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Western Regional SSDP Conference


MARCH 1, 2014


CONTENTS About SSDP and Welcome .......................................................... 3 Schedule at a Glance ...................................................................... 4 Detailed Schedule ............................................................................ 5 Conference Panel Descriptions................................................... 6 Speaker Biographies ................................................................... 7-8 Conference Locations, Transportation, and Lodging.........9



Students for Sensible Drug Policy About Our Organization Mission Statement

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is an international grassroots network of students who are concerned about the impact drug abuse has on our communities, but who also know that the War on Drugs is failing our generation and our society. SSDP mobilizes and empowers young people to participate in the political process, pushing for sensible policies to achieve a safer and more just future, while fighting back against counterproductive Drug War policies, particularly those that directly harm students and youth. Key Values Shared power and authority Youth-controlled agenda Collaboration and partnership Constituent-specific strategies Learning Diversity and inclusion

• • • • • •

Welcome to the 2014 Western Regional SSDP Conference! This year, our chapter at the University of California, Hastings College of Law welcomes you to the 2014 Western Regional SSDP Conference! This conference serves to unite the Western SSDP student, alumni, and supporter networks for a weekend of education, discussion, networking, expert presentations, and training to help us refine our skills as advocates to end the destructive war on drugs. Please use this time to connect with drug policy reformers from all over the Western region, speak to some of the field’s most notable figures, and learn about sensible alternatives to the policies associated with the war on drugs.

Values Statement

SSDP neither condones nor condemns drug use, rather we respect the right of individuals to make decisions about their own health and well-being. We encourage honest conversation about the realities of the drug war. 3

UCH SSDP Welcomes You!


Schedule at a Glance Saturday March 1, 2014 9:00-10:00am 10:00-10:30am

Registration and Exhibits are open

Light Breakfast (Dining Commons, 200 McAllister)

Exhibits are Open

Opening Remarks: Alex Kreit, “Drug Truce” (Dining Commons, 200 McAllister)

10:45-12:15pm Exhibits are Closed

Breakout Session 1 Panel 1: California’s Correctional Crisis (Room G, 198 McAllister) Panel 2: Harm Reduction Strategies (Room H, 198 McAllister)

12:15-1:15pm Exhibits are Closed


(Not Provided, See Recommendations on pg. 9)

1:15-2:45pm Exhibits are Closed

Breakout Session 2 Panel 1: No Accepted Medical Use (Room G, 198 McAllister) Panel 2: Catching up to Colorado (Room H, 198 McAllister)

Exhibits are Closed

Effective Advocacy (Room G, 198 McAllister)

Exhibits are Closed

Keynote Address: Jeff Adachi, “The War on Crumbs” (Dining Commons, 200 McAllister)

Exhibits are Open

Networking Reception (Skyroom, 100 McAllister)






Detailed Schedule Saturday March 1st: 9:00AM-10:00AM Registration 9:00-10:00AM Light Breakfast 10:00-10:30AM Opening Remarks: “Drug Truce” (Speaker: Alex Kreit) 10:45-12:15PM Session 1 Breakout (2 tracks) Panel 1: “California's Correctional Crisis: Criminal Justice in the Age of Prohibition” (Speakers: David Long, Hadar Aviram, Theshia Naidoo) Panel 2: “Harm Reduction Strategies: Improving Public Health through Sensible Drug Policy” (Speakers: Jennifer Johnson, Laura Thomas, Amanda Reiman, Justin Talbot) 12:15-1:15PM Lunch (not provided, see recommendations Pg.9) 1:15-2:45PM Session 2 Breakout (2 tracks) Panel 1: "No Accepted Medical Use": Current Research into Therapeutic Applications of Marijuana and Psychedelics (Speakers: Brad Burge, Steve DeAngelo, and Dr. Donald Abrams) Panel 2: “Catching up to Colorado: The Future of Legal Cannabis in California” (Speakers: Paul Armentano, Dale Sky Jones, Perry Rosenstein, Amanda Reiman) 3:00-4:30PM Session 3 Breakout (1 track) Panel: “Effective Advocacy: Finding Your Place in the Movement for Reform” (Speakers: Troy Dayton, Khurshid Khoja, Matt Kumin, A. Kathryn Parker) 4:45-5:45PM Keynote Address: “The War on Crumbs” (Speaker: Jeff Adachi) 5:45-6:00PM Closing: SSDP Staff and UC Hastings, College of Law conference organizers 6:00-8:00PM Networking Reception: Join conference attendees for a networking social serving wine, cheese, and refreshments.



