The Drug Enforcement and Policy Center focuses on promoting and supporting interdisciplinary, evidence-based research, scholarship, education, community outreach and public engagement on the myriad issues and societal impacts surrounding the reform of criminal and civil laws prohibiting or regulating the use and distribution of traditionally illicit drugs. The Center examines the impact of modern drug laws, policies and enforcement on personal freedoms and human well-being, giving particularized and sustained attention to analyzing the rapid evolution of marijuana laws and the impacts of state-level reform efforts.

Professor Berman honored with the 2018 Richard P. Kern Memorial Award

The center's executive director, professor Douglas Berman, was selected as the 2018 recipient of the Richard P. Kern Memorial Award. Established in 2012 by the National Association of Sentencing Commissions, the award recognizes an individual who has contributed greatly to the development of sentencing policy and research. The award was established in remembrance of one of the pioneers in sentencing and the long-time serving leader of the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission (VCSC) – Rick Kern. Dr. Kern served as the VCSC Director from its creation in 1994 until his passing in 2011, and was also the Director of the Virginia Criminal Justice Research Center and the Research Director of the Governor’s Commission on Parole Abolition and Sentence Reform. Rick was a tremendous advocate for sentencing reform, sentencing guidelines, and data-driven decision making.

Professor Berman delivers 2018 Mastermind Lecture

Professor Berman was honored to be one of four selected Ohio State faculty to present his work at the 2018 Masterminds Lecture Series. The Masterminds Lecture Series is designed to showcase short, engaging talks made by brilliant faculty who hold endowed positions at The Ohio State University. Professor Berman discussed the role governments and private industry play in regulating access to legal and illicit substances, and the lessons we can learn from history as states embark on decriminalization and legalization of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes.

DC Fellows

Each summer, approximately 20 students from Moritz College of Law have the opportunity to take part in the Washington, D.C. Summer Program. Students work in substantive externships in D.C., accompanied by a high-quality academic program and a summer in the nation’s capital. The center has partnered with the D.C. Summer Program to award four Moritz law students interested in the area of drug policy and enforcement a fellowship that partially supports their participation in the summer program. The fellows are placed in externships that will enhance their real-world understanding of drug enforcement and policy issues.  DC Fellows help advance the center’s mission during their summer in DC and are also expected to contribute to the center’s work during the following academic year.

2018 DC Fellows

2018 NASC Annual Conference


Aug. 13 - 15 | Columbus, Ohio

The Drug Enforcement and Policy Center is proud to collaborate with the National Association of Sentencing Commissions on organizing the 2018 NASC Annual Conference, scheduled for August 13-15 in Columbus, Ohio. The conference brings together representatives from sentencing commissions around the country, whose work often intersects with other components of the criminal justice system, including bail, interstate compact, parole, diversionary programs, and problem solving courts. The Drug Enforcement and Policy Center is involved in planning of two panels - "The Impact for Sentencing Commissions: Marijuana Reform & Changes in Drug Laws" and "Drug Use and Effective Partnerships: Legal Academics, Law Schools and Sentencing Commissions".

Professor Berman spoke to the Fourteenth Biennial Judicial Symposium

On May 18 Executive Director Doug Berman spoke to the Fourteenth Biennial Judicial Symposium of the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second Appellate District in Dayton, OH. Professor Berman presented an overview of Ohio marijuana law and policy, focusing on the brief history of marijuana reform efforts in the state, the present state of marijuana law and policy and the wide array of issues and questions that present and future reforms create for both judges and law professionals.