Board of Directors
Bryon Adinoff, MD (DFCR President) is an addiction psychiatrist and academician. He was appointed Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine following his retirement as Distinguished Professor of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and as a psychiatrist for 30 years with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has published over 175 papers and book chapters on the neurobiology and treatment of addiction and is Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. In his semi-retired status, he is evolving from focusing on the consequences of substance use itself to the consequences of the drug war. As a Founding Member, his commitment to the goals of DFCR arises from his desire to ensure that the harsh, punitive prohibition of cannabis use is replaced by a regulatory system that protects both the individual and society.
Peter Grinspoon, MD, is a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of the memoir Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction. He spent two years as an Associate Director of the Massachusetts Physician Health Service helping physicians with addiction and mental health issues. He graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy with honors from Swarthmore College. He then spent five years as a Campaign Director for the environmental group Greenpeace before entering medical school at Boston University School of Medicine, where he graduated with honors. He completed his residency at Harvard’s Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, in the primary care program. He has been on national television including NBC, C-SPAN, and Fox and Friends, and his writings have been published in The Nation and The Los Angeles Times. He is a Contributing Editor to Harvard Health Publications.
Adriana Kertzer is a Brazilian-American attorney, born and raised in São Paulo. Adriana has a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, a B.A. from Brown University in Judaic Studies and International Relations, and an M.A. from Parsons The New School for Design. She began her legal career as a corporate associate on Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s Latin American capital markets team. Adriana has since drawn on her love of contracts as an entrepreneur in the fields of contemporary culture, real estate and cannabis, as well as in her role as Senior Advisor to the Senior Deputy Chairman at the National Endowment for the Arts under President Obama. Adriana is the author of the book Favelization: The Imaginary Brazil in Contemporary Film, Fashion and Design originally published by the Cooper Hewitt Museum (Smithsonian Institution). She is passionate about Jewish psychedelic culture, leads the interfaith working group Faith+Psychedelics, and founded JewWhoTokes, an Instagram account that explores relationships with cannabis and psychedelics in the Jewish community.
Rachel Knox, MD, is a certified cannabinoid medicine specialist with the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine (AACM), building upon a background in family, functional, and integrative medicine. Along with her family, Dr. Knox founded the American Cannabinoid Clinics in 2015 to provide patients with comprehensive and functional care rooted in endocannabinology. As an educator and advocate, Dr. Knox travels the world to educate peer and lay audiences on the science of cannabis and the endocannabinoid system, to share her experiences as a cannabis clinician, to advance the recognition of cannabinoid medicine and endocannabinology as relevant and essential emerging fields of medicine, and to ensure that health equity remains at the center of cannabis policy reform. As a policy and regulatory consultant, Dr. Knox serves her home state of Oregon as chairperson for the Oregon Cannabis Commission, as a team member of the Cannabis Policy Oversight Team for Portland, Oregon, and as a member of the Oregon Cannabis Clinicians Group which she co-founded; she has also helped develop model state and municipal cannabis legislation in her role as medical chair for the Minority Cannabis Business Association.
David L. Nathan, MD, DFAPA (DFCR Founder, Past President) is a psychiatrist, writer, and educator in Princeton NJ. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. While maintaining a full-time private practice, he serves as Director of Continuing Medical Education for the Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) and Director of Professional Education at Princeton House Behavioral Health (PHBH). While serving on the steering committee of New Jersey United For Marijuana Reform (NJUMR.org), Dr. Nathan was surprised by the absence of any national organization to act as the voice of physicians who wish to guide our nation along a well-regulated path to cannabis legalization. This need was the inspiration for Doctors for Cannabis Regulation.
