Lecture / Reading

Drug Policy Reform: Past, Present & Future with Ethan Nadelmann

Sponsored by American Constitution Society


Tuesday, January 21, 2020
12:45 pm – 2:00 pm
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Stanford Law School Room 180
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Drug Policy Alliance founder Ethan Nadelmann will discuss his three decades of advocacy for legalizing marijuana, ending mass incarceration and treating drug use and addiction as matters of health rather than criminal justice, as well as his vision for future drug policy reform.

Described by Rolling Stone as “the point man” for drug policy reform efforts and “the real drug czar,” Ethan Nadelmann is widely regarded as the outstanding proponent of drug policy reform both in the United States and abroad. He founded and directed (from 2000 to 2017) the Drug Policy Alliance, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to ending the war on drugs.

Ethan was born in New York City and received his BA, JD, and PhD from Harvard, and a master’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics. His advocacy began while teaching politics and public affairs at Princeton University (1987-1994). He then founded first The Lindesmith Center (1994-2000, a drug policy institute created with the philanthropic support of George Soros) and then the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), which he directed from 2000 until 2017.  He also co-founded, in 1995, the Open Society Institute’s International Harm Reduction Development (IHRD) program. His TED Talk,  “Why we need to end the drug war,” has almost two million views, with translations into 28 languages.

Ethan and his colleagues played pivotal roles in most of the major drug policy reform ballot initiative campaigns in the United States from 1996 to 2016, on issues ranging from medical marijuana and marijuana legalization to prison reform, drug treatment and reform of civil asset forfeiture laws. They also have reformed state and federal laws involving drug sentencing, drug treatment, access to sterile syringes to reduce HIV/AIDS, prevention of overdose fatalities, and all aspects of marijuana policy. Ethan currently serves on the advisory board of the Open Society Foundation’s Global Drug Policy Project (GDPP).  He has played a key role as drug policy advisor to George Soros and other prominent philanthropists as well as elected officials ranging from mayors, governors and state and federal legislators in the U.S. to presidents and cabinet ministers outside the U.S.

Since stepping down as head of DPA he has become increasingly engaged in the issue of tobacco and nicotine harm reduction, i.e., vaping e-cigarettes.

Sponsored by the American Constitution Society. Lunch will be served.