Drugs & Stuff: A Podcast about Drugs, Harm Reduction, Mass Incarceration, The Drug War and other Stuff, from the Drug Policy Alliance

Drugs & Stuff: A Podcast about Drugs, Harm Reduction, Mass Incarceration, The Drug War and other Stuff, from the Drug Policy Alliance

The Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) is the nation's leading organization working to end the war on drugs. We focus on legalizing marijuana; criminal justice reform and ending draconian prison sentences for drugs; harm reduction policies that prevent overdoses and save lives; and we educate the public about drugs while dispelling popular myths and misinformation. Our host, Tommy McDonald, has been on DPA’s media team for 12 years and worked in journalism and radio before coming to DPA, and he’ll be mostly joined by Derek Rosenfeld, who has run DPA’s social media since 2010. Follow on Twitter @drugsnstuffDPA... Show More

Episodes

In the latest episode of Drugs & Stuff, we are joined by DPA’s Sheila Vakharia, Ph.D., a researcher in the office of Academic Engagement. Sheila joined Gabriella Miyares to talk about Sheila’s professional journey to becoming a leading voice in harm reduction and social work. Sheila helps DPA staff and others understand a range of drug policy issues while also responding to new studies with critiques and analysis. She plans confere... Read more

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Gretchen Bergman, executive director of A New Path, joined Drugs and Stuff recently to share why her work around addiction and treatment is intimately personal. She shares her personal story and shows the power of a mother’s love. Bergman served as state chair for California’s Proposition 36, which mandated treatment instead of incarceration for nonviolent drug offenders.  A native of San Diego, she is owner/director of Gretchen Pr... Read more

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In 2009, New York reformed its notorious Rockefeller Drug Laws. Ten years later, veteran drug law reform activists Anthony Papa and Terrence Stevens join “Drugs and Stuff” to reflect on the destruction the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws wreaked on so many New Yorkers and share their thoughts on the reforms. Anthony Papa, manager of media relations for the Drug Policy Alliance, was handed a mandatory minimum fifteen years to life f... Read more

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In the latest episode of Drugs and Stuff, DPA’s Ifetayo Harvey sat down with Alejandra Pablos, a reproductive justice advocate and immigration activist who is facing deportation for a drug offense.  As a young person, Alejandra was arrested and convicted of several charges, including possession of drug paraphernalia. After she spent two years in a detention center in southern Arizona, she lost her residency and was placed into de... Read more

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DPA’s revolutionary high school drug education curriculum “Safety First” was piloted at Bard High School Early College Manhattan this spring. The results are in, and they’re very encouraging for the future of drug education. Sasha Simon, DPA’s Safety First Program Manager, and Drew Miller, the health teacher from Bard who taught the “Safety First” curriculum, returned to Drugs & Stuff to tell us about their experiences and the posi... Read more

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We were lucky to talk with Bernard Noble, who recently came home after serving more than 7 years in a Louisiana prison. Bernard was finally granted parole after being sentenced to 13 years for allegedly possessing two joints of marijuana. You’ll hear all about this grave injustice directly from the man whose case drew national attention as an example of extremely harsh drug sentences in the United States, and how an entire family i... Read more

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In this episode we take you behind the curtain to meet the producer of Drugs and Stuff, the incomparable Katharine Heller. Katharine is a woman of many talents. Actor, voiceover artist, producer, and bartender. She hosts a great monthly podcast called Tell the Bartender, which features tales from everyday people with unique stories to share. We were lucky enough to be guests in an episode you can find here.

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We caught up with Rep. Ro Khanna during a recent visit to his home district in the Silicon Valley. Rep. Khanna talks about his support for the Marijuana Justice Act, the Justice Department under Jeff Sessions and his favorite place to grab a cup of chai.

