso; Rafael De La Garza II, Criminal Defense Attorney Dallas

 **Afternoon panels to be held at Southwest University/Chihuahua Stadium, Durango Street entrance, WestStar Bank Area **

12:45 p.m.      Excerpts from “Kingdom of Shadows”

Speakers: Alfredo Corchado, Mexican Bureau Chief, Dallas Morning News; Bernardo Ruiz, Founder, Quiet Pictures

2:15 p.m.        Marijuana: Legalization, Decriminalization, and Alternatives to Prosecution

Moderator: Angela Kocherga, Border Bureau Chief, KHOU

Speakers: Lupe Valdez, Dallas County Sheriff; Colt DeMorris, Executive Director, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), El Paso Chapter; Joe Moody, State Representative, District 78 D-El Paso

The Lyceum meeting is closed to the public, but media interested in covering the event, are welcome to attend, but must RSVP to or 512-577-9099.

About The Texas Lyceum

The Texas Lyceum, a non-profit, non-partisan group is the premier statewide leadership organization focused on identifying the next generation of top Texas leaders. The Lyceum consists of 96 men and women from throughout the state who begin their six-year term while under the age of 46, and have demonstrated leadership in their community and profession, together with a deep commitment to Texas. For more information, please visit The Texas Lyceum is on Facebook at and on Twitter @TexasLyceum 

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