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Life After the War on Drugs: Reviewing Past and Present Policies with an Eye Toward Legal Reform

University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law
2011 Law Review Symposium


"Life After the War on Drugs: Reviewing Past and Present Policies With an Eye Toward Legal Reform"

Introduction (10:00 – 10:15 a.m.)
• John Brittain, Professor, UDC-DCSL, Chief Counsel and Senior Deputy Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (2005-2009)

Panel 1: Drug Policy at Home and Abroad (10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)
• Eric Sterling, Advisory Board Member, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)
• Brooke Mascagni, PhD Candidate, University of California, Santa Barbara
• Jordan Blair Woods, PhD Candidate, Cambridge University (U.K.), J.D. University of California Los Angeles

Lunch (12:00 – 1:00 pm)
• Lunch Keynote Speaker: Ronald C. Machen, Jr., United States Attorney for the District of Columbia

Panel 2: Conflicts between State and Federal Drug Laws (1:00 – 3:30 p.m.)
• Andrew Ferguson (Moderator), Professor, UDC-DCSL, Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia (2004-2010)
• Robert Hildum, Director, D.C. Dept. of Youth Rehabilitation Services (2010)
• Sumeet H. Chugani, Esq. and Xingjian Zhao, Esq., Diaz, Reus & Targ, LLP (Miami, FL)
• Alex Kreit, Director, Center for Law and Social Justice, Thomas Jefferson School of Law (San Diego, CA)

Panel 3: The Unknown Effects of the War on Drugs (3:45 – 5:00 p.m.)
• Brian Gilmore, Director, Michigan State University College of Law Housing Clinic
• Ken Lammers, Deputy Commonwealth Attorney, County of Wise and City of Norton in Virginia
• Michael Liszewski, Board of Directors, Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Cocktail Reception (5:10 – 6:00 p.m.)

Plenary Panel: Life After the War on Drugs (6:00 – 9:00 p.m.)
• Keynote Speaker: Wade Henderson, President and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
• Jasmine Tyler, Deputy Director of National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance
• Mark Osler, Professor, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minneapolis, MN)
• The Honorable Arthur L. Burnett, Sr., National Executive Director, National African-American Drug Policy Coalition
• Dr. Faye Taxman, Director, Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence, George Mason University

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is limited. To register, see

For any questions, please contact Symposium Editor Leila Mansouri at [email protected].

Thu, 03/24/2011 - 10:00am - 9:00pm
4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, Windows Lounge: Building 38, 2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20008
United States

We Need Your Ideas!



Name our campaign to end the war on drugs – and win a free DPA t‑shirt, mug and calendar.


Submit your idea today!

Dear Friends,

Forty years ago, Richard Nixon launched the war on drugs. After decades of disastrous policies, it couldn't be more clear: It's time to put an end to the drug war.

That's why the Drug Policy Alliance is pulling out all the stops this spring. We’re launching a massive campaign to spotlight the many failures of the war on drugs and to push for policies that work.

To get the campaign off the ground ASAP, we need a campaign name – will you help? Send us your ideas to name the campaign to end the war on drugs! If we pick yours we'll send you free DPA gear, including a t‑shirt, coffee mug and calendar!

Momentum is building quickly and now is the time to take our efforts to a new level.

My recent Huffington Post article explains our strategy for 2011 and the future. Please read it. It will give you a better idea of our basic themes and objectives – and hopefully inspire you to come up with a great name for our campaign!

In the next few months, DPA will release a hard-hitting report, team up with organizations to plan local events across the country and engage high-profile people to speak out against the war on drugs. With public opinion in our favor, we are approaching critical mass.

That's why we want you to participate in our campaign naming contest. Submit your idea for a campaign name now!

A good campaign name will be attention-grabbing, four words or less, and get across the core of our message: that the drug war is a failure and needs national attention now. A great campaign name will be unforgettable. Submit your idea today!


