Tommy McDonald at (212) 613-8036
On April 10, entertainers and drug policy reformers will gather in Los Angeles to honor movement luminaries Jodie Evans, Arianna Huffington and Max Palevsky. Entertainment will include comedy and performances from Andy Dick, Jason Flom, Beth Lapides, Taylor Negron and Jill Sobule, with Bruce Vilanch as the master of ceremonies.
The policies associated with the drug war have had no impact on the availability of illegal drugs in the United States, and yet they are responsible for incarcerating 500,000 Americans for non-violent drug offenses: the U.S. locks up more people for drug offenses than all of Western Europe – with a hundred million more inhabitants – does for all criminal offenses combined.
The event will benefit the Drug Policy Alliance, the nation’s leading organization working to promote drug policies that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. In California, The Alliance has been at the forefront of groundbreaking initiatives like treatment instead of incarceration (Prop 36), and medical marijuana (Prop 215).
“Nothing highlights absurdity better than comedy,” said Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “The drug war is so absurd that it’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry. April 10, we’ll be laughing.”
Where: The Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90049
When: Monday, April 10, Cocktails 6 P.M., Dinner and Program 6:50 P.M.
For tickets and information please call (323) 314-7000 by April 1.
Jodie Evans – For the last 30 years, Jodie Evans has used her skills to protect the earth; give voice to communities and people who go unheard and unseen; uphold human, civil and labor rights; defend the rights of women; and call attention to important political struggles in El Salvador and Mexico. Evans joined the Drug Policy Alliance’s board of Directors in 2001, and now helps to connect the cause of sensible drug policy reform with her wider vision of creating a better society.
Arianna Huffington – Few journalists are as fearless or outspoken as Arianna Huffington. In her nationally syndicated weekly column and on HuffingtonPost.com, Huffington has kept vital drug policy issues at the fore of American political debate. Huffington is the author of ten books and has been an active member of Drug Policy Alliance’s Honorary Board since 2004.
Max Palevsky – Max Palevsky may have once been director and then chairman of the executive committee of the Xerox Corporation, but he has always pursued original thought, whether through his writings about mathematics and philosophy for Berkeley and UCLA or through his part in producing films like the original Fun With Dick and Jane and Marjoe, which won an Academy Award. Over the years, Palevsky has become an ardent and generous supporter of the Drug Policy Alliance, particularly during the landmark California campaigns for medical marijuana and the treatment-not-incarceration initiative Prop. 36.
Andy Dick (and his band, The Bitches of the Century) – Besides amusing the masses through his portrayal of memorable characters in NewsRadio, Less Than Perfect and numerous films, Andy Dick’s personal experience(s) with the enforcement end of the war on drugs makes him the ideal candidate to poke fun. Now in musical form!
John Fugelsang – An actor and stand-up comedian, Fugelsang has found humor both as the co-host of America’s Funniest Home Videos and as a frequent guest on ABC’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. However, his best move may have been openly trashing VH-1 in his one-man-show “Junk Male” – they ended up hiring him. We hope the drug czar will get the same idea after our event.
Beth Lapides – Co-founder of the “alternative comedy” phenomenon Un-Cabaret, this bold comedienne-actress-artist once campaigned to make “First Lady” an elected office. We’re guessing her platform wasn’t “Just Say No.”
Taylor Negron – As if being Jewish and Latino isn’t funny enough. In his various film and TV alter-egos, Taylor Negron has beat down Bruce Willis, gotten his legs cut off on ER, and been manhandled by Paris Hilton. His hilarious take on the war on drugs promises to be similarly hard-hitting.
Jill Sobule – Called “criminally underappreciated” by music critics, Jill Sobule offers her music as a “deeply personal and socially responsible” window onto the most pressing issues of our times. She was such a crowd favorite at our last benefit that we’re bringing her back for another round!