Educational Program

We are very pleased to announce the final program for this year's International Drug Policy Reform Conference.  Please see below for a list of all sessions by day and time.


Thursday, November 19

11:30am - 1:00pm

Youth Drug Prevention and Education: New Paradigms for a New Era

Salon A

From the Temperance Movement to “Just Say No,” we have primarily relied on scare tactics, punitive policies and stigma to persuade and coax young people to abstain. But now as Americans increasingly support health-centered approaches to drug policy, new drug prevention and education strategies are also gaining traction. Parents and educators need sensible answers about how the new landscape presents both a challenge and an opportunity to engage young people in meaningful conversations about drugs and their use. DPA’s Youth Policy Advisory committee and others will explore the latest developments at the intersection between youth development, harm reduction, the war on drugs.

Moderator: Effie Nulman, Chair, Drug Policy Alliance Youth Advisory Committee, Riverdale, NY

  • Jerome Beck, Comprehensive Drug Education Consultants, Portland, OR
  • Andrea Brandon, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY 
  • Vilmarie Fraguada Narloch, PsyD., Board Member, Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  • Rhonda Paganetti, Director, Drug Prevention Services, NYC Dept. of Education, New York, NY
  • Marsha Rosenbaum, Director Emerita, Drug Policy Alliance, San Francisco, CA
  • Andrew Tatarsky, Founder & Director, Center for Optimal Living, New York, NY
  • Ken Tupper, Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
  • Sheila Vakharia, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Long Island University, New York, NY

When Women Ended Prohibition: The 21st Century Struggle to End the Criminalization of Drug Use

Salon B (Spanish translation available)

Just as they ended Alcohol Prohibition, women are building a movement to end the drug war. From organizing for harm reduction principles and practices, to fighting for a just and equitable criminal justice system, women are on the front lines of the drug war and leading many of the most successful efforts in the nation today to end these failed policies. What do women bring to our struggle, and what do they face within and outside our movement?

Moderator: Nkechi Taifa, Senior Policy Analyst, Open Society Foundations, Washington, DC

  • Gretchen Bergman, Executive Director, A New PATH, San Diego, CA
  • Ann-Marie Cockburn, Advocate, Martha’s Mum, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Alison Holcomb, Director, Campaign for Smart Justice, American Civil Liberties Union, Seattle, WA
  • Rebecca McGoldrick, Executive Director, Protect Families First, Providence, RI
  • Amaya Ordorika, Member of ReverdeSer Colectivo and a Researcher on Human Rights and Drug Policy for the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Lynn Paltrow, Executive Director, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, New York, NY

Breaking the Third Rail: Politicians Calling for No More Drug War

Salon C (Spanish translation available)

Elected officials that champion drug policy reform rarely have a forum to share strategy and trade notes. What’s working today to move our common agenda in the halls of government? How are politicians constrained when it comes to advancing alternative drug policies? An accomplished array of local, state and federal officials will share insights on their journeys to becoming drug policy reform advocates and tips for moving your own elected officials on municipal and state level drug policy reform issues.

Moderator: Jill Harris, Deputy Director, Campaign to End Mass Incarceration, ACLU, Brooklyn, New York

  • State Delegate Dan Morhaim, Baltimore, MD
  • Mayor Svante Myrick, Ithaca, NY
  • District of Columbia Councilmember David Grosso, Washington, D.C.

The End is Nigh: When Will Congress End Federal Marijuana Prohibition?

Salon H

Recent years have seen a burst of activity from Congress on marijuana policy. Last year, the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment to protect state medical marijuana programs became law, and this year a group of Senators introduced the first-ever Senate bill to end federal prohibition of medical marijuana. With marijuana legal in four states and Washington, D.C., and more states set to legalize in 2016, when will Congress finally end federal prohibition of marijuana?  How might this happen?

Moderator: Jasmine L. Tyler, Senior Policy Analyst, Open Society Foundations, Washington, DC

  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Portland, OR
  • Chris Ingraham, Journalist, Washington Post, Washington, DC
  • Rob Kampia, Executive Director, Marijuana Policy Project, Washington, DC
  • Bill Piper, Director, Office of National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance, Washington, DC
  • Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Huntington Beach, CA

Asset Forfeiture: An Insidious Tool of Drug War

Salon J

Civil asset forfeiture – and its widespread abuse – are deeply tied to the expansion of the drug war in the 1980s and 90s. This law enforcement mechanism is now so engrained in day-to-day operations that seizing property often appears more essential to police agencies than protecting and serving the public. Whether concerned with constitutional rights, government overreach, or drug policy, criminal justice reformers and many other people are focusing like never before on the injustices of asset forfeiture.  Where and how are reformers gaining traction?  And what are the prospects for widespread reform in the face of virulent opposition from law enforcement?

Moderator: Theshia Nadoo, Senior Staff Attorney, Drug Policy Alliance, Oakland, CA

  • Kanya Bennett, Legislative Counsel, ACLU, Washington, DC
  • Sakira Cook, Counsel, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Washington, DC
  • Jonah Engle, Independent Journalist, Montreal, Quebec
  • Phil Harvey, Founder, DKT Liberty Project, Washington, DC
  • Jason Pye, Director of Justice Reform, FreedomWorks, Washington, DC
  • Darpana Sheth, Attorney, Institute for Justice, Arlington, VA

What are the Goals of Drug Policy Reform and How Do We Connect Those Dots?

Salon K

Imagine a society where drug use and regulation are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights, people aren’t punished for what they put into their bodies and the fears, prejudices and punitive prohibitions of today are no more. How do we strategically and conscientiously achieve this goal? What drug policy issues should we focus on and why? Come learn DPA's perspective on how best to invest your efforts to effectively dismantle the drug war. Speakers will discuss the intersectionality between reducing criminalization, marijuana regulation, harm reduction and evidence-based drug education.    
Presenters: asha bandele, Director, Advocacy Grants Program, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY and Stephen Gutwillig, Deputy Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance, Los Angeles, CA

2:30pm - 4:00pm

Faith, Fallacies and the Failure of the Drug War

Salon A

What does it say about our nation’s moral compass when more than two million people are behind bars? How is the faith community working to end the war on drugs, and what more can be done?  Why is supporting drug policy reform a moral dilemma for faith leaders and communities? And why are many faith leaders speaking out against this unjust war while others remain hesitant?

Moderator: Dr. William Martin, Professor, Harry & Hazel Chavanne Professor Emeritus of Religion and Public Policy Rice University, Houston, TX

  • Dr. Iva Carruthers, General Secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Chicago, IL.
  • Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Executive Director, Religious Action Center, Washington, DC
  • Rev. Edwin Sanders, Senior Servant, Metropolitan Interdenominational Church, Memphis, TN
  • Rev. Al Sharp, Executive Director, Clergy for a New Drug Policy, Chicago, IL
  • Rev. Teresa Smallwood, Associate Minister, Israel Baptist Church, Washington, DC
  • Dr. Harold Trulear, National Director, Healing Communities USA, Philadelphia, PA
  • Rev. Janet Wolf, Director, Children’s Defense Fund Haley Farm and Nonviolent Organizing, Clinton, TN

Supervised Injection Facilities: Advancing Reforms in the U.S.

