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.


The Drug Enforcement and Policy Center is thrilled to welcome two distinguished alumni of the Moritz College of Law: the governor of the State of Nevada, the Honorable Brian Sandoval ('89), and CBS Correspondent, Erin Moriarty ('77).

Governor Sandoval and Ms. Moriarty will be joining us for our official launch event on November 2, 2018, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. and will headline a dynamic conversation on the role of drug policy in our changing society.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Jana Hrdinova at

Ballot Insights - Devil in the Details: Funding Effective Rehabilitation and Treatment - October 18

The cost of the opioid crisis counted in lives lost and permanently altered has been well documented over the last few years as public awareness has risen and families from all walks of lives have been affected. One of the aims of the Ohio Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment, and Rehabilitation Amendment is to provide additional funding for treatment and rehabilitation for people struggling with substance use disorder.  However, not all treatment is created equal and the amendment is silent on how to ensure that funds go to proven effective treatment programs. Please join our panel of experts as they discuss possible challenges connected to the actual implementation of the initiative and the latest evidence on the effectiveness of various treatment programs and strategies.

For more information and to register, please follow this link.

Ballot Insights - Earning Freedom: Working Toward Sentence Reduction - October 4

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.

The October 4th event focused on the proposed increase in ability of incarcerated people to earn up to 25% time off their sentence through participation in rehabilitative programming. At present, Ohio has a cap of 8%, one of the lowest in the nation.


For information on future and past events in this series, 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 partnered with the Drug Policy Alliance, ACLU Ohio, and the Harm Reduction Ohio to organize a conference that explored the impact of criminal justice laws and policies in compounding drug use harms, including overdose deaths, and offered an alternative framework for addressing problematic drug use and drug-related fatalities rooted in evidence, compassion, and the principles of harm reduction. The conference was attended by over 250 people across Ohio and neighboring states.

Conference agenda and speakers' presentations

Laboratories of Democracy: Drug Policy in the United States - September 25

On September 25 the center, with support from the Charles Koch Foundation, hosted Laboratories of Democracy: Drug Policy in the United States. This event brought together leading experts from different spheres and perspectives to discuss the diverse and challenging policy questions that have emerged in the drug policy area. The speakers used their knowledge to propose drug policy solutions to tackle the difficult problems faced by our country and engaged attendees in an action-oriented discussion on how our country can move forward with positive solutions to addiction and substance abuse. The event was held at The Willard InterContinental in Washington, DC.


  • Jamie Brown, Athletes for Care, Former NFL Player
  • Daniel Dew, The Buckeye Institute
  • Liz Essley Whyte, Center for Public Integrity
  • John Hudak, Brookings Institution
  • Alex Kreit, The Ohio State University
  • Joe Sabia, San Diego State University and the University of New Hampshire
  • Sally Satel, AEI
  • David Whitesock, Face It Together
  • Bob Zaccheo, Project L.I.F.T.
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.