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Please join our panel as we discuss the "War on Drugs" which has turned into a war on communities (people of color and students), a major source of police corruption scandals for the past several decades and an endless supply of prisoners for the for profit prison system.

Jasmine Tyler
Jasmine L. Tyler is deputy director of national affairs, based in Washington, D.C. She advocates for policies that reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system, increase access to social and health services, and treat people who use drugs with dignity. Jasmine's work has included grassroots and grasstops organizing across the political spectrum, public speaking, and media appearances. She is one of the leaders of the Crack the Disparity Coalition, which works to equalize the penalties for crack and powder cocaine. Her work led directly to federal crack cocaine sentencing reform in 2010, including the first elimination of a mandatory minimum penalty since the 1970s. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Economist, Huffington Post and other national media outlets. Prior to joining DPA, Jasmine worked as research director for the Justice Policy Institute. She has also worked as a sentencing advocate collaborating with public defenders in Washington, D.C. and Fairfax, VA. She received a B.S. from James Madison University and M.A. from Brown University, both in sociology.


Norm Stamper
Norm Stamper was a police officer for 34 years, the first 28 in San Diego, the last six (from 1994-2000) as Seattle's police chief. In his 28 years with SDPD Norm rose quickly through the ranks and as a deputy chief served in each of the agency's bureaus. He also served as Executive Director of Mayor Pete Wilson's Crime Control Commission for three years. Norm received numerous awards and citations during his career in San Diego, including the Diogenes Award of the Public Relations Society of America for his leadership in the wake of the Rodney King incident and the subsequent Simi Valley trial verdicts.

As Seattle's police chief, Norm led a process of major organizational restructuring, creating new bureaus of Professional Responsibility, Community Policing, and Family and Youth Protection. Within months his agency had formed one of the country's best responses to domestic violence.

As a cop dedicated to protect and serve, Norm believes the war on drugs has done exactly the opposite for people. "Think of this war's real casualties:" Norm writes in his extraordinary new book, Breaking Rank, "tens of thousands of otherwise innocent Americans incarcerated, many for 20 years, some for life; families ripped apart; drug traffickers and blameless bystanders shot dead on city streets; narcotics officers assassinated here and abroad, with prosecutors, judges, and elected officials in Latin America gunned down for their courageous stands against the cartels; and all those dollars spent on federal, state, and local cops, courts, prosecutors, prisons, probation, parole, and pee-in-the-bottle programs. Even federal aid to bribe distant nations to stop feeding our habit." The war on drugs costs the United States more than 69 billion dollars each year.

Norm was a member of the National Advisory Counsel on the Violence Against Women Act; Police Executive Research Forum; International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Major Cities Chiefs.

Drew Stromberg
Drew Stromberg serves as Outreach Director for Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), where he tracks and advises student chapters for half of the United States and oversees chapter development for SSDP’s international network.  Prior to his official role on SSDP’s International staff, Drew founded the chapter at West Virginia University in 2009 and was instrumental in coordinating reform efforts in West Virginia during his tenure as chapter leader.

Jesselyn McCurdy
Jesselyn McCurdy is a Senior Legislative Counsel in the Washington Legislative Office (WLO) of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and is responsible for defending civil liberties in Congress and in the Executive Branch in the areas of criminal justice.  

Ms. McCurdy was a member of the ACLU WLO staff for five years before accepting a position as a Counsel with the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.  She was the lead House counsel for the historic Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 when it passed Congress. Ms. McCurdy received a BA in Journalism and Political Science from Rutgers University and her JD from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.

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