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This week we sat down with Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, DPA’s executive director. We had a lot to catch up about since the last time she was on the show back in October 2017. Her new book, There Are No Dead Here: A Story of Murder and Denial in Colombia, was released in February and Maria explains how it created a little bit of controversy with a former Colombian president. We also talked about how DPA has been responding to Tru... Read more

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The time has come for people who care about psychedelics to step out of the shadows and bring our voices to the table. In this episode, we’re joined by a couple of DPA’s in-house psychedelics experts: Jag Davies, DPA’s director of communications strategy, and Ifetayo Harvey, DPA’s communications associate. Both Jag and Ife previously worked at one of our closest allied organizations, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedeli... Read more

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Kellyanne Conway's lack of experience and inability to effectively address the overdose crisis was on full display last month when she jokingly told a forum of young people: “eat the ice cream, have the french fry, don't buy the street drug.”   Listen to Derek break down a 1-minute clip of Kellyanne Conway's speech and you'll understand that prohibition is the problem and harm reduction is the solution.

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Remember last year when we sat down with DPA’s Marsha Rosenbaum to talk about what drug education should look like for young people? If you missed it, check out that great conversation from Episode 05 when Marsha explained the history of “Safety First,” a DPA project that was dedicated to providing honest, reality-based information to parents for when they talk to their teens about using drugs. That project has now grown and evolve... Read more

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Long-time Drug Policy Alliance media relations director, Tony Newman, joined the latest episode of Drugs & Stuff to chat with us about the current state of drug policy reform, and his latest think piece, which you can read here. Newman has witnessed a dramatic change in the drug policy reform landscape since coming to DPA 18 years ago. As director of media relations, he has been at the forefront of most of DPA’s greatest victories... Read more

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In early January, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (Mr. “good people don’t smoke marijuana”) began the year by firing a shot across the bow to states that have legalized marijuana. Will it have a chilling effect? Is it even warranted? In this episode, we sat down with our in-house marijuana law reform experts, Tamar Todd and Jolene Forman, to talk about Sessions’ threats and we dig into a report that examines the progress of ref... Read more

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It’s the end of the year, people are getting excited about the holidays, and millions of people are making plans for partying on New Year’s Eve. And for lots of people, their version of partying includes using drugs. So who better to talk to about harm reduction and partying than DPA’s Stefanie Jones? Stefanie Jones is the director of audience development at the Drug Policy Alliance. She oversees communication and outreach to speci... Read more

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AlterNet editor-at-large and associate publisher Jan Frel sits down with us to expound on non-problematic drug use and how drugs are interwoven into modern society. Jan explains how the war on drugs is essentially a war on fun that demonizes and destroys lives. Jan is the author of Neighbors from Hell: An American Bedtime Story (Feral House, 2015). AlterNet is a progressive news magazine that publishes original content as well as ... Read more

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On November 8, 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized possession and consumption of marijuana for adults 21 and over and immediately reduced or eliminated many criminal penalties for marijuana in California - including the sale, and cultivation of marijuana. As the state gears up for full implementation on January 1, 2018, Matt SotoRosen, a senior trial attorney with the San Francisco Public Defender’s Of... Read more

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We pulled aside a handful of experts to talk with us during the Drug Policy Alliance's 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Atlanta last month. Jon Perri works at change.org and his new project, Nation of Second Chances, explores the stories of many people who received clemency from President Obama. We also found time to talk about Phish, race, drug use at concerts/festivals, and nuclear war. It was a great conversat... Read more

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Dr. Malik Burnett is a general surgeon and former DPA staff member who successfully led our campaign to pass Initiative 71, which legalized marijuana for adults in Washington, D.C. in 2014. Dr. Burnett is a physician advocate and a board member of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation. Currently a resident physician in the Johns Hopkins General Preventive Medicine program, Dr. Burnett analyzes the public health implications of current dr... Read more

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We pulled aside a handful of experts to talk with us during the Drug Policy Alliance's 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Atlanta. Marsha Rosenbaum sat down to talk with us about what drug education should look like for young people, and her experience as a mother, researcher and drug policy reformer trying to get schools to implement a curriculum grounded in science and harm reduction. Rosenbaum founded DPA's San ... Read more

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Chat About Drugs & Stuff: A Podcast about Drugs, Harm Reduction, Mass Incarceration, The Drug War and other Stuff, from the Drug Policy Alliance

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