Government

Presidential hopefuls invited to forum on drug overdose

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry in Des Moines, Iowa, Sept. 21, 2019.  REUTERS/Kathryn Gamble
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry in Des Moines, Iowa, Sept. 21, 2019. REUTERS/Kathryn Gamble

CEDAR RAPIDS — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is the first 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful to confirm participation in “The Overdose Crisis in America,” a forum on drug policy and criminal justice reform Saturday in Iowa City.

The Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition, AIDS United, Drug Policy Alliance, and the Harm Reduction Coalition are hosting the forum from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Englert Theatre.

Reserve free tickets at the Englert Theatre box office, 221 E. Washington St., online at https://englert.org/ or by phone at (319) 688-2653. General admission seating and standing room are first come, first served.

“The next president of the United States must support a comprehensive, drug user-centered approach to combat the overdose, HIV and viral hepatitis crises,” said Jesse Milan, CEO of AIDS United.

Drug overdose is the leading cause of death in America among people under 50, killing about 70,000 people in 2017, according to the sponsors.

The forum will allow presidential candidates to offer policy solutions to these issues in advance of the Iowa caucuses.

The Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition is a public health nonprofit that provides advocacy as well as services in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Dubuque, Des Moines and other communities.

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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