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.

2019 DEPC Research Grant Awards - Deadline October 14, 2019

The Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC) invites Ohio State faculty and graduate students to submit proposals for funded research. DEPC grant program focuses on supporting academic research on issues related to the reform of criminal and civil laws prohibiting or regulating the use and distribution of traditionally illicit drugs. The Center supports scholarship that examines the impact of modern drug laws, policies and enforcement on personal freedoms and human well-being.

The Center aims to support 3-5 research projects each academic year. Standard awards will range from $2500 - $10,000. The 2019 Call For Research Proposals is posted below. The deadline for submissions is October 14, 2019.

call for proposals

For more details, please visit our research page.



October 18 | FIRST STEP Act: Conversation with Jonathan Wroblewski, Director, Office of Policy and Legislation, Criminal Division, U.S. DOJ

Jonathan Wroblewski serves as the Director of the Office of Policy and Legislation in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and he has also directed Harvard Law School's Semester in Washington Program for a decade. He will speak generally about the history of sentencing and corrections in the U.S., and specifically about how best to understand the landmark new FIRST STEP Act, its place in US criminal justice history, and where we might go next. Please register below to join the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center for lunch and a lively discussion (lunch will be served).


WHEN: October 18, 2019, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Drinko Hall 246


November 14 | Cannabiz Innovation Sprint Final Pitch

The second annual Ohio State Cannabiz Innovation Sprint will conclude with a Final Pitch featuring the top five proposals for innovative ideas for the cannabis industry. Proposals result from an 8-week workshop co-hosted by the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC) and the Center for Innovation Strategies (CIS).

The Cannabiz Innovation Sprint guides multidisciplinary student teams through a comprehensive process to develop disruptive solutions to one of today’s most unique emerging markets: cannabis. Throughout the workshops and into the Final Pitch, students gain access to cannabis industry leaders looking for student talent for both employment and investment opportunities. To find out more, please visit

When: Thursday, November 14, 2019 | 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Where: Mason Hall, 2nd Floor Rotunda, 250 W Woodruff Ave, Columbus, Ohio


February 20-22 | Controlled Substances Act at 50 Years, Phoenix Arizona

The Drug Enforcement and Policy Center is partnering with the Arizona State University's Academy for Justice on a conference to look back on how the Controlled Substances Act has helped shape modern American drug laws and policies and to look forward toward the direction these laws could and should take in the next 50 years.

The conference, “The Controlled Substances Act at 50 Years,” will take place on February 20-22, 2020, at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in Phoenix, Arizona.

For more information about the conference and how you can participate, please visit the conference website.

DEPC Student Research Paper Series

The Drug Enforcement and Policy Center's Student Research Paper Series is designed to highlight research by Ohio State students in the area of drug policy. Students from any discipline are welcome to submit their paper for inclusion. Students retain all rights to their paper as well as the ability to publish their paper with any journal should they choose to do so at a later date.


To submit your paper for inclusion, please email Jana Hrdinova at

Social Equity Assessment Tool for the Cannabis Industry

Starting in 1996 with the state of California legalizing the use of medical cannabis, the wave of cannabis legalization has continued at a rapid pace. But with the growth comes increased acknowledgement that the benefits and financial profits of the legal cannabis industry are not flowing to the communities that have been disproportionately harmed by past drug policies as enacted during the War on Drugs.

The Drugs Enforcement and Policy Center supported our recent alumni, Chris Nani ('19), in his work on the Social Equity Assessment Tool, which localities around the country can use to evaluate the relative effectiveness of their existing social equity programs or help them design a new effective program sensitive to their environment. The tool incorporates ten components that are critical for successful social equity programs. The ten components are grouped into two categories – Accessibility (Eligibility, Application Process, Expungements, Preferential Licenses and Shareholder/Ownership Requirements) and Environment (Educational Services, Incubator Program, Zoning Regulations and License Caps, Government Responsiveness and Community Reinvestment). Accessibility encompasses components that affect the ease with which applicants can learn about and access a given program. Environment on the other hand encompasses factors that form a support structure for SEP applicants and their communities.

Read "Social Equity Assessment Tool for the Cannabis Industry"

Read other papers from our Student Research Paper Series.