Ethan Nadelmann
Executive Director
Drug Policy Alliance

Save the Date for the 2011 International Drug Policy Reform Conference

vigil outside Albuquerque Convention Center, 2009 drug policy reform conference
November 2-5, 2011
Westin Bonaventure
Los Angeles, California

This biennial event is the outstanding international conference that focuses on addressing drug policy issues from a reform perspective. Over a thousand people are expected to attend this year's gathering in Los Angeles. Presenters and other attendees include scholars, activists, government officials as well as specialists in treatment, prevention, harm reduction and drug law enforcement - primarily from around the United States but also from dozens of other countries.

If you believe that the war on drugs is doing more harm than good, you can't miss this extraordinary gathering.

Call for Proposals now open! Proposals accepted until March 18.

Click on the archive and web site links below to see the broad range of subjects addressed at the conference. Registration and Scholarship Application opening soon.

The International Drug Policy Reform Conference
NEXT: November 2-5, 2011, Los Angeles, CA:
PAST: November 12-14, 2009, Albuquerque, NM:

Los Angeles, CA
United States

54th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

The Economic and Social Council established the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in 1946 as the central policy-making body of the United Nations in drug related matters. The Commission enables Member States to analyse the global drug situation, provide follow-up to the twentieth special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem and to take measures at the global level within its scope of action. It also monitors the implementation of the three international drug control conventions and is empowered to consider all matters pertaining to the aim of the conventions, including the scheduling of substances to be brought under international control.

For more information, see

Mon, 03/21/2011 - 10:00am - Fri, 03/25/2011 - 6:00pm
Wagramer Strasse 5 Vienna International Centre (VIC)
Vienna 1220

Submit Your Video to ASA and Join Us for Our National Organizers' Call in February


Dear Friends,

In advance of our upcoming Activist Boot Camp on February 19th & 20th, Americans for Safe Access is putting together a video to showcase who we are and why we do what we do.

And we want to hear from you!

We are asking our chapters and individual supporters for videos and photos from all parts of the country that share the importance of medical cannabis activism. All you need is a digital video camera - your computer's webcam would work fine.

First, we would like to hear from chapters and affiliates everywhere. If you can't get together a video of your group, we would still love a photo! But if you can get a video, we would love a big "Hello from XXX City ASA!"

For individuals, we are looking for a 30-second clip with the following:
- Your name
- Your city
- Your chapter affiliation
- A hello message to other ASA chapters and members around the country

And another 15-second clip, telling the world why YOU are a member of Americans for Safe Access.

We plan to showcase some of the best videos to the Activist Boot Campon February 19th & 20th, and then later put them all up on ASA National's website.

It takes less than a minute - but we need that minute before Friday, February 4th. Practice a few times, frame the video so that we can see your face from the chest up, and then email video footage in digital format in Quicktime (mp4 or mov file - hi def if possible!) to Sam Sabzehzar at[email protected].

Also, sponsorships are still available for the Boot Camp until Monday, January 31st. If you are able to help sponsor, or have any questions about the Boot Camp, please contact[email protected].  

Or, if you have questions about the video, please contact[email protected].

Additionally we would like to invite each of you to be a part of our National Organizers' Call on Wednesday, February 9th at 8 pm EST/5 pm PST. You can join us by calling 832-431-3335 and entering access-code 1618568. Please RSVP to the call by emailing ASA Field Director Kristen Ford -[email protected].

Thanks for being part of this movement!


Amber Langston
Americans for Safe Access
Conference Director

Disclaimer:  Permission to use video footage is deemed granted by submission. Footage may be used in any and all future media, including, but not limited to, conferences and trainings hosted by Americans for Safe Access and affiliates. Footage may also be found on ASA’s website and/or Youtube, unless otherwise noted on submission.   

Americans for Safe Access

Please support ASA!

On The Web:

ASA's Mission

ASA Forums

ASA Blog

Take Action

ASA's Online Store

"Gear up" for medical cannabis activism with ASA's new T-shirts, hats, stickers, bags and more! All proceeds go to ASA advocacy

1st Annual Cannabis Convention at UBC

The International Hempology 101 Society announces the 1st Annual Cannabis Convention at UBC.

