show episodes
 
Welcome to Drugs & Stuff. We're a podcast about drugs, harm reduction, mass criminalization, the drug war, and other stuff from the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) – the nation's leading organization working to end the war on drugs. We bring in a wide variety of experts – from scientists to activists, writers to teachers – to hear about how drugs and drug policy play a role in their work and lives. We also offer a peek behind the scenes as we feature DPA staff talking about the work they do. Foll ...
 
Welcome to The Oregon Bridge, a podcast hosted by Ben Bowman and Alex Titus. This podcast explores how the nationalization of politics is reshaping Oregon’s political landscape and providing a platform for Oregon issues to garner national attention. Our thesis is that we must understand the opportunities and limitations of a political environment increasingly driven by people and events at the national level if we want to create a more unified and productive political culture in Oregon. Our ...
 
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show series
 
Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read, the "de facto Chief Financial Officer" of the state, has served in both the state and federal governments. He worked for Larry Summers and Sheryl Sandberg during the Clinton Administration before returning to the Pacific Northwest (he graduated from Willamette University and then earned an MBA from the University…
 
Senator Dallas Heard is a rising figure in Oregon Republican politics with a growing influence on the political right. He has deep ties in Southern Oregon, where he is a business owner and represents Roseburg in the state senate (he previously served in the state house). Recently, he was elected Chair of the Oregon Republican Party on a populist, T…
 
The drug war has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives—and it’s time to uproot it. The Drug Policy Alliance has been working closely with other advocacy organizations to create Uprooting the Drug War, a project that shines a spotlight on the insidious ways the drug war has spread into the systems of child welfare or family regulation, public be…
 
On election night 2020, NBC news declared: "America's war on drugs is finally ending." Buzzfeed wrote: "Drugs Won The 2020 Presidential Election." Across the United States, drug legalization and decriminalization efforts are winning -- from deep blue to ruby red states. With the overwhelming passage of Ballot Measure 110, Oregon solidified its posi…
 
Jamie McLeod Skinner is one of the most interesting figures in Oregon politics. She gained prominence by challenging longtime GOP congressman Greg Walden in Oregon's deep-red second congressional district in 2018 -- and coming closer to beating him than any other candidate in his two decade career. She then ran a competitive race for Oregon Secreta…
 
Rep. Christine Drazan is a state representative from rural Clackamas County, serving as the House Republican Leader (a position she was elected to after only 9 months in the legislature, a remarkable feat). She joined the pod to talk about the differences in the Oregon Legislature from when she worked as a staffer in the 1990s to today, sexual hara…
 
As we approach the one-year anniversary of Breonna Taylor's killing, the connection between deeply problematic policing and the criminalization of drugs has never been more apparent. On this episode, we take a deep dive into the changes that some communities are already making. Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty sat down with DPA Senior Sta…
 
Lori Chavez-DeRemer is a former mayor of Happy Valley, a two-time Republican nominee for the state legislature, and a small business owner. She joins the Oregon Bridge to discuss former Rep. Knute Buehler's exodus from the Republican Party, why more mayors should run for higher office, race and "identity politics", and Governor Kate Brown's handlin…
 
Kevin Frazier is a law student who has founded several nonprofits and ventures, including The Oregon Way, a SubStack newsletter that serves as a virtual op-ed page for Oregon politics. In this episode, Kevin talks about the place for moderates in our polarized political system, feeling disenfranchised from the Democratic Party, and the future of lo…
 
In the 2020 election, 28-year-old Alek Skarlatos came closer to beating longtime Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Eugene) than anyone else has in the last three decades. He earned international recognition for helping stop a terrorist attack in Paris, and went on to play himself in a Clint Eastwood-directed film about the event. In this episode, Alek t…
 
Rep. Wlnsvey Campos is the youngest woman ever elected to the Oregon State Legislature and is an emerging leader in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party in Oregon. Ben and Alex ask her about how she got endorsed by Bernie Sanders, her views on race in politics, and how she plans to advance a progressive agenda in the Oregon legislature (inc…
 
Welcome to The Oregon Bridge Podcast! Hosted by Ben Bowman & Alex Titus! Follow & Subscribe: @oregonbridgepod This is a podcast about the future of Oregon politics, featuring guests from across the political spectrum. Subscribe to the podcast to hear from leaders across Oregon on the state of our political environment -- and what the future might l…
 
Today, news broke that the Department of Justice has reached an $8 billion-plus settlement with Purdue Pharma for its role in the opioid crisis. This money should be used to combat the public health emergency of overdose deaths, but another public health emergency -- the COVID-19 pandemic -- has taken hold of media coverage and government spending.…
 
Jessie Dunleavy always knew her son Paul was unique. He struggled throughout his life -- to learn, to be accepted -- and she tried however she could to help him along the way. But as he got older, and began to struggle with drug use, system after system began to shut them out. Where he needed hope, he got silence; where he needed support, he got pu…
 
