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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 2018 Ohio Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment, and Rehabilitation Amendment was 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. On November 6, the initiative, also known as Issue 1, was soundly defeated 63.4% to 36.6%.
Our series, Ballot Insights, aimed to unpack the complicated issues and provide a venue for informed discussion of the individual policy proposals included in this proposed constitutional amendment. Thank you to all who helped us make the series a success:
- September 13 - The Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment, and Rehabilitation Amendment: Step in the Right Direction?
- October 4 - Earning Freedom: Working Toward Sentence Reduction
- October 18 - Devil in the Details: Funding Effective Rehabilitation and Treatment
- November 1 - Sentencing and Parole Reform in Practice: Insights on Implementation Challenges
- November 29 - The Passage or Failure of The Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment, and Rehabilitation Amendment: What Can We Learn from Ohio's Voting Patterns?
195 unique attendees
5 expert commentaries
Over 4500 page views of the Issue 1 sites
73 news articles collected
Professors Douglas Berman and Alex Kreit were invited to participate on a panel discussion about the current marijuana and opioid policy landscapes at the National Conference of State Legislators Capitol Forum on December 6, 2018 in Washington D.C. The NCSL Capitol Forum is the meeting where NCSL Standing Committees meet to discuss policy and set the agenda for the states. The NCSL Standing Committees are composed of legislators and legislative staff who are appointed by the leadership of the legislatures.
We are excited to announce the award of two research grants as part of our inaugural 2018 Research Grant Program. The Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC) funds an annual research grant program for Ohio State faculty and graduate students focused 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.
Deterrence or indifference?: Opioid users’ perceptions of anti-drug laws
Eric LaPlant, PhD candidate, Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University
Moral Panics, Race, and the Criminalization of Marijuana in the Early 20th Century
Michael Vuolo, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University
Thank you to all who joined the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center for its official launch event on Friday, November 2. We were joined by 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, along with the center's director, professor Douglas Berman, discussed a number of issues including the current opioid crisis, the growing momentum behind marijuana legalization and how to best manage this process, and the importance of evidence-based policy decision making.