Salon B (Spanish translation available)

Supervised injection facilities (SIFs) allow people to consume drugs in a supervised, often clinical space. There are more than 100 such facilities throughout the world – but none in the U.S. What is the status of organizing efforts in the U.S.? Who will use SIFs and what advantages do they offer people who use drugs and their communities? What can we learn from efforts in other countries? What are the pros and cons of operating underground programs versus working to shift the legal and political environment? And what role can SIFs play in addressing the HIV epidemic and other health issues among people who use drugs?

Moderator: Laura Thomas, Deputy California State Director, Drug Policy Alliance, San Francisco, CA

  • Matt Curtis, Policy Director, VOCAL, New York, NY
  • Pete Davidson, Assistant Professor, UCSD Global Public Health, San Diego, CA
  • Taeko Frost, Executive Director, Washington Heights Corner Project, New York, NY
  • Nanna Gotfredsen, Gadejuristen/Street Lawyers, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Kali Lindsay, Deputy Director, Public Policy, amfAR, Washington, DC

The Drug War and the Militarization and Bastardization of Police Practices

Salon C (Spanish translation available)

Traditionally explained as the result of a few bad apples, police abuses are increasingly recognized as systemic failures that actually undermine public order. Police forces became militarized largely due to the drug war and benefit from seemingly unconditional support from lawmakers and the judiciary. How have the politics of the drug war and the often-sensationalized violence of the drug trade helped to create this phenomenon? What incentives are there for police to serve as community-based peace officers instead of soldiers on the front lines of mass incarceration?

Moderator: Shakyra Diaz, Policy Manager, ACLU of Ohio, Cleveland, Ohio

  • Mizue Aizeki, Deputy Director, Immigrant Defense Project, New York, NY
  • Patrisse Cullors, Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter, Los Angeles, CA
  • Veronica Bayetti Flores, Policy Coordinator, StreetWise and Safe, New York, NY
  • Lauren Galik, Director of Criminal Justice Reform, Reason Foundation, Los Angeles, CA
  • Retired Lieutenant Diane Goldstein, Board Secretary, LEAP, Redondo Beach, CA
  • Rachel Herzing, Soros Justice Fellow, Oakland, CA
  • Amaya Ordorika, Member of ReverdeSer Colectivo and a Researcher on Human Rights and Drug Policy for the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, Mexico City, Mexico

Marijuana and the Politics of 2016: The Impact on Candidates, Voter Turnout and Criminal Justice Reform

Salon H

The political discourse around marijuana has changed dramatically from President Clinton (“I did not inhale”) to President Obama (“I don’t think [marijuana] is more dangerous than alcohol.”). The 2016 election will see an unprecedented number of marijuana legalization initiatives on state ballots, including in presidential battleground states. Candidates from both major parties have spoken favorably of marijuana reform. Will legalization measures impact the 2016 general elections? And how might specific initiatives affect local and national discourse about drug policy and incarceration, influence voter turnout, and set the stage for further reforms beyond 2016?

Moderator: Graham Boyd, New Approach, Santa Cruz, CA

  • Jehmu Greene, Political Analyst and Contributor, Fox News Channel, Washington, DC
  • John Hudak, Brookings Institute, Washington, DC
  • Dave Metz, Principal, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, Oakland, CA
  • Ben Pollara, Director, United For Care, Miami, FL
  • Dan Riffle, Director of Federal Policies, Marijuana Policy Project, Washington, DC
  • Cristina Uribe, California State Director, Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC), Oakland, CA

Beyond Political Boundaries: The Bi-Partisan Movement for Reform

Salon J

From President Obama to the Koch Brothers, the political left and right seem to agree that reforming our criminal justice system and dramatically reducing incarceration are major priorities. What are the moral, social and policy imperatives driving this phenomenon? With disparate motivations, how sustainable is this coalition? Can the left and right truly collaborate and make long-lasting, meaningful change?

Moderator: Chloe Cockburn, Program Officer, Open Philanthropy Project, San Francisco, CA

  • Michael Collins, Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, Washington DC
  • Jill Harris, Deputy Director, Campaign to End Mass Incarceration, ACLU, New York, NY
  • LB Eisen, Senior Counsel, Justice Program, Brennan Center for Justice, New York, NY
  • Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Director, ACLU of California, San Diego
  • Angela Pacheco, District Attorney, First Judicial District, Santa Fe, NM

Organizing 101: From Activist to Organizer

Salon K

Learn how to build group participation and get more people involved in your efforts around drug policy reform. We will look at advocacy campaigns that have led to systemic changes that scale back some of the worst harms of the drug war. We will share community organizing tools and tactics.   

Presenter: Lorenzo Jones, Executive Director, A Better Way Foundation, Hartford, CT

4:30pm - 6:00pm

The Drug War Making Drugs Worse: What Can We Do About “New” Drugs?

Salon A

Flakka, bath salts, krokodil, 25i-nBOMe: these are just some of the drugs known collectively as “novel psychoactive substances” (NPS) or “new synthetic drugs” in the US. Need a primer on these “new” (to the market) substances? Why might drug checking – testing substances to determine their contents – be one of the most important harm reduction interventions on the horizon? And what happened with the policy reforms in New Zealand that created a framework to safely regulate these drugs? Are any innovative policy responses emerging in the US, or are we doomed to repeat the same drug war mistakes with these drugs?

Moderator: Stefanie Jones, Nightlife Community Engagement Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Ross Bell, Executive Director, New Zealand Drug Foundation, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Joseph Palamar, Assistant Professor, New York University Langone Medical Center, Department of Population Health, New York, NY
  • Grant Smith, Deputy Director, Office of National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance, Washington, DC

Is the U.S. Finally Ready for Heroin-Assisted Treatment?

Salon B (Spanish translation available)

This much has been scientifically and unequivocally proven — heroin-assisted treatment works, and at great cost-savings. Why, then, has the U.S. not followed the eight countries that have already implemented successful pilot or permanent programs? This panel will review the evidence in support of heroin-assisted treatment, examine the challenges and lessons learned from implementation in other countries, specifically Canada and Denmark, as well as the political environment in which these programs were initiated. What is the viability of moving heroin-assisted treatment forward in the U.S.?  And what are some potential strategies for doing so?

