A radical drug policy to reduce crime, arrests and incarceration: Regulating alcohol
Professor Keith Humphreys presented at the 2020 NDARC Seminar Series on Thursday, 23 July 2020.
The drug that contributes the most to crime, violence, and incarceration is not cannabis, cocaine, or heroin, but alcohol. The current policy for alcohol in the developed world is to tax it far below the costs of the harm it produces, to allow its wide advertisement, and to accept extensive lobbying with and donations from the industry to policymakers and regulators. Government agencies charged with reducing problems caused by “drugs” and “addiction” often exclude alcohol from their remit. This presentation explains why this situation persists, why it is profoundly damaging to public health and safety, and how it can be changed.
Keith Humphreys, Esther Ting Memorial Professor, Stanford University
Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor and the Section Director for Mental Health Policy in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He is also a Senior Research Career Scientist at the VA Health Services Research Center in Palo Alto and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London. His research addresses the prevention and treatment of addictive disorders, the formation of public policy and the extent to which subjects in medical research differ from patients seen in everyday clinical practice.
Dr. Humphreys has been extensively involved in the formation of public policy, having served as a member of the White House Commission on Drug Free Communities, the VA National Mental Health Task Force, and the National Advisory Council of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. During the Obama Administration, he spent a sabbatical year as Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He has also testified on numerous occasions in Parliament and advises multiple government agencies in the U.K.