This section of the Blue Ribbon Commission website shares conversations about BRC Steering Committee member Abdi Soltani with various experts in different fields related to marijuana policy. Please come back as additional interviews are posted.

Policy Perspective: An Interview with Marsha Rosenbaum on Youth Drug Education and Prevention

Marsha Rosenbaum is Director Emerita of the Drug Policy Alliance, San Francisco. She has worked as a research sociologist for the Institute for Scientific Analysis, is a former grantee of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and is the President of the JK Irwin Foundation. She has authored numerous articles, books, and reports about drug use, misuse, and treatment, including “Safety First: A Reality Based Approach to Teens and Drugs,” and “Making Sense of Student Drug Testing: Why Educators are Saying ‘No’.” She is a nationally recognized expert on teens and drug use, and regularly speaks to PTAs, other parent groups, schools, drug treatment and prevention professionals about this issue.

Policy Perspective: An Interview with Ben Rice on the Regulation of Medical and Adult Use of Marijuana

Ben Rice is an attorney in private practice. He began his career in criminal defense in 1981, first as a public defender in Santa Clara County and then in Santa Cruz County, where he opened a private practice in 1987. He has represented a variety of clients involved in medical cannabis, including cultivators, doctors and dispensaries. Ben is also a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Cannabis Policy, and serves as a member of its working group on tax and regulatory issues.

Policy Perspective: An Interview with Tim Cermak on Risks of Marijuana Use and Necessary Approaches for Youth

Dr. Timmen Cermak is a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction medicine. He is the former President of the California Society of Addiction Medicine and co-author of that body’s report “Youth First – Reconstructing Drug Policy, Regulating Marijuana, and Increasing Access to Treatment in California.” Dr. Cermak has written many books on drug and alcohol use among youth and adults, addiction, and recovery. He is the co-chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission’s Youth Education and Prevention Working Group.

Policy Perspective: An Interview with Peter Banys on Limiting Criminal Sanctions and Promoting Alternatives for Youth

Dr. Peter Banys is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF and Past-President of the California Society of Addiction Medicine. Over a three decade career he has developed two addiction treatment fellowship training programs for physician specialists; he has served on a federal advisory board for methadone treatment; he has co-authored the California Department of Alcohol and Drugs Report on Co-Occurring Disorders; and, he has co-authored CSAM’s “Youth First – Reconstructing Drug Policy, Regulating Marijuana, and Increasing Access to Treatment in California.” He is a member of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on marijuana reform and regulation and has contributed policy briefings to that work.

Policy Perspective: An Interview with Seth Ammerman on Limiting Marketing and Access for Youth

Seth Ammerman is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Dr. Ammerman specializes in youth addiction medicine, and serves on the AAP’s National Committee on Substance Abuse. Dr. Ammerman was a lead author on that Committee’s 2015 Report, “The Impact of Marijuana Policies on Youth: Clinical, Research, and Legal Update.”