Moderator: Adrienne Smith, Health and Drug Policy Lawyer, Pivot Legal Society, Vancouver, Canada

  • Ernest Drucker, Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, NY
  • Michael Jourdan, Filmmaker, Denmark
  • Eugenia Oviedo-Joekes, Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, School of Population and Public Health, Vancouver, Canada
  • Peter Reuter, Professor, University of Maryland, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, College Park, MD
  • Senator Tick Segerblom, Nevada State Senator, Las Vegas, NV

Porro, Ganja, Mota, Gras: Models for Cannabis Regulation from Around the World

Salon C (Spanish translation available)

What are the world’s most cutting-edge marijuana regulation models? Uruguay became the first nation to legally regulate marijuana; Jamaica passed sweeping marijuana decriminalization reforms that focused on religious rights and therapeutic access; Spain took advantage of a legal grey area to set up hundreds of cannabis social clubs; medical marijuana proposals are sweeping Europe and Latin America; and people throughout Europe are advocating for local marijuana initiatives. How are marijuana reforms being advanced around the world, despite political limitations?  And what role does cultural context play in developing safe, ethical and inclusive models for regulation?

Moderator: Zara Snapp, Policy and Communications Officer, Global Commission on Drug Policy, Mexico City, Mexico

  • Congressman Marvin Atencio Delgado, Citizens' Action Party, Costa Rica
  • Florencia Lemos, Member of Proderechos and Co-Founder of the CLUC Cannabis Club, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Amber Marks, Lecturer in Law, Queen Mary University of London, UK
  • Delano Seiveright, Director, Jamaica Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce, Kingston, Jamaica
  • Georg Wurth, CEO, German Hemp Association, Berlin, Germany

Drugs, Criminal Justice and Pop Culture: America’s Untold Story!

Salon H

Bob Dylan and Nina Simone, Paul Robeson and Harry Belafonte. Successful US artists have long used their celebrity status to highlight social and political issues of their time. Contemporary artists, Immortal Technique, John Legend, Talib Kweli and many others have followed in this rich tradition by using their art as a form of protest against the criminal justice system and the drug war. Are we ready to break the taboo and talk about drugs and American pop culture? Can we move past morality and open up a truthful public dialogue about the systemic roots of crime and drug addiction? What can we do to get more entertainers to back up their rhetoric with real political advocacy?

Moderator: Tommy McDonald, Deputy Director, Media Relations, Drug Policy Alliance, Oakland, CA

  • Kassandra Frederique, Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY
  • Dr. Christophe Ringer, Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics and Society, Chicago Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL
  • Dr. Donald Tibbs, Associate Professor of Law, Thomas R. Kline School of Law, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Rebecca Tiger, Associate Professor of Sociology, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT
  • T-Dubb-O, Hip Hop Artist, Political Director, Hands Up United, Florissant, MO
  • Crystal Monee Hall, Recording Artist and Adjunct Professor of Music at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, New York, NY

It's Time for a New New Deal

Salon J

If all drug war prisoners’ sentences were commuted tomorrow, would we be prepared to truly welcome them home? As coalitions have come together across class, party and organizational lines to rebuke our drug and criminal justice policies, what plans have we made to ensure the restoration of people and communities impacted by mass criminalization and incarceration? How can formerly incarcerated and convicted people – and their families – exert themselves in the next election cycle and beyond? What are we asserting as moral and policy imperatives as we enter a new generation of drug and criminal justice policy? What’s our New Deal?

Moderator: asha bandele, Director, Advocacy Grants Program, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, President, The Ordinary People Society, Dothan, AL
  • Jill Harris, Deputy Director, Campaign to End Mass Incarceration, ACLU, Brooklyn, NY
  • Norris Henderson, Executive Director, V.O.T.E., New Orleans, Louisians
  • Dorsey Nunn, Executive Director, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, San Francisco, CA
  • Tina Reynolds, Executive Director, Women on The Rise Telling Her Story, Brooklyn, NY
  • Deborah Small, Executive Director, Break the Chains, Richmond, CA
  • Kemba Smith, Author, Poster Child, Richmond, VA

Saving Lives in Southern States: Advancing Harm Reduction Legislation in the South

Salon K

The over-prescribing of painkillers is fueling nearly 17,000 annual deaths from overdoses in the United States as well as a rise in heroin use. Southern states have experienced some of the highest rates of overdose in the country – and, remarkably, have recently passed extensive reforms to address this. How do we engage unlikely allies – including law enforcement and elected Republicans – to advance harm reduction legislation in some of the most conservative states in the country? Can we turn these policy band-aids into long-term structural reforms that strike at the heart of the drug war?

Moderator: Laura Thomas, Deputy Director, Drug Policy Alliance, San Francisco, CA

  • Robert Childs, Executive Director, North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, Durham, NC
  • Cate Graziani, Public Policy Fellow, Mental Health America of Texas, Austin, TX
  • Jason Merrick, Executive Committee President, People Advocating Recovery, Louisville, KY
  • Dr. Mojgan Zare, Executive Director, Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, Atlanta, GA

Friday, November 20

11:30am - 1:00pm

Criminalized, Marginalized and “Othered”: Lessons and Strategies for Fighting the Drug War in Hard Places

Salon A

What can we learn about organizing with criminalized, marginalized and transient constituencies?  How do we build a more robust movement that addresses the challenges and concerns of those least visible and most vulnerable to drug war policies, such as pregnant women, LGBT drug users and sellers, and formerly incarcerated people? Some of the bravest organizers and advocates in the drug policy reform movement share stories and strategies on what it will take to end the drug war under very challenging circumstances.

Moderator: Yolande Cadore, Director, Strategic Partnerships, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Conner Adams, Appalachian Harm Reduction Services Specialist, NC Harm Reduction Coalition, Asheville, NC
  • Cyndee Clay, Executive Director, HIPS, Washington, D.C.
  • Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, President, The Ordinary People Society, Dothan, AL
  • Julia Negron, Certified Addiction Specialist, SunCoast Harm Reduction Project, Venice, FL
  • Cherise Scott, Executive Director, SisterReach, Memphis, TN
  • James Sizemore, Senior Pastor, Radiant Church, Fayetteville, NC
  • Louise Vincent, MPH, Overdose Prevention and Outreach Consultant, NC Harm Reduction Coalition & Chapter President, NC Urban Survivor Union, Greensboro, NC

Beyond Marijuana: Legalization and the Movement and to Reform Other Drug Policies

Salon B (Spanish translation available)

Despite the growing social acceptance of marijuana nationwide, marijuana law violations still make up almost half of all U.S. drug arrests. Marijuana legalization is, therefore, often touted as a major step toward dismantling the drug war and scaling back mass incarceration. How can marijuana legalization be used to propel efforts to decriminalize other drugs, mitigate recidivism, minimize collateral consequences of drug convictions, and increase harm reduction policies? How might marijuana legalization repair – or exacerbate – the disparate harms of the war on drugs?

Moderator: Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), Executive Director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Silver Spring, MD
  • Kassandra Frederique, Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY
  • Antonio Gonzalez, President, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project & William C. Velasquez Institute, San Antonio, TX & Los Angeles, CA
  • Harry Levine, Professor of Sociology, Queens College, City University of New York, co-director, Marijuana Arrest Research Project, New York, New York
  • Lisa Sanchez, Latin American Programme Manager, TDPF/MUCD, Mexico D.F., Mexico
  • Senator Tick Segerblom, Member of the Nevada State Senate, Las Vegas, NV
  • Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director, NORML, Washington, DC

What Do Religious, Cultural and Indigenous Rights Have to Do With Drug Policy Reform?