Kema Ogden (Board Secretary) has more than 10 years experience as a business entrepreneur and in business development in the Las Vegas community. As a passionate supporter of health and wellness, she began her business entrepreneurship in 2007 by opening a health and fitness facility. She also became the Founder and President of The Ogden Family Foundation, where she developed programs which help under-served children and families with health, wellness, and educational programs. Mrs. Ogden is also Executive Director of Community Outreach Medical Center, a 501 (C) (3) non-profit community clinic that provides medical and behavioral services for low-income and high-risk Southern Nevada populations. She recently developed and implemented a program called Holistically Positive, which educates high-risk patients on the benefits of medical cannabis, provides them with financial assistance to obtain medical evaluations, and access to discounted cannabis. To continue her mission in the health and wellness industry, she partnered with industry experts to start Global Harmony LLC, becoming one of Nevada’s first cannabis dispensary and cultivation businesses, as well as the first female African American owner in Nevada. While working with her partners on daily operations and as Director of Outreach, she actively advocates for women, minorities and business owners by speaking with elected officials and industry leaders on the importance of regulation reform, diversity and other social issues.
Genester Wilson-King, MD, FACOG (Board Treasurer) is a Board-Certified Obstetrician and gynecologist with many years of clinical experience providing compassionate and research-driven care to patients. After years of providing full-service OB/GYN care, she founded Victory Rejuvenation Center (VRC), a private holistic and integrative wellness medicine practice that provides life-transforming management modalities and customized medicines to patients. As the Medical Director and Owner of VRC, she assesses where her patients are on the health and wellness spectrum, and, with the patient’s input, creates an individualized program which enables them to get to where they want to be on the health and wellness spectrum.
She is Vice President of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, a non-profit that works to empower and educate healthcare providers on the use of cannabis medicine. A co-author of three research articles on the assessment of the impact of cannabis on female and male sexual function with the Female Sexual Function Index for females and the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) for males.
Dr. Wilson-King is an expert on cannabis use in women’s health conditions, an experienced cannabis clinician for adults, and a master in Hormone Therapy.
DFCR Honorary Board
Chris Beyrer MD, MPH, is Professor of Epidemiology, International Health, and Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. He is the current President of the International AIDS Society. Prof. Beyrer serves as Director of JHU’s HIV Training Program in Epidemiology and Prevention Science, and founded and directs the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights. He is Co-Principal Investigator of the JHU Center for AIDS Research, CFAR. He is a member of the HIV Prevention Trials Network’s MSM Working Group, and Protocol Chair for HPTN 078. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Epidemiology and Natural History Planning Group of the Office of AIDS Research of the U.S. NIH, and serves on scientific advisory committees for UNAIDS and WHO. He has extensive experience in conducting international collaborative research and training programs in HIV/AIDS and other infectious disease epidemiology, in infectious disease prevention research, HIV vaccine preparedness, in health and migration, and in health and human rights. Dr. Beyrer has done research health and human rights concerns in Thailand, Burma, China, India, South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania, Russia, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan and is the author of over 220 scientific papers.
H. Westley Clark, MD, JD, MPH, CAS, FASAM, is a former Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, where he led the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ national effort to provide effective and accessible treatment to Americans with addictive disorders. Dr. Clark was the former chief of the Associated Substance Abuse Programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (DVAMC) in San Francisco, California and a former associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). In addition to his duties at the DVAMC, Dr. Clark served as a senior program consultant to the Robert Wood Johnson, Substance Abuse Policy Program, a co-investigator on a number of the National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded research grants in conjunction with UCSF. Dr. Clark received a B.A. in Chemistry from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan; he holds a Medical Degree and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; where he completed a Psychiatric Residency at University Hospital, Neuropsychiatric Institute. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from Harvard University Law School and completed a two-year Substance Abuse Fellowship at the DVAMC-SF. Dr. Clark is a noted author and educator in substance abuse treatment, anger and pain management, psychopharmacology, and medical and legal issues. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to the field of substance abuse treatment, including a 2008 President of the United States of America Rank of Distinguished Executive Award in recognition of his personal commitment to excellence in government and public service; and a 2003 President of the United States of America Rank of Meritorious Executive Award in the Senior Executive Service for his sustained superior accomplishments in management of programs of the United States Government and for noteworthy achievement of quality and efficiency in the public service. In addition, he was awarded the 2008 John P. McGovern Award from the American Society of Addiction Medicine for his contributions toward increased understanding of the relationship between addiction and society.