Conference Panels California's Correctional Crisis: Criminal Justice in the Age of Prohibition

Although California decriminalized simple marijuana possession three years ago, 21,000 people a year are still arrested for drug-related crimes (2012). Given the constitutional and fiscal challenges facing the criminal justice system due to overcrowding and overincarceration, California is being forced to take a second look at how we sentence non-violent drug offenders. Frequently cut off from student loans, private sector employment, and housing assistance, the effects of a criminal record on these individuals is often devastating. Our panelists will discuss what drug-related corrections and sentencing reform would mean for California and its citizens.

Harm Reduction Strategies: Improving Public Health through Sensible Drug Policy

A key tenet of drug policy reform is that to protect public health and safety, our laws must shift away from criminalization and social stigma. Underlying the strategy of harm reduction is an acknowledgement that drug use will continue but we can significantly mitigate the damage – namely addiction, overdose, and illness. If we ground our public policy in science and tailor our solutions to target the harm, users will have a better chance at rehabilitation in a safer environment. As experts who have advocated for and implemented harm reduction strategies in California, our panelists will speak on using drug policy reform as a way to improve public health and safety.

No Accepted Medical Use: Current Research into Therapeutic Applications of Marijuana and Psychedelics Cannabis, LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA. What do all these substances all have in common? Under the Controlled Substances Act, they are all "Schedule I" drugs which supposedly have no medical value in our society. But the science says otherwise. Research conducted in Israel, Switzerland, and the United States has shown that these substances have demonstrable therapeutic effects. Hear from experts in this field who are shedding light on the curative and palliative value of these substances.

Catching up to Colorado: The Future of Legal Cannabis in California In November 2012, Colorado and Washington made history by becoming the first states to legalize and regulate the recreational use of cannabis. But what does the future hold for marijuana policy reform in the Golden State? This panel of seasoned advocates will discuss the legislative proposals making their way to our ballots and what it will take to make them law.

Effective Advocacy: Finding Your Place in the Movement for Reform You’ve spent the day getting learning about exciting prospects for drug policy reform. But how do you get involved? Whether you want to defend victims of the War on Drugs, serve as counsel to cannabusiness, or advocate for badly needed change, come hear from those who have successfully found their place in the movement for drug policy reform.



Speakers Donald Abrams, MD. is chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at San Francisco General Hospital and a Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. He has an Integrative Oncology consultation practice at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. He received an A.B. in Molecular Biology from Brown University in 1972 and graduated from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1977. He has long been interested in clinical trials of complementary and alternative medicine interventions for HIV/AIDS and cancer, including evaluations of medicinal marijuana, as first inspired by Rick Doblin in 1992. Dr. Abrams is a member of the California Medical Association’s Legalization and Taxation of Marijuana Technical Advisory Committee. Jeff Adachi the elected Public Defender of the City and County of San Francisco since March 2002 and worked as a deputy public defender in San Francisco for 15 years. From 1998-2001, he served as the Chief Attorney of the office. He has tried over 150 jury trials, including numerous serious felony and homicide cases, and has handled over 3,000 criminal matters throughout his career. As the only elected Public Defender in the state of California, Mr. Adachi oversees an office of 93 lawyers and 60 support staff. The office represents more than 23,000 people each year who are charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses and provides a panoply of innovative programs to its clients, including Drug Court, Clean Slate expungement services, and a full-service juvenile division. Paul Armentano is the Deputy Director of NORML and the NORML Foundation. He has reviewed and commented upon thousands of academic studies and white papers pertinent to cannabis use and its impact on behavior. His writing and research have appeared in over 750 publications and scholarly journals including The New York Times, Medscape, Drug Testing & Analysis, and Congressional Quarterly, as well as in more than a dozen textbooks and anthologies. He has spoken at numerous national conferences and legal seminars, including those sponsored by the California Association of Toxicologists and the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, testified before state legislatures and federal bodies, and assisted dozens of criminal attorneys in their defense of clients charged with DUI cannabis.