Salon C (Spanish translation available)

Currently-illegal psychoactive substances have often been grown and used by traditional communities for millennia for religious, therapeutic, political, social, and recreational purposes. How are these drugs currently regulated, and how can drug policies that respect religious, indigenous and cultural rights be ensured? What role are traditional practitioners and growers playing in the drug policy reform movement? What can we learn from these voices? From coca in Colombia to ganja in Jamaica to ayahuasca in Brazil to peyote in Mexico, members of indigenous and religious communities are central to drug policy discussions and reforms.

Moderator: Bia Labate, Professor, Center for Research and Post Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology, Guadalajara, Mexico

  • Leopardo Yawa Bane, Vice-President, Institute of Indigenous Traditions, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Martín Collazo, Sociologist, member of Proderechos and co-founder of the CLUC Cannabis Club, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Aura Maria Puyana Mutis, Sociologist and Researcher, Observatorio de cultivos y cultivadores declarados ilícitos, Colombia
  • Representative of the Global Rastafari Youth Foundation, Jamaica

Race-Based Messaging: The Need and Challenge to Address Structural Inequity

Salon H

Leading by talking about systemic racism when addressing predominately white audiences is sometimes cautioned against because it can potentially lead to a counterproductive backlash. Recent cognitive studies indicate many white people are actually less likely to support reform if told existing policies disproportionately target and harm black people. What are the recent developments about criminal justice reform and messaging about race? How can we effectively denounce the outcomes of structural inequity? Are there distinct cognitive obstacles preventing white audiences from recognizing structural inequity as a primary cause of unequal treatment in the criminal justice system? And what are the benefits and challenges of using social science data to help inform effective messaging about racism?

Moderators: Rachael Ibrahim and Monica Dennis, Anti-Racist Consultants, New York, NY

  • Megan Farrington, Director, Digital Communications, Drug Policy Alliance, Washington, D.C.
  • Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Research Analyst, The Sentencing Project, Washington DC
  • Alan Jenkins, Executive Director, The Opportunity Agenda, New York, NY
  • Moira O’Neill, Senior Researcher, Frameworks Institute, Washington DC

Pre-Booking Diversion and LEAD: What Makes These Tools So Promising?

Salon J

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is a program that diverts people from the criminal system to health services in Seattle, Santa Fe and likely in a host of other cities in years to come. Through these programs, police are on the front lines of service provision instead of mass incarceration. Can this approach help usher in a new era of addressing drug policy from a health perspective? Will jails and prisons finally cease to be the largest drug and mental health providers? What obstacles exist to replicating LEAD, and how can the approach be funded and sustained over the long term?  And what are some of the key differences between LEAD and Portugal’s decriminalization model?

Moderator: Emily Kaltenbach, State Director, Drug Policy Alliance, Santa Fe, NM

  • Chloe Gale, REACH Program Director, Evergreen Treatment Services, Seattle, WA
  • Ron Hampton, Chair, Police Reform and Accountability Task Force, Institute of the Black World, New York, NY
  • Jason Lidyard, Deputy District Attorney, 1st Judicial District of New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM
  • Captain Deanna Nolette, Seattle Police Department, Seattle, WA
  • Kris Nyrop, Lead Program Director, Racial Disparity Project, Seattle, WA
  • Naomi Seiler, Associate Research Professor, George Washington University, Washington, DC

Show Me the Money: Fundraising Best Practices from the Field    

Salon K

Since there’s no such thing as free money, we all have to fundraise to advance the critical missions of our organizations. But it is getting more challenging to do so as the field grows and the philanthropic environment evolves. So what are foundations looking for? What do individual donors want? What works best to motivate online giving.

Moderated by: asha bandele, Director, Advocacy Grants Program, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Alyssa Aguilera, Political Director, VOCAL-NY, NYJosh Pearson, Digital Fundraising Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, Washington, D.C.
  • Phil Harvey, Founder, DKT International [NEED TO CONFIRM]

2:30pm - 4:00pm

Drug Prevention in the Age of Marijuana Legalization

Salon A

Marijuana prohibition is gradually being dismantled as state-based ballot initiatives are creating legal markets for adults to buy, sell and grow marijuana recreationally. Alongside this phenomenon, dire messages are being renewed to "save the children." Fears about underage consumption, however, aren’t validated by recent studies that show teen marijuana use may actually be falling as more states legalize. Drug education and prevention experts discuss current research and prevention best practices, while mapping out a path for effective drug education in the age of legalization.

Moderator: Marsha Rosenbaum, Director Emerita, Drug Policy Alliance, San Francisco, CA

  • Betty Aldworth, Executive Director, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Washington, DC
  • Erin Lumpkins, Health Specialist, District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington, DC
  • Rhonda Paganetti, Director, Drug Prevention Services, NYC Dept. of Education, New York, NY
  • Chuck Ries, Founder and CEO, UpFront Programs, San Diego, CA
  • Roger A. Roffman, Professor Emeritus of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, WA  
  • Dr. Larry Wolk, Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer, Colorado Depertment of Public Health and Environment

Case Studies: A Racial Justice Approach To Marijuana Policy Reform

Salon B (Spanish translation available)

Recent campaigns in Washington, D.C. and New York have called into question traditional marijuana policy reform strategies. Marijuana legalization and policy reform campaigns typically frame their work in terms of medical, economic and liberty imperatives. For the first time, campaigns in D.C. and New York framed the policy debate in racial justice terms. Why are the traditional imperatives no longer sufficient when talking about marijuana policy reform? What does it mean to reform marijuana policies and laws through a racial justice lens? How did the D.C. and New York campaigns use this framing in a persuasive manner?

Moderator: Kassandra Frederique, Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Lumumba Akinwole-Bandele, Senior Community Organizer, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc., New York, NY
  • Corey Barnette, Owner and President, District Growers, LLC, Washington, DC
  • Malik Burnett, MD, MBA, Resident Physician, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
  • Andrea Ritchie, Senior Policy Counsel, Streetwise and Safe, New York, NY
  • Seema Sadanandan, Criminal Justice Director, ACLU of the National Capital Area, Washington, DC
  • Marbre Stahly-Butts, Deputy Director of Racial Justice, Center for Popular Democracy, Brooklyn, NY

Organizing Across Culturas: Working to Advance Criminal Justice Reforms Across Communidades Latinas

Salon C (Spanish translation available)

Latinos are not a monolith. Advocates from across the nation highlight the impact of the drug war on various Latino communities and share their experiences and strategies organizing Latinos on drug policy reform.  What strategies have been successful in engaging Latinos on drug policy reforms thus far? What will it take to effectively organize and mobilize more Latino leaders and communities as we build a movement to end the drug war?