Joycelyn Elders, MD is a former U.S. Surgeon General and is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Born the daughter of poor sharecroppers in Arkansas, Dr. Elders earned a bachelor’s degree at Philander Smith College in Little Rock. She then spent three years in the U.S. Army, after which she attended the University of Arkansas Medical School. She completed her residency in pediatrics, later earning a master’s degree in biochemistry. After rising to the rank of Professor at the University of Arkansas Medical Center (UAMS), she became the first physician in Arkansas to receive board certification in pediatric endocrinology in 1978. Her career in public health gained much traction following her 1987 appointment as Director of the Arkansas Department of Health. In this capacity, she oversaw a tenfold increase in early childhood annual screenings. In 1992, she was elected as the President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers. President Clinton nominated Dr. Elders to the position of U.S. Surgeon General in 1993. Once confirmed, she became the first African-American and only the second woman to serve as Surgeon General. Dr. Elders’ tenure is remembered for the controversy generated by her progressive views on drug policy and sex education. During the height of the AIDS epidemic, she was a strong proponent of teaching teens about safe sex as well as abstinence. She also called for research into drug legalization as a means to reduce crime as well as drug misuse. After leaving office, Dr. Elders returned to her professorship at UAMS, while continuing to advocate for comprehensive sex education and drug policy reform. In 2010, she supported California’s Proposition 19, which would have made California the first state to legalize cannabis. The New York Times quoted her as saying, “I think we consume far more dangerous drugs that are legal: cigarette smoking, nicotine and alcohol. I feel they cause much more devastating effects physically. We need to lift the prohibition on marijuana.”
Lester Grinspoon, MD (June 24, 1928 – June 25, 2020) is Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He founded the Annual Review of Psychiatry and the Harvard Mental Health Letter, for which he was Editor-in-Chief for fifteen years. His interest in cannabis dates back to the 1960s, when recreational use of the plant was on the rise. Dr. Grinspoon’s research began in 1967 under the assumption that cannabis was a dangerous drug. He expected to write a book in which the many dangers of cannabis were scientifically supported. But as he learned more about the plant, its long history and unique properties, his plan changed. Published in 1971, Marihuana Reconsidered is the culmination of his early research, securing his place in history as a pioneer of the legalization movement. Since 1967, Dr. Grinspoon has grown to become one of the world’s most authoritative experts on cannabis. He has testified before the U.S. Congress and in a large number of court cases, and has appeared in dozens of documentaries. In 1990, he received the prestigious Alfred R. Lindesmith Award from the Drug Policy Foundation for his scientific contributions.
Carl Hart, PhD is an associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University. Known for his research in substance use disorders, he is an internationally renowned advocate for evidence-based and humane drug policy. Prof. Hart has published nearly 100 scientific articles in the area of neuropsychopharmacology. His recent book, High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society, was the 2014 winner of the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. “For advancing the science of addiction,” Fast Company magazine included Hart in its list of Most Creative People in 2014. Prof. Hart is featured in the critically acclaimed 2012 documentary, The House I Live In. He makes frequent appearances on several news networks, including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.
Julie Holland, MD is the editor of The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis. She was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine from 1995 to 2012. Dr. Holland is also the medical monitor for a clinical study examining the efficacy of cannabis in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans. She runs a private practice in psychopharmacology in Manhattan and provides forensic consultations in drug-related cases. Dr. Holland attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in the Biological Basis of Behavior, a series of courses combining the study of psychology and neural sciences, with a concentration on psychopharmacology. She received her medical degree from Temple University. During her residency, at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, she served as Chief Resident of the Schizophrenia Research Ward. A principal investigator in a research study examining a new medication for schizophrenia, Dr. Holland earned a National Institute of Health Outstanding Resident Award in 1994.