Hosted by the brand new University of British Columbia Hempology 101 Club and the Social Justice Center, this premier event features several prominent anti-prohibitionists from the US and Canada.

This gathering will give students, activists, medical patients and interested members of the public a chance to interact while learning about some of the latest developments in cannabis law, science and archaeology. Admission is free and open to the public.

Author Chris Bennett will begin the convention with comments on his latest publication, Cannabis and the Soma Solution.

He will be followed by Joanna McKee, a veteran Washington State activist who will provide an overview of the changes she has seen since that state passed medical cannabis laws in 1996.

Dr. Paul Hornby will follow with a discussion of his research on cannabinoids, extractions, fertilizers and genetics.

Also coming from the Seattle area is lawyer Jim Doherty from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, who will attack the ideals of the War On Drugs from the perspective of someone who has seen the futility of its practice.

Finally, local lawyer John Conroy, counsel in many important drug related cases including In-Site, will wrap things up with closing arguments.

This event is modeled upon the 11 Cannabis Conventions hosted by the UVSS Hempology 101 Club at the University of Victoria. Now the largest student club on campus every year, the UVSS Hempology 101 Club also provides a free, non-credit lecture series which is available live on-line and recorded on YouTube. All live broadcasts and YouTube links can be found at

With student clubs at the University of Victoria, Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, and now UBC, Hempology 101 plans upon spreading to more post-secondary schools in the near future.

The event will be available live on-line. For more information contact Ted Smith at [email protected].

Fri, 01/28/2011 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm
2329 West Mall University of British Columbia Room #214/216
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

Seminar on Medical Marijuana Tax Issues

In an effort to get more owners of medical marijuana businesses to properly remit sales and use taxes, the city of Boulder, Colorado is hosting an informational seminar on marijuana taxes.

The seminar will focus on the city's tax rules as they pertain to medical marijuana businesses, and will include topics such as audits and tax returns.

The event requires reservations. To reserve a spot, call 303-441-4017.

Wed, 01/26/2011 - 1:30pm - 3:30pm
1777 Broadway Municipal Building Plaza
Boulder, CO 80302
United States

Medical Marijuana Rules in Colorado -- Your Chance to Speak Out


Public Hearing on Medical Marijuana Rules This Thursday and Friday

Attn: Medical Marijuana Community Members

Please join Sensible Colorado in speaking out for patient privacy on January 27 and 28 at the Colorado Dept. of Revenue hearing.  While the Dept. of Revenue considers the most comprehensive medical marijuana distribution system in history, it is crucial that Department officials hear from patients and advocates about the importance of maintaining patient privacy and closely guarding patient health records. That's where we need YOU!  (Note suggested "talking points" below).

When:  Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011 and Friday, Jan. 28, 2011at 9:00am

Where: Jefferson County Justice Center, Administration and Court Facility, Hearing Room 1, 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden, CO 80419

Talking Points on Patient Privacy

  • “My patient status, including any diagnosis, is private. The state legislature should take as many steps possible to keep these records confidential. I suggest extending the privacy requirements and fines that the constitutional amendment created for the Dept. of Health to the Dept of Revenue.”
  • “To protect patient privacy, the Dept. of Revenue should minimize the number of individuals that have access to medical files and should take steps to instruct employees not to cooperate with federal authorities. “
  • “Many patients need dispensing centers for safe and legal access to their medicine. State law already requires that the only people utilizing these centers are qualifying patients and caregivers. Video surveillance of patients as they enter these centers will have a chilling effect on patient acccess.”

**Please support Sensible Colorado my becoming a monthly donor today.  See you at the hearing!

100 Jefferson County Parkway Jefferson County Justice Center, Administration and Court Facility
Golden, CO 80419
United States

Press Conference: Montel Williams Discusses His Support for Medical Marijuana in Maryland

Multiple sclerosis patient and popular former talk show host Montel Williams will speak at a press conference in Annapolis in support of legislation that would make Maryland the nation’s 16th state allowing physician-approved use of medical marijuana.