Moderator: Ana Yanez Correa, Executive Director, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, Austin, TX

  • Alyssa Aguilera, Political Director, VOCAL, New York, NY
  • Juan Cartagena, President & General Counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, New York, NY
  • Antonio Gonzalez, President, William C. Velasquez Institute, Los Angeles, CA
  • Armando Gudino, Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, Los Angeles, CA
  • Jason Hernandez, First Latino Commuted by President Obama, McKinney, TX

The Role of the Disease Model of Addiction in Shaping Drug Policy

Salon H

As the field of neuroscience continues to grow, the brain disease model of addiction has been vigorously promoted by NIDA and others. However, some dispute the usefulness of this model, and its policy implications have not been fully explored. Is addiction a brain disease? Why does it matter? What are the ideologies or assumptions underlying the brain disease model? What are the political and policy implications of defining addiction as a disease? And how do these conceptualizations bolster and/or undermine other policy responses to drug use?

Moderator: Julie Netherland, New York State Deputy Director, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Caroline Jean Acker, Associate Professor of History, Carnegie Mellon University,
    Pittsburgh, PA
  • Eliot Ross Albers, Executive Director, International Network of People who Use Drugs, London, UK
  • Maureen Boyle, Chief of the Science Policy, NIDA, Bethesda, MD
  • Patt Denning, Director of Clinical Services & Training, Center for Harm
    Reduction Therapy, San Francisco, CA
  • Rebecca Tiger, Associate Professor of Sociology, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT

Heroin and HIV in the Heartland: Lessons from the Indiana Outbreak

Salon J

Earlier this year, over a hundred people in one small community in Indiana tested positive for HIV. The outbreak was not a complete surprise in a state with no legal syringe access, little opioid substitution therapy, and a high level of criminalization of drug use and syringe possession. But it changed the political conversation and generated remarkably positive media coverage. What are the lessons of the Indiana outbreak? How is this connected to the increase in heroin use and the cultural panic over opiates? How do we take advantage of political opportunities to ensure this doesn’t happen anywhere else?

Moderator: Laura Thomas, Deputy California State Director, Drug Policy Alliance, San Francisco, CA

  • Dan Bigg, executive director, Chicago Recovery Alliance, Chicago, IL
  • Aaron Kochar, member, Indiana Attorney General's Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force.  Valparaiso, IN
  • Magalie Lerman, Beth Weinstein Drug User Health Fellow, National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, Washington, DC
  • Jeronimo Saldana, legislative and organizing coordinator, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY
  • Monique Tula, Director, Capacity Building, AIDS United, Los Angeles, CA
  • Jasmine Tyler, Senior Policy Analyst, Open Society Foundations, Washington, DC

Creating Compelling Advocacy Campaigns

Salon K

Great storytelling is an essential component of any successful advocacy campaign. As advocates work to promote drug policy reform, it is critical that they understand the messages that resonate best. Who needs to know about your issue and why? What actions are you asking your audience to take and what messages will move your audience from mere listeners to action takers? This workshop will use case studies of criminal justice, harm reduction and medical marijuana advocacy campaigns to illustrate the importance of compelling messaging and storytelling.      

Presenter: Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey State Director, Drug Policy Alliance, Trenton, NJ

4:30pm - 6:00pm

Are the Party Kids Any Safer Yet? EDM Festivals, the Music Industry and Harm Reduction

Salon A

Event producers are in a tough spot: always trying to balance demands for “zero-tolerance” and “drug-free” events while doing what they can to reduce potential harms among attendees who are determined to use drugs. In the electronic music scene particularly, is the scale finally tipping away from overzealous enforcement and toward practical harm reduction approaches? How are festivals starting to integrate drug education and onsite harm reduction services to keep their attendees safe? What challenges and limitations still remain? Would a national effort to reform the federal RAVE Act clear the path?

Moderator: Stefanie Jones, Nightlife Community Engagement Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Kate Becker, Director, Office of Film + Music, Seattle, WA
  • Dede Flemming, Co-Founder, The Do Lab, Los Angeles, CA
  • Dede Goldsmith, Founder, Amend the RAVE Act Campaign, Abingdon, VA
  • Mark Lawrence, CEO, Association for Electronic Music, Brighton, UK
  • Missi Wooldridge, Executive Director, DanceSafe, Denver, CO

Coerced Treatment

Salon B (Spanish translation available)

The treatment-instead-of-incarceration model assumes that the coercive power of the criminal justice system is necessary to force people who use drugs into treatment and to punish them if they return to drug use. This assumption undergirds the explosive growth of drug courts in the U.S. and much of the most egregious compulsory detention centers in other parts of the world. What ethical questions does this raise? What does coercive treatment mean for human rights, racial justice, autonomy and freedom? What alternatives are known to produce better results? And what can we learn from the mental health movement?

Moderator: Daniel Abrahamson, Director, Office of Legal Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance, Oakland, CA

  • Denicia Cadena, Policy and Cultural Strategy Director, Young Women United, Albuquerque, NM
  • Alice Dembner, Substance Use Disorders Project Director, Community Catalyst, Boston, MA
  • Howard Josepher, President and CEO, Exponents, New York, NY
  • Elaine Pawlowski, mother and retired educator, New York, NY
  • Maia Szalavitz, journalist and author, New York, NY
  • Rafael Torruella, Executive Director, Intercambios Puerto Rico
  • Daniel Wolfe, Director, International Harm Reduction Development Program, Open Society Foundations, New York, NY

The International Drug Policy Event of the Decade: What’s the Opportunity in the United Nations Special Session?

Salon C (Spanish translation available)

The biggest international drug policy event in decades will take place in New York in April 2016. The United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on Drugs will bring together political leaders and grassroots organizations from around the world to take a long, hard look at the successes and failures of global drug control. It’s a big moment for our movement – and an opportunity to show world leaders we want reform, now. What organizing and campaign plans are underway for this global event? How can you get involved?

Moderator: Steve Rolles, Senior Policy Analyst, Transform, Bristol, UK

  • Ann Fordham, Executive Director, International Drug Policy Consortium, London, UK
  • Lorenzo Jones, Executive Director, A Better Way Foundation, Hartford, CT
  • Ted Lewis, Human Rights Program Director, Global Exchange, San Francisco, CA
  • Pastor Michael McBride, Director of Urban Strategies, Live Free Campaign, PICO National Network, Berkeley, CA
  • Luciana Pol, Senior Fellow, Security Policy and Human Rights, Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales, Argentina
  • Claudia Salcedo, Coordinator, International Affairs of the Office of Drug Policy, Ministry of Justice and Law, Colombia

The Future of Digital Spaces, Drug Sales and Drug Policy

Salon H

When the government shut down Silk Road and sentenced Ross Ulbricht to life in prison, it did not end online drug transactions — indeed, more digital drug marketplaces exist now than ever before. With millions of people using these sites, it is essential for drug policy reformers to understand the benefits and risks of this new model of drug sales. What does harm reduction look like in digital spaces? How do we maximize opportunities for health and safety? And how might digital drug marketplaces help to end the global war on drugs?