David Lewis, MD (May 19, 1935 – December 2, 2020) is Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Community Health and the Donald G. Millar Distinguished Professor of Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the United States’ National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. He serves on the Executive Committee and is former Executive Director of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse, and is the founder and a member of the Board of Directors of Physicians and Lawyers for National Drug Policy. Dr. Lewis earned his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Brown University in 1957 and his medical degree at Harvard University in 1961. He specialized in internal medicine and later in treatment of alcoholism and addiction to other drugs. In 1996 Dr. Lewis delivered the Norman E. Zinberg Memorial Lecture at Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He received the American Medical Association’s Education and Research Foundation Award in 1997 for outstanding contributions and leadership in championing the inclusion of alcohol and other drug problems into the mainstream of medical practice and medical education. He received the Distinguished Contributions in the Addictions award from Harvard Medical School in 2002, and in 2004 he received the John P. McGovern Award and Lectureship from the American Society of Addiction Medicine for his contributions to the treatment of addictive disorders.
Ethan Nadelmann, JD, PhD, described by Rolling Stone as “the point man” for drug policy reform efforts and “the real drug czar,” is widely regarded as the outstanding proponent of drug policy reform both in the United States and abroad. He founded and directed (from 2000 to 2017) the Drug Policy Alliance. Ethan was born in New York City and received his BA, JD, and PhD from Harvard, and a master’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics. He then taught politics and public affairs at Princeton University from 1987 to 1994, where his speaking and writings on drug policy attracted international attention. He has authored two books on the internationalization of criminal law enforcement – Cops Across Borders and (with Peter Andreas) Policing The Globe – and his writings have appeared in most major media outlets in the U.S. as well as top academic journals (e.g., Science, International Organization), policy journals (Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Washington Quarterly, Public Interest) and political publications from the right (National Review) to the left (The Nation). He is interviewed frequently by media, including The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, and news programs on all the major U.S. networks as well as dozens of networks elsewhere. His TED Talk, delivered at TEDGlobal in Rio de Janeiro in October 2014, has more than 1.5 million views, with translations into 28 languages. In 1994, Ethan founded The Lindesmith Center, a drug policy institute created with the philanthropic support of George Soros. A year later, he co-founded the Open Society Institute’s International Harm Reduction Development (IHRD) program. In 2000, the growing Center merged with the Drug Policy Foundation to form the Drug Policy Alliance. Ethan and his colleagues have played pivotal roles in most of the major drug policy reform ballot initiative campaigns in the United States on issues ranging from medical marijuana and marijuana legalization to prison reform, drug treatment and reform of asset forfeiture laws. They also have reformed state and federal laws involving drug sentencing, drug treatment, access to sterile syringes to reduce HIV/AIDS, prevention of overdose fatalities, and all aspects of marijuana policyEthan currently serves on the advisory board of the Open Society Foundation’s Global Drug Policy Project (GDPP) and as an advisor to the Global Commission on Drug Policy. He has played a key role as drug policy advisor to George Soros and other prominent philanthropists as well as elected officials ranging from mayors, governors and state and federal legislators in the U.S. to presidents and cabinet ministers outside the U.S.
David Nutt, DM, FRCP, FRCPsych, FSB, FMedSci is the Edmond J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit in the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal Society of Biology and the Academy of Medical Sciences. He holds visiting professorships in Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. He is past president of the British Association of Psychopharmacology and of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Dr. Nutt co-founded the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs. He is past president of the British Neuroscience Association and current president of the European Brain Council. Today, he actively works for changes in drug laws to allow for more research opportunities. In 2007 and 2010, Dr. Nutt published historic studies on the relative harms of drug use in The Lancet. His book Drugs Without the Hot Air (UIT press) won the Transmission Prize for Communicating Science in 2014. Dr. Nutt was the recipient of the 2013 John Maddox Prize, which recognizes “the work of individuals who promote sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, facing difficulty or hostility in doing so.”