Keri Blakinger has worked for years as a journalist (currently at The Marshall Project) covering the criminal justice system and exposing the abuses within it. She comes with experience that most reporters don’t -- in 2010, she was arrested for drug possession and spent two years in the system herself. Matt Sutton, DPA's Director of Media Relations…
 
In her own community in Santa Fe, New Mexico, DPA Senior Director Emily Kaltenbach sees police with assault rifles, submachine guns, grenade launchers, and even tanks. To help us understand the far-reaching implications of the presence of this military equipment, Emily joined us to explain the policy, practices, and history behind the militarizatio…
 
On the latest edition of our “Puff or Pass” series examining how drugs and people who use drugs are portrayed in pop culture, DPA’s marketing coordinator Ifetayo Harvey digs into a recent episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In a dramatic episode that covers many angles -- from problematic drug use to corrupt medical providers, from the in…
 
Drug courts -- programs that seek to reduce drug use through mandated treatment and close judicial oversight -- sound like a good alternative to incarceration. In theory they are thought to save money and increase access to treatment but in practice they cherry-pick eligible participants and allow judges to preside over treatment decisions. Kerwin …
 
When the Drug Policy Alliance publicly released our harm reduction-based drug education curriculum Safety First in October, the world was a different place. In the months since, it’s evolved into an even more crucial resource. We’ve had continuing conversations with students, parents and teachers; a collaboration with the mental health foundation M…
 
We’ve all been there: you’re watching TV or a movie, playing a video game or listening to some music, when drugs enter the storyline. This can go well -- and it can also go really badly. On this episode, we’re introducing a new series we call “Puff or Pass.” It examines how drugs and people who use drugs are portrayed in pop culture, for better or …
 
Immigrant detention centers are bleak places in the best of times, but during a pandemic they are absolutely dangerous. And yet U.S. immigration enforcement has carried on as COVID-19 continues to spread, exacerbating the stress and anxiety that people who are non-citizens and/or undocumented already feel when dealing with a system that is unforgiv…
 
On previous episodes, we’ve talked about the impact of COVID-19 in the context of public health and incarceration. But, as an organization, how has Drug Policy Alliance been affected? What about our work has changed, and what stays the same? I asked DPA’s Managing Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns, Kassandra Frederique, to break it down fo…
 
Of the first seven people who died of COVID-19 in federal prison, five of them were there for drug offenses. In this moment, the inhumanity and disastrous health consequences of our prisons and jails are clearer than ever. In this episode, DPA’s Managing Director of Policy Advocacy and Campaigns, Kassandra Frederique, sits down with CJ Ciaramella, …
 
In her previous work as a civil rights attorney during the HIV/AIDS epidemic, DPA Senior Staff Attorney Mary Sylla saw firsthand the lack of adequate healthcare available to people who are incarcerated. To better understand how to solve the problem, she went back to school for a Masters in Public Health. On today’s episode, Mary talks about the cur…
 
Joe Rubin is a public school teacher in San Francisco, and health is his favorite subject. In his 36 years of experience, he’s never taught anything quite like DPA’s Safety First drug education curriculum. DPA’s Safety First Program Manager Sasha Simon sat down with Joe to dig into what makes the curriculum special, why it appeals so deeply to teac…
 
The Drug Policy Alliance has spent years developing a completely new take on drug education: a curriculum based in harm reduction and science, not a fear-based abstinence-only approach. It’s called Safety First, and it’s now freely available for the first time ever. We sat down with DPA’s Safety First Program Manager Sasha Simon to get the brief ru…
 
DPA’s biennial International Drug Policy Reform Conference takes place in St. Louis, Missouri this November 6-9. Our own Ifetayo Harvey sat down with Stephanie Regagnon, founder of Ava’s Grace Scholarship Program, and Chad Sabora, co-founder and executive director of the Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery, to talk about the impact of t…
 
Over the last few years, we’ve seen huge increases in opioid overdose deaths, and many of them can be traced to powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Drugs & Stuff is back with journalist Ben Westhoff, whose new book Fentanyl, Inc. chronicles his incredible four-year investigation into the world of novel psychoactive substances (NPS). Ben sat d…
 
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 issue…
 
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 no…
 
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…
 
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 d…
 
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” …
 
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 examp…
 
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 wer…
 
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 …
 
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 …
 
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 prohibit…
 
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 w…
 
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 …
 
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 ta…
 
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 deve…
 
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).…
 
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,…
 
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 P…
 
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 Preventiv…
 
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 implem…
 
We sat down with DPA’s new executive director to find out more about her history and look ahead to next week’s gathering at the 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Atlanta. Maria’s commitment to social justice and drug policy reform dates from her childhood, which she spent mostly in Peru. She was strongly influenced by her early wo…
 
We're back with a timely new episode. This week we sat down with Marvin Washington, former NFL player and Super Bowl champion, to talk about the war on drugs, marijuana policies in sports, socially conscious athletes, and this past week’s display of solidarity across the NFL in response to Donald Trump’s comments calling players who kneel during th…
 
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