One of our 2011 Distinguished Alumni, Ethan Nadelmann (Class of 1975), has made the news again in a Rolling Stone article focusing on one of Obama’s less talked about campaign promises: allowing local laws on marijuana to stand.
It’s generally accepted that Federal law supersedes state law on drug enforcement issues, but Obama had promised to respect state efforts to decriminalize and regulate marijuana, most often in the form of medicinal marijuana.
But Ethan, currently the director of the Drug Policy Alliance, told Rolling Stone that “The administration is going after legal dispensaries and state and local authorities in ways that are going to push this stuff back underground.”
Ethan says that he believes the problem is a lack of leadership from the President, rather than a concerted effort to attack locally legal dispensaries, though others speculate that a hard line on marijuana may be part of Obama’s election year strategy.
Ethan has been working to end the US War on Drugs for years, citing it as the main driver behind drug-related crime. Before founding the Drug Policy Alliance Ethan earned his JD and PhD from Harvard and an MS in International Relations from the London School of Economics. He first started writing popular articles on American drug policy in the 1980s while teaching at Princeton.
Go here for the rest of the Rolling Stone article.