Today, the Stein Scholars hosted a panel discussion on the merits of legalizing marijuana. Three panelists joined Stein Scholars and other members of the law school community:
Gabriel Sayegh, New York State Director, Drug Policy Alliance
Gabriel Sayegh directs the New York State office of the Drug Policy Alliance, partnering with community organizing groups, human service agencies, and researchers to advance effective drug policies guided by science, equity and compassion. Recent campaigns include ending New York’s marijuana arrest crusade, developing municipal-based drug strategies, passing and implementing historic 911 Good Samaritan legislation to prevent accidental overdose fatalities, creating a tightly-regulated medical marijuana program, and reforming New York’s draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws. He is the author of numerous articles and several reports, including Blueprint for a Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy (the subject of a New York Times editorial) and From Handcuffs to Healthcare: Putting the Affordable Care Act to Work for Criminal Justice and Drug Law Reform.
Emma Andersson, Staff attorney with American Civil Liberties Union Criminal Law Reform
Emma A. Andersson is a staff attorney with the ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project. Her practice includes litigation relating to police practices, indigent defense reform, marijuana law reform, and federal and state sentencing. Emma was previously a fellow with the ACLU's Drug Law Reform Project, a fellow at Bernabei & Wachtel PLLC, and a law clerk for Judge Richard Paez in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is a graduate of Yale Law School and Barnard College.
Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, Executive Director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
Dr. Jeffrey L. Reynolds is the Executive Director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD). With offices in Mineola, Ronkonkoma and Riverhead, LICADD provides screening, brief intervention and referrals to treatment, as well as professionally-facilitated family interventions, relapse prevention programs and anger management services to adults and adolescents. Under Dr. Reynolds’ leadership, LICADD has pioneered the launch of “Too Good for Drugs”, an evidence-based K-12 substance abuse prevention program in several Long Island schools, initiated a new mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents and re-branded its Employee Assistance Program, now called “Open Arms EAP.” Dr. Reynolds currently serves as Chair of the Suffolk County Heroin/Opiate Epidemic Advisory Panel, is on the Executive Committee of the Nassau County Heroin Prevention Task Force and serves on Suffolk County’s Welfare to Work Commission.
The discussion focused on the failures of the drug war, the disproportionate impact of the criminalization of marijuana, the opiate and prescription drugs crisis, the need for treatment, education about drugs, and a host of other related issues. The conversation lasted for over an hour and at became heated at times. Everyone walked away having learned more about drug policy and the debate around it. This event was definitely a success.