Moderator: Meghan Ralston, Drug Policy Consultant, Palm Springs, CA

  • Monica Barratt, Research Fellow, University of New South Wales, Director Of Research, Bluelight.org, Australia
  • Tim Bingham (via Skype or pre-recorded), Harm Reduction Trainer, Drug Researcher, Ireland
  • Dr. Fernando Caudevilla (via Skype or pre-recorded video), Family Physician, Silk Road’s “Dr. X,” Madrid, Spain
  • Mike Gilbert, Project Manager, Epidemico, Boston, MA
  • Dr. James Martin, Criminology Program Coordinator, Dept. of Policing, Intelligence and Counter-terrorism, Australia
  • Lyn Ulbricht, Activist, Mother of Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht, Austin, TX

The Drug War, Disenfranchisement, Decriminalization and 21st Century Democracy in the US

Salon J

More than five million Americans cannot vote due to a felony conviction, and the drug war is a major driver of disenfranchisement. How does mass disenfranchisement affect our movement? What opportunities exist to mobilize people who have been disenfranchised? How will drug decriminalization and cutting-edge criminal justice reforms impact the future of U.S. democracy? In light of the impending 2016 presidential election and several frontrunners vowing to fix our broken criminal justice system, advocates and experts share strategies and discuss fresh ideas on what it will take to end the drug war and protect our civil liberties.

Moderator: Dr. Ron Daniels, President, Institute for the Black World-Twenty First Century, Jamaica, NY

  • Angie Brilliance, Organizer, Black Youth Project 100, Washington, DC
  • Desmond Meade, Director, Live Free/Let My People Vote Campaign, Central Florida, FL
  • Glenn Martin, CEO and Founder, JustLeadership, New York, NY
  • Ira Glasser, Board Chair, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY
  • Jamaa Bickley King, Independent Pollster, Richmond, VA
  • Nicole Porter, Advocacy Director, The Sentencing Project, Washington, DC
  • Norris Henderson, Founder and Executive Director, Voice of The Ex-Offender, New Orleans, LA

How to Use Social Media to Advance Your Cause and Change the World  

Salon K

We keep up with our friends and read our news in the same places these days – on social media. With the downsizing of traditional media and the rise of social networking, the media landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade. The players are different and the rules of engagement are different. How can advocates and nonprofits make an impact and make sure they're heard? Are there new measures of success? Hear from media and communications experts in the drug policy field and beyond on how nonprofits can utilize social media to engage and expand their base.      

Moderated by: Sharda Sekaran, Director of Communications, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Sanho Tree, Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), Washington, D.C.
  • Manny Vaz, Digital Media/Communications Coordinator, Communites United for Police Reform, New York, NY
  • Derek Rosenfeld, Manager of Social Media and Media Relations, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY
  • Patrisse Cullors, Black Lives Matter, New York, NY

Saturday, November 21

10:00am - 11:30am

Beyond Prohibition: 21st Century Drug Policy

Salon A

Most Americans agree that the war on drugs is a failure. It has created the largest prison population in the world, while doing nothing to limit addiction and overdose.  Jurisdictions around the world are responding to this by experimenting with various alternatives to prohibition. What are some key models of drug regulation?  How can these models help improve human rights and public safety? This discussion will include local, national and international perspectives on how to move past prohibition and create evidence-informed drug policies.

Moderator: Amanda Reiman, Manager of Marijuana Law and Policy, Drug Policy Alliance, Berkeley, CA

  • Raquel Peyraube, Clinical Director, International Center for Ethnobotanical Education Research & Service (ICEERS), Uruguay
  • Craig Reinarman, Professor of Sociology and Legal Studies, University of California-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA
  • Steve Rolles, Senior Policy Analyst, Transform Drug Policy Foundation, Bristol, UK
  • Robin Room, Professor and Director of the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, La Trobe University,
    Melbourne, Australia; and Professor at the Centre for Social Research on Alcohol & Drugs, Stockholm University, Sweden 
  • Ismail Ali, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Boalt School of Law, University of California-Berkeley

Rights and Resistance: Reform Advocacy in Challenging Contexts

Salon B (Spanish translation available)

What is it like to work in a country where government, politics, public opinion, or cultural norms make reform efforts difficult or seemingly impossible? What strategies do reform advocates in such places use to adapt to these obstacles? Fierce, principled and clever drug policy reform advocates in places like El Salvador, Nigeria, Russia, South Africa and Indonesia are fighting for effective, health-centered approaches. How are our global allies ensuring human rights in such challenging contexts?

Moderator: Damon Barrett, Co-Director, International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy, Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Mikhail Golichenko, Senior Policy Analyst, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Toronto, Canada
  • Julita Lemgruber, Sociologist and Coordinator, Center for Studies on Public Security and Citizenship, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Adeolu Ogunrombi, Commissioner, West Africa Commission on Drugs, Nigeria
  • Shaun Shelly, Addictions Specialist, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Yvonne Sibuea, Executive Director, Pelopor Perubahan Institute, Semarang, Indonesia
  • Rev. Martin Ignacio Diaz Velasquez, Senior Pastor, Evangelical Protestant Church of El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador

Ayahuasca: Political Visions

Salon C (Spanish translation available)

Ayahuasca and other indigenous healing medicines are rapidly expanding beyond their native origins and have been incorporated into syncretistic practices that are being adopted by non-indigenous peoples in Western contexts, including scientific research into possible therapeutic uses. This growing interest from non-indigenous people poses significant conceptual challenges regarding drugs and drug policies. What does Ayahuasca have to do with drug policy reform? What are the indigenous roots of plant-based medicines and what is their relation to Westerners? Are they a medicine or a sacrament… or something else?

Moderator: Jag Davies, Director of Communications Strategy, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Leopardo Yawa Bene, Vice-President, Institute of Indigenous Traditions, Acre, Brazil
  • Bia Labate, PhD, Co-Founder, Nucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP), São Paulo, Brazil
  • Ben de Loenen, Executive Director, International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research & Service (ICEERS), Barcelona, Spain
  • Luis Eduardo Luna, PhD, Director, Wasiwaska Research Center, Santa Catarina, Brazil
  • Jeronimo M. Muñoz, Organizer, World Ayahuasca Conference, Ibiza, Spain
  • Kenneth Tupper, PhD, Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Ensuring Inclusion, Repairing Damage: Diversity, Equity and the Marijuana Industry

Salon H

Communities of color have borne the burden of marijuana prohibition since it began in 1937. As more states end prohibition, there is a growing concern that communities which suffered the worst harms of mass incarceration will not be able to benefit from legalization. To ensure that those who suffered most under marijuana prohibition aren’t also unfairly barred from entry into the industry, how do we build pathways to participation? And how can we develop this new industry so that it aids in repairing some of the harms that prohibition itself caused?

