Ethan Nadelmann, a personal hero of mine, has just announced that he is stepping aside as the head of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). Nadelmann has been called the “point man” for drug policy reform efforts and the “Real Drug Czar” by Rolling Stone and he has undeniably left a huge footprint on our civil rights movement. Nadelmann will surely be greatly missed by DPA, but he has built an incredible foundation for the world’s leading drug policy reform organization. I just learned of the announcement from Ethan’s Twitter feed.
I’ve decided that the time has come for me to step aside as head of DPA. My extraordinary colleagues are ready to take us into the future!
— Ethan Nadelmann (@ethannadelmann) January 27, 2017
I have been honored to have met Ethan a few times and Oregon would not have legalized cannabis for all adults in 2014 if it weren’t for his leadership and the great work by so many people at DPA. Nadelmann worked tirelessly to fundraise for the Measure 91 marijuana legalization measure and DPA staffers helped draft the measure, strategize and get out the vote, all the while still working on other reform measures and programs across our nation and globe.
We are so grateful for everything you did to help shape the movement to end the war on drugs, Ethan, and we are indebted to your leadership. https://t.co/v5AdRFWpcF
— Drug Policy Alliance (@DrugPolicyOrg) January 27, 2017
A former Princeton Professor, Ethan has always been very comfortable speaking about the details of drug policy reform in a very relatable way. Nadelmann’s informative and inspirational TED talk is a must-watch for anyone in the drug reform movement and for anyone that may be on the fence about prohibition.
No word yet on what will be next for Mr. Nadelmann. I imagine that DPA will take resumes for a successor and while they will undoubtedly get a plethora of amazing candidates for the job, the next head of DPA will have some very, very big shoes to fill.
Everyone involved with any movement today stands upon the shoulders of the giants that came before them. Ethan Nadelmann is undeniably one of the giants of the cannabis legalization movement and the fight to end the greater Drug War. I sincerely wish him the best in whatever he does and can only hope that the next head of the Drug Policy Alliance is up to the challenge of following such a great civil rights activist.