Edward H. Jurith, former acting director of National Drug Control Policy and staff director of the U.S. Houe Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, died of cancer on Nov. 9. He was 62. Jurith served as acting director both under President Clinton and President Obama. Since 1994, he served as the agency’s General Counsel, Senior Counsel and Director of Legislative Affairs.
Gil Kerlikowske, the current “drug czar,” said that, “With his characteristic intelligence, deep insight and good humor, Mr. Jurith embodied the best of public service. He was one of the brightest minds in drug policy.” While on the staff of the House committee, Jurith was a key drafter of the Anti-Drug Abuse Acts of 1986 and 1988, which led to establishing the drug control policy office. Jurith taught a seminar on law and drug policy at the American University Washington College of Law. He was a 1973 graduate of American University and a 1976 graduate of Brooklyn Law School.