Beny Primm, MD (May 21, 1928 – October 16, 2015) was an internationally recognized expert on addictions, HIV/AIDS and community medicine. Originally from West Virginia, Dr. Primm attended Lincoln University on a basketball scholarship and graduated from West Virginia State University. He was a paratrooper in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, serving as the U.S. military’s first African-American officer in command of white troops. After an injury that led to his retirement from the military, and unable to gain entry to racially exclusive American medical schools, Dr. Primm received his MD from the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Despite the institutional and societal racism he faced as a young black physician in the late 1950s, Dr. Primm completed a residency in anesthesia in New York City, receiving awards for his performance and service. Working in underserved communities, he quickly observed how the misuse of narcotics was directly and indirectly responsible for a range of medical problems. In 1969, his interest in addiction and frustration with poor access to care led Dr. Primm to help create the Addiction Research Treatment Corporation (ARTC), where he served as the executive director for decades. The New York based ARTC remains one of the largest minority run community-based substance abuse treatment programs in the country, treating thousands of patients in underserved communities. Dr. Primm was also the long-time president of the Urban Resource Institute, an umbrella organization that supports various community-based initiatives and social service programs for battered women, the developmentally disabled, substance abusers, and those infected with HIV/AIDS. As a national authority on drug addiction, Dr. Primm served as an adviser to the National Drug Abuse Policy Office starting with the Nixon administration. Among his many other accomplishments, Dr. Primm served on the Presidential Commission on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Epidemic. He published dozens of articles on addiction, spoke to audiences around the world, and was a visiting lecturer at a dozen different academic institutions, including Columbia, Harvard and NYU. His support of DFCR in his final days was a testament to his pursuit of social justice and public health. His presence and good works will be missed.
Andrew Solomon, PhD is a writer and lecturer on politics, culture and psychology, and a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University. He is president of PEN American Center. He writes regularly for the New Yorker and the New York Times. Solomon’s newest book, Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change, Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years was published in April. His last book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity won the National Book Critics Circle award for nonfiction; the Wellcome Prize; and 22 other national awards. It tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children, but also find profound meaning in doing so. Solomon’s previous book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression (Scribner, 2001), won the 2001 National Book Award for Nonfiction, was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize, and was included in The Times of London‘s list of one hundred best books of the decade. A New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback editions, The Noonday Demon has been published in twenty-four languages. He is also the author of the novel A Stone Boat and of The Irony Tower: Soviet Artists in a Time of Glasnost. Solomon is an activist in LGBT rights, mental health, education and the arts. He is a member of the boards of directors of the National LGBTQ Force and Trans Youth Family Allies. He is a member of the Board of Visitors of Columbia University Medical Center, serves on the National Advisory Board of the Depression Center at the University of Michigan, is a director of Columbia Psychiatry; and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. In 2008, Solomon received the Society of Biological Psychiatry’s Humanitarian Award for his contributions to the field of mental health, and in 2010, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation’s Productive Lives Award. In 2011, he was appointed Special Advisor on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Mental Health at the Yale School of Psychiatry. Additionally, Solomon serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Yaddo; and The Alex Fund, which supports the education of Romani children. He is also a fellow of Berkeley College at Yale University, and a member of the New York Institute for the Humanities and the Council on Foreign Relations. He lives with his husband and son in New York and London and is a dual national. He also has a daughter with a college friend; mother and daughter live in Texas but visit often.
Andrew Weil, MD is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care that encompasses body, mind and spirit. Combining a Harvard education and a lifetime of practicing natural and preventive medicine, Dr. Weil is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, where he is also a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health and the Lovell-Jones Professor of Integrative Rheumatology. Dr. Weil received both his medical degree and his undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard University. Dr. Weil is an internationally recognized expert for his views on leading a healthy lifestyle, his philosophy of healthy aging and his critique of the future of medicine and health care. Approximately 10 million copies of Dr. Weil’s books have been sold, including Spontaneous Happiness, Spontaneous Healing, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, Eating Well for Optimum Health, The Healthy Kitchen, Healthy Aging and Why Our Health Matters.