New York City Bar, Committee on Drugs and the Law - Confronting an oxymoron: taking control of controlled substances

3 November 2010

The federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970 defines U.S. drug control. For forty years it has affected crime, public health, and the justice system, with little success: the societal harm relating to drugs continues to escalate. On this fortieth anniversary of the Controlled Substances Act, the Committee on Drugs and the Law will present an international group of experts to address key questions:

  • What can health and law enforcement officials do differently to control the supply of and demand for psychoactive substances?
  • What economic, regulatory, and social tools to control the drug markets are we not using?
  • Which currently regulated markets for potentially harmful substances or products might be adapted to control the sale and use of illicit drugs?
  • Which controls best protect young people?

Moderated by: Ellis Cose, Author and Newsweek Contributing Editor

Speakers & Topics:

Hon. Roger Goodman, J.D., Vice Chair, House Judiciary Committee, Washington State Legislature, Kirkland, WA.

Topic: Current legislative struggles to reform drug regulation at the state level: legal, practical and ideological obstacles.

Mark Haden, M.S.W., Addiction Clinical Supervisor, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Topic: Options for regulation of drugs based on public health and human rights.

Nathan Riley, Legislative Assistant, N.Y. State Senator Joseph Galiber (1990-1993), New York, NY.

Topic: An early attempt to create a regulated market for drugs in New York State and public health crises as the primary impetus for drug law reform to date.

Steven Rolles, Senior Policy Analyst, Transform Drug Policy Foundation, author of “After the War on Drugs: Blueprint for Regulation,” Bristol, England.

Topic: Existing models around the world for regulating products such as caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, as well as prohibited psychoactive substances.

Marc Sorini, Esq., Head of the Alcohol Regulatory and Distribution Group, McDermott Will & Emery, Washington, D.C.

Topic: The legal mechanism of alcohol regulation. (This presentation will focus exclusively on alcohol control and will take no position regarding drug law.)

Eric E. Sterling, President, Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, Assistant Counsel, U.S. House Judiciary Committee (1979-1989), Silver Spring, MD.

Topic: History of federal drug laws from 1914, focusing on the Controlled Substances Act and Reagan-era criminal statutes.