The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law will establish a Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC) with a $4.5 million gift from the Charles Koch Foundation, says the University. The center will promote interdisciplinary research, scholarship, education, community outreach and public engagement on the societal impacts surrounding legal reforms that prohibit or regulate the use and distribution of traditionally illicit drugs. Law Prof. Douglas Berman will lead the center, which will draw on expertise from the law school, the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, the College of Social Work and across the university to examine the impact of modern drug laws, policies and enforcement on personal freedoms.
“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 Michaels. “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.” The center will foster collaboration among Ohio State’s faculty in the areas of criminal law, public affairs, legislative reform, community well-being, economic development and social justice to explore how the “war on drugs” and other drug enforcement policies have affected Americans over the past half-century and possibilities for reform and improvement.