Moderator: asha bandele, Director, Advocacy Grants Program, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Corey Barnette, Owner and President, District Growers, LLC, Washington, DC
  • Armando Gudiño, Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, Los Angeles, CA
  • Vicki Hanson, PhD Candidate, Department of Government, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica
  • Wanda James, Owner, Cannabis Global Initiative & Simply Pure Dispensary, Denver, CO
  • Simone-Monet Wahls, CEO, Future Executives & Compassionate Care NY Advocate, New York, NY
  • Deborah Peterson-Small, Founder and Executive Director, Break the Chains, Berkeley, CA
  • Shaleen Title, Founding Board Member, Minority Cannabis Business Association, Boston, MA

Reform for Those Who Sell Drugs: Challenging a Taboo of Drug Policy Reform

Salon J

Reforms are quietly taking place for people who sell drugs, usually involving petty and subsistence dealers caught with small amounts. As we look to minimize the use of the criminal justice system in drug policy, how do we address issues around drug selling? How do we distinguish drug-dependent subsistence sellers from mid-level drug sellers who are not drug-dependent? And how do we extend public health approaches to those who sell drugs?

Moderator: Art Way, State Director, Drug Policy Alliance, CO

  • Daryl Atkinson, Staff Attorney, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Durham, NC
  • Ernesto Cortés, Executive Director, Costa Rican Association for the Study and Intervention in Drugs, San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Alexandro Madrazo Lajous, Professor, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas A.C., Mexico City, Mexico
  • Ifetayo Harvey, Executive Assistant, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, Santa Cruz, CA
  • Pastor Michael McBride, Director of Urban Strategies, Live Free Campaign, PICO National Network, Berkeley, CA 
  • Sheigla Murphy, Senior Scientist, Institute for Scientific Analysis, San Francisco, CA
  • Rick Ross, The Original Freeway Rick Ross, Los Angeles, CA
  • Jasmine Tyler, Senior Policy Analyst for Global Health and Drug Policy, Open Society Foundation, New York, NY

Safety First Train-the-Trainer: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs

Salon K

Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs is the Drug Policy Alliance’s seminal publication for parents and others who care about the health and safety of young people and who are willing to look beyond convention for pragmatic strategies. Written by Marsha Rosenbaum, Ph.D., Director Emerita of DPA’s San Francisco office, 350,000 copies have been distributed worldwide in 10 languages. This session is for parents or advocates interested in presenting the Safety First approach to talking to teens about drugs. Attendees will receive a copy of a PowerPoint presentation with speaker’s notes.

Presenter: Jerry Otero, Youth Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, New York

12:00pm - 1:30pm

What’s a Parent To Do When Youthful Experimentation Goes Awry?

Salon A

There are few things scarier to a parent than dealing with a child who has developed a problem with alcohol or drugs. Shamed into taking a “tough love” stance in response to problematic drug use, parents are often told “your kid has to hit bottom” and “don’t be an enabler.” That may be conventional wisdom, but it’s not helpful in most situations. Even those of us who devote our lives to ending the drug war can be at a loss when problematic drug use strikes home. Addiction professionals present a handful of intervention models that emphasize love, compassion and family support.

Moderator: Marsha Rosenbaum, Director Emerita, Drug Policy Alliance, San Francisco, CA

  • Jeff Foote, Co-founder, Center for Motivation and Change. Author, New York, NY
  • Frances Fu, Outreach Coordinator, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Oakland, CA
  • Barry Lessin, Co-founder Families for Sensible Drug Policy. Addictions Therapist, Blue Bell, PA
  • Stanton Peele, Psychologist and Author, Addiction-Proof Your Child, Brooklyn, NY

Drug Policy & Immigration Reform: Bridging the Gap and Keeping Families Together

Salon B (Spanish translation available)

Convictions for minor drug offenses result in harsher consequences for non-U.S. citizens, including deportation and permanent separation of families. Hundreds of thousands of people have been deported from the U.S. in recent years for nothing more than a minor drug law violation. Earlier this year, California passed landmark legislation to protect people arrested for minor drug law violations from deportation, as well as from loss of federal housing and educational benefits. How did this model emerge? And how can it be replicated?

Moderator: Armando Gudino, Policy Manager/California Partnerships, Drug Policy Alliance, Los Angeles, CA

  • Angie Junk, Supervising Attorney, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, San Francisco, CA
  • Joseph Villela, Senior Policy Advocate, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
  • Grace Meng, Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch, New York, NY
  • Jeanette Zanipatin, Staff Attorney, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Sacramento, CA

MDMA and Other Psychedelics: What Does Legal Access Look Like?

Salon C (Spanish translation available)

Criminalization of drug use needs to end, and marijuana legalization has provided one pathway to that. Public and political support for legalizing other drugs is low – so in what other ways can we end criminalization and create legal access for MDMA and other psychedelic drugs? What would a medical model look like? Would a spiritual model using approved guides work for something like ayahuasca? What about licensing users or specific venues? And would any of these models show promise for drugs with addiction potential like cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin?

Moderator: Stefanie Jones, Nightlife Community Engagement Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Constanza Sanchez Aviles, Law, Policy & Human Rights Coordinator, ICEERS, Barcelona, Spain
  • Jag Davies, Director of Communications Strategy, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY
  • Rick Doblin, Executive Director, Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, Boston, MA
  • Paula Frango, Prevention and Community Intervention, SICAD, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Steve Rolles, Senior Policy Analyst, Transform, London, UK

Medical Cannabis in 2015: From the Lab to the Clinic

Salon H

Medical cannabis continues to gain support across the country. The use of CBD for conditions such as epilepsy and autism has sparked conversation in typically-unfriendly jurisdictions. Meanwhile, some states are celebrating decades of legal access and doctors are regularly including cannabis in their practice. This session will include presentations from some of the top cannabis doctors addressing how the use of cannabis in the biotech world shaped its evolution as a standardized medicine. How are different health disciplines approaching clinical cannabis work?  And what occurs in the everyday practice of cannabis medicine?

Moderator: Amanda Reiman, PhD, Manager, Marijuana Law and Policy, Drug Policy Alliance, Oakland, CA

  • Philippe Lucas, Vice President, Patient Research and Services, Tilray, Victoria, Canada
  • Ethan Russo MD, Medical Director at PHYTECS, Seattle, WA
  • Michelle Sexton, ND, PhytaLAB, Center for the Study of Cannabis and Social Policy, Seattle, WA
  • Sue Sisley MD, Principal Investigator, Scottsdale Research Institute, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Dustin Sulak, DO, Practitioner, Integr8 Health, LLC, Falmouth, ME

Law Enforcement, Pharmacies, and the Future of Naloxone Access

Salon J

Pharmacies are beginning to furnish naloxone on demand, law enforcement is carrying and using it, and states are passing reforms making it all possible. We’re well on our way to reaching a tipping point in terms of national naloxone access among laypeople — but what hurdles still remain? What have we achieved and what’s getting lost in the discussion? This panel convenes experts and thought leaders to address where we are, how we got here, and what opportunities and obstacles we’re facing on the road ahead.

