Ohio State lands $4.5M grant to study ‘war on drugs,’ marijuana laws

Ohio State University will set up a new policy center that will examine the impact the “war on drugs” has had on Americans and study ongoing efforts by states to legalize and regulate marijuana.

The Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, which will be housed within the OSU law school, will be headed by Professor Doug Berman, who teaches a popular course on marijuana policy and laws.

“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 in a written statement. “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.”

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The center will foster collaboration among OSU faculty in criminal law, public affairs, legislative reform, economic development and social justice to look at the impact of the “war on drugs,” according to the university.

Berman, a nationally known expert on criminal sentencing and marijuana laws, joined the OSU faculty in 1997.

The center will be paid for with a $4.5 million grant from the Charles Koch Foundation. “With reforms outpacing research in drug policy, Ohio State stands to fill an important gap in analysis of these issues,” said John Hardin, foundation director of university relations, in a written statement.

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