Best Drug-Policy Speaker

Deborah Small

When historians write about the end of pot prohibition in America, they’ll note that the support of women and communities of color proved essential. Energizing these communities is Deborah Small, former director of public policy for the Drug Policy Alliance, and current executive director of Break the Chains, a Berkeley-based advocacy group working to end the War on Drugs. A self-identified Democratic Socialist, Small is a superb leader of a revolutionary group, who helped get the NAACP to endorse the decriminalization of weed. Small is a New York native and received a bachelor of science from City College of New York, and a joint juris doctor/master’s in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Current drug policy has created another kind of Jim Crow in America, Break the Chains believes, and Small’s eloquent, insistent, outspoken dissent is building a chorus for change.

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