Moderator: Jeronimo Saldaña, Legislative and Organizing Coordinator, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Alice Bell, Overdose Prevention Project Coordinator, Prevention Point Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Dan Bigg, Executive Director, Chicago Recovery Alliance, Chicago, IL
  • Robert Childs, Executive Director, North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, Durham, NC
  • Matt Curtis, Policy Director, VOCAL, New York, NY
  • Eliza Wheeler, Project Manager, Harm Reduction Coalition, Oakland, CA

Anti-Racist Organizing to End the War on Drugs      

Salon E

In the drug policy reform movement, what does a commitment to end racism mean in practice? Why is an anti-racist analysis important to the drug policy reform movement? What are some basic anti-racist organizing principles to help guide our work? The workshop is based on the belief that anti-racism is a catalyst for building powerful movements for justice in this country.

Presenters: Monica Dennis, New York, NY Rachael Ibrahim, New York, NY

3:00pm - 4:30pm

Partying and the Search for Identity

Salon A

Starting with the philosophical musings of Locke and Rousseau and on to the work of psychologists like Piaget and Erikson, various disciplines have tried to explain how biological, cognitive, social-cultural and emotional factors unfold in stages and influence a young person’s psychological and developmental trajectory. Young people, parents and experts will explore the importance of transitional points in young lives and introduce youthful “partying” as a developmental stage to be reconciled along with other milestones. How does youthful drug use play a positive or negative role in self-discovery and identity formation? And how do we keep young people safe on this journey?

Moderator: Jerry Otero, Youth Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Andrea Brandon, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY
  • Stephanie Raquel Izquieta, Board Member, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Queens, NY
  • Emma Jacobson, Program Coordinator, DanceSafe, Denver, CO
  • Stanton Peele, Psychologist and Author, Brooklyn, NY
  • Nisa Yasmine Rashid, Honors-level Rising Sophomore, Brooklyn Friends School, Brooklyn, NY
  • Barry Schecter, Coordinator, Human Service Studies, SUNY Cortland, Owego, NY
  • Molly Wolff, age 15, Sophomore High School Student, Pawling, NY

Arresting Harm: New Approaches to Law Enforcement and People who Use Drugs

Salon B (Spanish translation available)

Are law enforcement and harm reduction always at odds, or is beneficial cooperation possible? Can police unlearn counterproductive, repressive responses and support health-based approaches instead? Sao Paulo’s “Open Arms” program, Seattle’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program, Vancouver’s Four Pillars approach, the Frankfurt Principles, and the new marijuana prioritization scheme in Durham, UK are some examples of how cities are enacting innovative measures that tie law enforcement to the provision of harm reduction services.  What are the benefits of these approaches and what are some potential pitfalls?

Moderator: Daniel Wolfe, Director, International Harm Reduction Development, Open Society Foundations, New York, NY

  • Mauricio Fiore, Scientific Coordinator, Brazilian Drug Policy Platform, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Neill Franklin, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Baltimore, MD
  • Ron Hogg, Police and Crime Commissioner, Durham, UK
  • Donald MacPherson, Director, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, Vancouver, BC
  • Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch, Director, Global Drug Policy Program, Open Society Foundations, New York, NY
  • Deanna Nollette, Captain, Special Victim’s Unit, Seattle Police Department Narcotics Section, Seattle, WA

From Illicit to Licit: Challenges of Marijuana Legalization

Salon C (Spanish translation available)

Despite the successes of legalized marijuana at the state level, many challenges remain, especially at the federal level.  What changes are needed to better implement legalization laws? In what ways is marijuana legalization benefitting black and Latino communities, and in what ways is it falling short?  Since legalization laws don’t prevent civil discrimination in employment, family law, and probation and parole, how do we take the next steps to ensure people are no longer punished for marijuana use? And while marijuana remains illegal on the federal level, how can marijuana businesses operate legitimately?

Moderator: Art Way, State Director, Drug Policy Alliance, Denver, CO

  • Larisa Bolivar, Executive Director, Cannabis Consumers Coalition, Denver, CO
  • Shawn Coleman, President, 36 Solutions, Denver, CO
  • Karen O'Keefe, Director of State Policies, Marijuana Policy Project, West Hollywood, CA
  • Diego Pieri, Sociologist, Member of Proderechos and Co-Founder of the CLUC Cannabis Club, Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Teri Robnett, Executive Director, Cannabis Patients Alliance, Denver, CO
  • Larry Wolk, Executive Director & Chief Medical Officer, Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment, Denver, CO

What's the Latest Psychedelic Research Telling Us?

Salon H

We are now in the midst of a psychedelic research renaissance. Clinical studies are under way at top medical schools and research institutes worldwide, and psychedelic therapy is beginning to be re-accepted by the medical community. Where are we at in the effort to make psychedelics legally available for medical and therapeutic purposes? And what is being done to reduce the role of criminalization outside of medical or other clinical contexts?

Moderator: Julie Holland, MD, Psychopharmacologist, Psychiatrist & Author, New York, NY

  • Alex Belser, PhD, Administrative Director, New York University Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety and Spirituality Study, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY
  • Rick Doblin, PhD, Executive Director, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), Santa Cruz, CA
  • Amanda Feilding, Executive Director, Beckley Foundation, Oxford, UK
  • Albert Garcia, PhD, Faculty Member, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baltimore, MD
  • Ingmar Gorman, MA, Doctoral Student, New School for Social Research, New York, NY

From the Prescription Pill Panic to Heroin Hysteria: Separating Myths from Facts

Salon J

The recent media interest in prescription pill abuse is now shifting toward heroin. With more stories about the growing heroin ‘epidemic,’ it’s hard to know what’s true and what is simply sloppy reporting. What is the connection between increases in prescription opiate use and increases in heroin use? Have government crackdowns, monitored drug databases, pharma price hikes, police raids, and abuse-deterrent pill formulations helped, or have they intensified the problem? Where is the media getting it right — and getting it wrong?

Moderator: Tommy McDonald, Deputy Director of Media Relations, Drug Policy Alliance, Oakland, CA

  • Kenneth Anderson, Executive Director, HAMS Harm Reduction Network, New York, NY
  • John Knefel, independent journalist, co-host of Radio Dispatch
  • Jacob Sullum, Senior Editor, Reason Magazine, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Maia Szalavitz, Independent Journalist, New York, NY
  • Eliza Wheeler, Project Manager, Harm Reduction Coalition, Oakland, CA

E-Cigarettes and the Future of Maintenance Therapies

Salon K

Electronic cigarettes have been the center of considerable debate. Some see them as a grave public health threat, while others consider them a valuable harm reduction tool. Part of the controversy stems from e-cigs’ role as a maintenance therapy – a potential way to more safely deliver nicotine to those who cannot or will not quit smoking traditional cigarettes. What can e-cigs teach us about harm reduction? What can we learn from e-cigs about the support for and opposition to maintenance therapies? Do e-cigs herald a new era of maintenance therapies or a new era of cracking down on them?

Moderator: Tony Newman, Director, Media Relations, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY

  • Scott Ballin, Health Policy Consultant, Washington, DC
  • Helen Redmond, LCSW, Community Access, New York, NY
  • Michael Siegel, Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
  • Maia Szalavitz, Journalist, New York, NY