Ohio State Establishes Drug Enforcement and Policy Center

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law announced that it, in partnership with the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the College of Social Work, will establish the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC) with funding provided by a $4.5 million gift from the Charles Koch Foundation.

An interdisciplinary center, DEPC will foster collaboration among Ohio State’s nationally recognized faculty in the areas of criminal law, public affairs, legislative reform, community well-being, economic development and social justice to explore how the “war on drugs” and other drug enforcement policies have affected Americans over the past half-century and possibilities for reform and improvement. It will also serve as an independent and reliable source for researchers, policymakers, the media and others interested in objective information about drug enforcement and reform, including rigorous examination of ongoing efforts by many states to replace blanket marijuana prohibition with various legalization and regulatory systems and rules.

“The Glenn College is excited to support the research and analysis of this new center to address the vexing challenges we face in drugs and law enforcement,” said Trevor Brown, Dean of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.

Robert J. Watkins/Procter & Gamble Professor of Law Douglas A. Berman will lead the center.

“The Drug Enforcement and Policy Center will serve as an objective, reputable voice in the national conversation relating to drug laws and enforcement,” said Moritz College of Law Dean Alan C. Michaels. “Doug is the perfect person to lead this interdisciplinary endeavor as we build on our strengths at the law school — and comprehensively across Ohio State — with research and outreach activities that will provide critical evidence to help inform policy decisions at the local, state and national levels.”

“I am honored to serve as the first executive director of the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center as we begin important work across a breadth of critical topics at a time when leaders of all political beliefs are looking for reliable and objective evidence concerning the impact of modern drug policies and practices,” Berman said.

Founded in 1980, the Charles Koch Foundation supports students and scholars exploring issues related to free and open societies, including criminal justice reform.

“With reforms outpacing research in drug policy, Ohio State stands to fill an important gap in analysis of these issues,” said Charles Koch Foundation Director of University Relations John Hardin. “We are thankful for the opportunity to support Prof. Berman and his vision for the new center.”

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