Hadar Aviram joined the Hastings faculty in 2007. Previously, Hadar Aviram practiced as a military defense attorney in the Israel Defense Forces for five years, completed her M.A. in Criminology at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her Ph.D. in UC Berkeley's Jurisprudence and Social Policy program, where she studied as a Fulbright Fellow and a Regents Intern, and taught at Tel Aviv University. Professor Aviram’s research focuses on the criminal justice system and examines policing, courtroom practices, and broad policy decisions through social science perspectives. Professor Aviram is an open water marathon swimmer and a film noir geek of the highest order, occasionally combining both passions to escape from Alcatraz. Brad Burge earned his B.A. in Communication and Psychology from Stanford University in 2005 and his M.A. in Communication from the University of California, San Diego in 2009. His graduate work focused on the political, scientific, and cultural changes required to make illicit drugs into legitimate medicines. He has also interned for the Drug Policy Alliance and has a longstanding interest in drug policy reform and activism. In addition to his work with MAPS, Brad is a freelance writer and editor of projects pertaining to psychopharmacology, drug policy, and psychedelic therapy. He believes in the importance of communication for sharing knowledge and building community, and is committed to helping people develop honest and responsible relationships with themselves, each other, and their pharmacological tools. Troy Dayton was formerly the Marijuana Policy Project’s top fundraiser and lead liaison to the legal cannabis industry. The dues paying members of MPP  recently elected Troy to the board with more than 75% of the vote in a 3-way race. He co-founded Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and helped launch and serve as the first sales director at Renewable Choice Energy (recently named the #1 green power provider by the EPA).  He is a founding board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association. In his spare time Troy enjoys singing karaoke and planning and blogging about Burning Man.

Steve DeAngelo is Executive Director of Harborside Health Center in Oakland, a cannabis industry leader, movement strategist and lifelong activist. Steve writes and speaks widely on the subject of cannabis, and his creation of the world’s model medical cannabis dispensary has been extensively covered in national and international news media. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Maryland, Steve is a founding, charter member of ASA (Americans for Safe Access); on the board of the Emerald Growers Association and the star of the Discovery Channel mini series, “Weed Wars” which is currently rolling out internationally. Jennifer Johnson is a Deputy Public Defender in San Francisco and represents clients in Behavioral Health Court. She was a founding member of the mental health court and is actively involved in shaping public policy and public perception at the crossroads of mental health and the law.  In partnership neuropsychiatrist Dr. George Woods, Ms. Johnson has started a monthly continuing legal education series through West LegalEdcenter, Where Mental Health Meets the Law.  In addition, Dr. Woods and Ms. Johnson teach a Mental Health and Law seminar at Boalt Hall. Dale Sky Jones serves as Oaksterdam University's Executive Chancellor, and   is focused on developing education courses and enhancing cannabis policy reform. With the retirement of founder Richard Lee, Dale has taken over operations as President and CEO of Oaksterdam University. She is the Chairwoman of the Board for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, previously spokeswoman for the Prop 19 Campaign in California.  She also serves on the board of directors for the National Cannabis Industry Association, Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana, and the national C20 Cannabis Council. Khurshid Khoja is Principal at Greenbridge Corporate Counsel. Prior to founding Greenbridge, Khurshid practiced corporate and transactional law as an Associate at Thelen LLP and Reed Smith LLP, where he worked on general corporate matters, regulatory compliance issues, mergers and acquisitions in the energy and insurance industries, and various commercial transactions intended to deploy wind, solar and biofuel technologies. 


Speakers Alex Kreit After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Professor Kreit clerked for the Honorable M. Blane Michael on the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He then worked as an associate at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco where his practice focused on securities and appellate litigation. Professor Kreit is author of the casebook Controlled Substances: Crime, Regulation, and Policy (Carolina Academic Press, 2013) and co-author of the reference book Drug Abuse and the Law Sourcebook (with Gerald F. Uelmen and Victor G. Haddox) (West, 2013). His articles have appeared in journals including the University of Chicago Legal Forum, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, the Oregon Law Review and the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal. He has been recognized as one San Diego’s Top Attorneys in the Academic Field by the San Diego Daily Transcript (2009, 2011, 2012) and one of “35 under 35” community leaders by the San Diego News Network (2010). Matt Kumin is a former labor and community organizer turned civil rights attorney, an area of law he has practiced since 1995. Originally recruited into the Drug War world in 1995 by Randy Daar and Tony Serra, Matt began working in this arena in California, initially representing patients, advocates, cooperatively-owned dispensaries and caregivers. He set up and successfully litigated an impact case (with a team he assembled), which attacked the federal Internal Revenue Code provision denying operating expense deductions to drug traffickers, a statute the IRS used against a nonprofit dispensary in San Francisco (the case was entitled CHAMP v. Com’r. of the IRS). He has sought and obtained injunctions against various cities in California, which sought to unconstitutionally limit patient access to medical cannabis. In 2010, he set up an office in Colorado and expanded his California practice into a national one. David Long served for nearly nine years as a special agent with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Division of Labor Racketeering, working union corruption and related organized crime cases in Florida. Later, he transferred to Los Angeles where he began investigating identity theft cases tied to the Mexican Mafia. In Los Angeles, he also sat on a joint task force investigating Asian organized crime and human trafficking. David holds a B.A., magna cum laude, from Howard University. David lives in the San Francisco Bay area and has two college-age children. He earned his J.D.


