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It’s Time to End the War on Drugs

In the first Versus event, we were joined by Julian Assange and Richard Branson; Russell Brand and Misha Glenny; Geoffrey Robertson and Eliot Spitzer. Experts, orators and celebrities who’ve made legalisation of drugs their cause.

To liberalise or prohibit, that is the question. And to answer it the masters of live debate have joined forces with the masters of web technology to create a never-seen-before combination of Oxford debating and Silicon Valley prowess.

Prohibitionists argue that legalising anything increases its consumption. The world has enough of a problem with legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco, so why add to the problem by legalising cannabis, cocaine and heroin?

The liberalisers say prohibition doesn’t work. By declaring certain drugs illegal we haven’t reduced consumption or solved any problem. Instead we’ve created an epidemic of crime, illness, failed states and money laundering.

Richard Branson; Russell Brand and Misha Glenny; Geoffrey Robertson and Eliot Spitzer. Experts, orators and celebrities who’ve made this their cause – come and see them lock horns in a new Intelligence²/Google+ debate format. Some of our speakers will be on stage in London, others beamed in from Mexico City or São Paulo or New Orleans, all thanks to the “Hangout” tool on Google+.

The web will have its say, and so can you at the event in London. Be part of the buzz of the audience, be part of an event beamed across the web to millions. Come and witness the future of the global mind-clash at the first of our Versus debates, live at Kings Place.


Speakers

Chair

Emily Maitlis

Presenter of BBC Newsnight


Presenter of BBC Newsnight and one of the country’s best known broadcasters. She presents the BBC’s election coverage specials, including the recent US election, and has made a number of BBC documentaries, for which she has interviewed Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.
Featuring

Richard Branson

Chairman of Virgin Group


Chairman of Virgin Group

Misha Glenny

Journalist and expert on organised crime


Journalist and expert on organised crime.

Geoffrey Robertson QC

Barrister, author and journalist


Barrister, author and journalist.

Russell Brand

Actor, comedian and author


Actor, comedian and author

Antonio Maria Costa

Former Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime


Former Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Eliot Spitzer

Former governor of New York, lawyer and political commentator


Former governor of New York, lawyer and political commentator