In 1971 President Nixon declared a 'war on drugs.' Now 45 years later law enforcement experts on a panel at Rice University talked about whether drugs should be prohibited.
Some folks in the audience think the war Nixon started has done more harm than good.
"The drug war is a sham," says author and former cop Dean Becker.
With the way people are sentenced for drugs now, blacks get locked up for small offenses far more than others.
"It certainly has more than just racial overtones, its flat out racially biased" says Becker.
"The numbers being arrested, convicted, sent to prison, sent to prison for longer terms always show that the black and brown citizens get the short end of that stick."
Audience members say the result of those convictions is harm to them and their loved ones.
"When you realize the harm that's been done to families, families have been shattered lives have been ruined over the law," said Ann Lee, of the Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition group.
Lee started her drug law journey when medical marijuana relived her son's pain after an accident.