from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Theshia Naidoo is a senior staff attorney with the Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of Legal Affairs. She works on litigation, legislative drafting and public education efforts concerning drug policy, including sentencing reform and promoting alternatives to incarceration. Naidoo received her B.A. in political science from the University of California Berkeley and received her J.D. from the University of California Los Angeles School of Law. Prior to joining the organization, she worked in private legal practice for nearly four years representing clients in employment law and commercial litigation matters. She left private practice to join the struggle to make drug laws and drug policies more just, more compassionate and more effective at reducing drug use and improving the health, safety and wellbeing of individuals, their families and communities. A. Kathryn Parker is a paralegal for the California Appellate Law Group and serves as vice chair of Oakland’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission. She first became involved in drug policy reform when she joined the SSDP chapter at North Carolina State University, and her involvement with SSDP and the reform movement has only increased since then. After graduating, Kathryn worked in membership and development at the Marijuana Policy Project and Americans for Safe Access. She is also one of the organizers of the Western Region’s annual camping trip (and hopes to see you all there this summer).  Amanda Reiman is the California policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. Based in San Francisco, Reiman leads DPA’s marijuana reform work in California. Reiman has conducted numerous studies on medical marijuana dispensaries, patients and the use of marijuana as a treatment for addiction. Reiman served as the first chairwoman of the Medical Cannabis Commission for the City of Berkeley, currently serves on the Cannabis Regulatory Commission for the city of Oakland, and has consulted with various cities, states and countries on the development of medical marijuana policy. Reiman is currently a lecturer in the School of Social Welfare at the University of California-Berkeley, where she teaches Drug and Alcohol Policy, Substance Abuse Treatment, and Sexuality and Social Work. Originally from Chicago, Reiman earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of Illinois-Chicago and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Jane Addams

College of Social Work. Reiman moved to Oakland in 2002 to attend the University of California-Berkeley, where she earned her PhD in Social Welfare in 2006. Perry Rosenstein Perry Rosenstein is the technical cofounder of Marijuana Majority. Prior to founding Marijuana Majority, Perry was a political consultant at Trilogy Interactive, where he ran digital strategy for two marijuana legalization initiatives: California's Prop 19 (2010) and Colorado's Amendment 64 (2012). Perry is currently the CEO of a stealth startup and lives in a 13-person co-op in San Francisco. Laura Thomas Laura Thomas is the Deputy State Director, California, of the Drug Policy Alliance, the nation's leading organization promoting drug policies that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. She has worked on HIV and public health issues for over twenty-five years, for San Francisco-based nonprofit organizations and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. She holds a Masters in Public Health and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. Justin Talbot is the Bay Area Dancesafe chapter head. He has been a raver that has been active in the electronic music scene for several years including promoting, DJ'ing and a lover of music. As someone with an academic background in computational biology he has always had an interest in the harm reduction aspect of raving. Moving to Oakland two years ago, he saw the explosion of popularity in the rave and electronic music scene and realized the potential for the resurgence of a Dancesafe chapter in the Bay Area. Since then he has setup Dancesafe booths at dozens of raves and festivals throughout the bay area to perform harm reduction and outreach.


Important Locations, Transportation, & Directions Campus Building Map 1. UC Hastings, College of Law Dining Commons 200 McAllister St. San Francisco, CA 94102 2. UC Hastings, College of Law Rooms G & H 198 McAllister St. San Francisco, CA 94102 3.UC Hastings, College of Law Skyroom 100 McAllister St. San Francisco, CA 94102 Travelodge by the Bay 1450 Lombard St San Francisco, CA 94102 Local Lunch Recommendations: Celtic Coffee, Subway, Elmira Rosticceria, & Philz Coffee.

From Conference to Hotel

Important Phone Numbers Devon Tackels, SSDP Outreach Director 202.683.8449 Debashish Bakshi, UCH SSDP 650.384.1855 Travelodge by the Bay (415) 673-0691

Online Conference Resource Page


2014 Western Regional SSDP Conference  

Program booklet for the 2014 Western Regional SSDP Conference