Insightful Rolling Stone Profile: Ethan Nadelmann, “The Real Drug Czar” and “Most Influential Man in the Battle for Legalization”

Press Release June 5, 2013
Media Contact

<p>Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Ethan Nadelmann 646-335-2240</p>

The war on people who use marijuana, the momentum to end prohibition, the people leading the fight, and of course the “Greatest Stoner Movies Of All Time” are just some of the twelve stories featured in the June 20th special edition of Rolling Stone.
Ethan Nadelmann, the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, is profiled in one of the issue’s main features by Rolling Stone reporter Tim Dickinson. The insightful piece, “The Real Drug Czar,” documents Nadelmann’ s twenty-year career leading the movement to end the disastrous war on drugs. The front cover refers to him as “The Pot Movement’s Power Broker.”
The article describes the pivotal role of Nadelmann’s organization, the Drug Policy Alliance, in marijuana reform’s rapid shift from the fringes to the mainstream of U.S. and international politics – first with medical marijuana in the late 1990s and 2000s, and more recently with marijuana legalization victories in Colorado and Washington.
The profile captures Nadelmann’s approach (“fighting against federal overreach and the needless human toll of drug prohibition”), his speaking style (“two parts James Carville, one part Woody Allen”), and his diverse allies in Washington (“former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican coalition leader Grover Norquist”). It also captures his personal journey – from the son of an influential rabbi, to a Harvard-trained Princeton professor, to the leader of a broad-based political movement.
The article includes a revealing quote from California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, who has worked with Nadelmann and who recently came out strongly in favor of marijuana legalization: “He provides people in elected office some backbone, and God knows we need it. I’m included in that. It shouldn’t have taken me this long.”
Former George W. Bush senior advisor John DiIulio went so far as to call Nadelmann “the single most influential policy entrepreneur on any domestic issue.” DiIulio was a longtime drug warrior and tough on crime academic who has recently come around to Nadelmann’s side on marijuana policy. “He wore me down. What can I say?”
The marijuana-themed issue includes an article by Bill Maher on “How We Won the War on Pot,” another article debunking marijuana myths, and a graphic documenting the movement’s big tent that covers everyone from Glenn Beck to George Soros to Pat Robertson to Morgan Freeman.
A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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