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.

Ballot Insights: Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Amendment Initiative

The 2018 Ohio Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment, and Rehabilitation Amendment is a ballot initiative aiming to change Ohio constitution to achieve four goals: (1) change drug possession felonies to misdemeanors, (2) prohibit prison sentences for technical probation violations, (3) expand the ability to earn up to 25% off a prison sentence through rehabilitative programming, and (4) redirect funds saved from reduced incarceration to drug treatment and victims' services. Our series, Ballot Insights, aims to unpack the complicated issues and provide a venue for informed discussion of the individual policy proposals included in this proposed constitutional amendment.

For more information, please follow this link.

From Punishment to Public Health: Embracing Evidence-Based Solutions to Ending the Overdose Crisis - September 27 & 28

The Drug Enforcement and Policy Center is proud to partner with the Drug Policy Alliance, ACLU Ohio, Harm Reduction Coalition, Harm Reduction Ohio and the Ohio State College of Public Health to organize a conference that will explore the impact of criminal justice laws and policies in compounding drug use harms, including overdose deaths, and offer an alternative framework for addressing problematic drug use and drug-related fatalities rooted in evidence, compassion, and the principles of harm reduction.

For a preliminary conference agenda and registration, please follow this link.

2018 NASC Annual Conference - August 13-15


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 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.