Williams grew up in Baltimore where his father was the city’s first African-American fire chief. Williams is a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis and retired from the U.S. Navy as a decorated naval intelligence officer after more than two decades of service before embarking on his second career as a national television talk show host. In 1999, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and has sought treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Following his diagnosis, he created the Montel Williams MS Foundation, which is committed to raising awareness of the disease and providing inspiration to those who live with MS. Williams has served as an advocate for the compassionate use of medical marijuana in a variety of states that have approved new laws.

Montel will be joined at the Maryland press conference by the chief sponsors of the state’s medical marijuana legislation: physician and Delegate Dan Morhaim, and Senators Jamie Raskin and David Brinkley, both cancer survivors.

Mon, 01/24/2011 - 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Room 302, House Office Bldg., 6 Bladen St.
Annapolis, MD 21401
United States

First Medical Cannabis Virtual Skill-Building Conference: A National Call to Action!

A National Call to Action!

Activist Boot Camp, February 19-20, 2011


The National Call to Action is the nation's first medical cannabis virtual skill-building conference. Re-pledge your commitment to safe and legal access by joining thousands of your fellow activists for two days of community-building, skill-sharing, and strategic planning.


For nearly a decade ASA has been hosting trainings and workshops to build capacity among our base and mobilize our activists. When we began this work, ASA focused on the battles in California. Today our scope is national, and we get pleas from almost every state asking us to help them activate their base and build a strategy to ensure safe access.


ASA's success over the years has been a combination of strategic efforts from a knowledgeable staff, and an ability to empower and mobilize a grassroots base for medical cannabis issues. We have always known the path to victory will be a patient-led movement, and through years of outreach, education and training, ASA has laid the foundation for that path.


ASA is hosting this conference virtually to better reach the thousands and thousands of patients and activists who need our trainings - we know that in these tough economic times we'll train with more breadth and depth if we're able to bring ASA to the masses, rather than the masses to ASA.


Local hosts will receive a DVD of trainings, workshops, and speeches from key leaders and allied politicians, and will join in direct community-building interactivity opportunities with ASA. These DVDs will allow us to memorialize our trainings, making these resources available for chapters to use over and over again as new activists join the movement. The ripple effect of hosting this conference through DVD is tremendous - we know that the benefits of the valuable information organized within will well outlast the two-day event.


Why should I participate?

There is no easier or more effective way to learn the skills you need SPECIFICALLY to become a leading advocate for medical cannabis policy. ASA has the knowledge, resources and history for protecting patients' rights to safe medical cannabis access. At ASA we realize that patients must lead this cause from the grassroots up. These virtual conferences will give you the tools you need to make meaningful change within your own community.

What does it cost?

$75 for the weekend ($50 for current ASA members)

Can I still participate if there is not an event in my area?

Yes, DVDs and workbooks will be available to order online. Simply go to the Activist Boot Camp Registration page and click "My own home" on the drop-down menu under "Location". ASA will send you your own copy of materials the week of the February 19th & 20th.

Why now?

We are currently in the midst of a political climate that we are unlikely to see again for years to come. If we want to capitalize on this moment to the fullest, we must make sure our movement has the tools and training they need immediately! ASA's success over the years has largely been based in our ability to act quickly to current political situations and to mold our public response in a way that is both meaningful and effective. But this historical success is only a foundation, and we must stay vigilant to the turning tide. Fortunately, the tide is turning more in our favor than ever before - and that's why NOW is such a crucial time to be pushing our cause.

How does it work?

ASA chapters and affiliates across the country will act as regional hosts for the virtual conferences. ASA National will provide posters and handouts to help with marketing and promotion, along with DVDs and accompanying workshop materials. ASA staff will also provide one-on-one assistance, working with you directly to help pull off a successful event.

When is it?

The National Call to Action Activist Boot Camp will launch on February 19th and 20th and will be held simultaneously in communities across the nation.

How do I get involved?

If you are interested in hosting, assisting or even just attending a virtual Activist Boot Camp, please contact [email protected].

Sponsorship opportunities

If you are interested in sponsorship, please download these materials and contact [email protected]

Sat, 02/19/2011 (All day) - Sun, 02/20/2011 (All day)

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