Books & Resources
Writings by CJPF President, Eric E. Sterling
Contact CJPF for copies of literature not available online.
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Sterling, E. E. (2012, March 19). O'Malley gets it wrong on medical marijuana. The Baltimore Sun. Eric discourages Maryland Governor O'Malley from vetoing the state's medical marijuana bill and explains that federal threats to shut down medical marijuana programs and prosecute state officials are all based on a bluff.
Sterling, E. E. (2012, March 1). The War on Drugs Hurts Businesses and Investors. Forbes. Eric addresses the dangers to international business activity from prohibition-financed criminal organizations. He notes that profits of American businesses are hurt because sales are reduced when there are so many prisoners and persons with criminal records. He urges business management and investors to study the economic consequences of criminal justice and drug policy choices for their profits.
Sterling, E. E. (2012, Feb 29). Canada is repeating U.S. mistakes on drug sentencing. The Ottawa Citizen. Eric E. Sterling writes about Canada's comprehensive anti-crime bill, Bill C-10, and warns the Canadian government against adopting mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offences.
Sterling, E. E. (2011, Nov 1). Congress on Speed: Partisan Conflict Led to Many Problems in 1986 Drug Law. The Huffington Post. Twenty-five years after President Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, Eric E. Sterling writes about how hasty law-writing can result in ineffective, sometimes harmful, policies.
Sterling, E. E. (2010, July 22). New Law Would Give US Tools to Punish Drug Barons. The Houston Chronicle. This op-ed was published the week before the U.S. House of Representatives approved The Fairness in Sentencing Act of 2010, with broad bipartisan support. Signed into law on August 4, 2010, the bill was known to be an important step in reducing the injustice of the 100-1 crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparity. In this op-ed, Sterling points out little-known provisions that substantially increase fines that can be ordered against large-scale drug traffickers.
Sterling, E. E. (2011, June 15). 40 Years of Drug War Hasn't Worked; "Time for a Change," Says 9-Year Veteran. AlterNet. Forty years after Nixon's launch of the "war on drugs," Sterling analyzes Nixon's message to Congress in 1971, claiming that Nixon's vision of the drug war was much different than what we've gotten ourselves into now.
Sterling, E. E. (2008, October 22). Take the Handcuffs Off the Economic Recovery. Sterling writes about the economic cost of criminalizing non-violent drug offenders, who he argues should be let out of prison.
Sterling, E. E. (2008, October 17). Mandatory Minimums Unjust- and They Don't Work. The Buffalo News. Sterling writes about the hasty birth of mandatory minimum laws. He points out that politicians should think twice before supporting such harsh penalties, particularly because recent polls show that the majority of the public opposes mandatory prison sentences for nonviolent offenders.
Sterling, E. E. (2006, November 13). Take Another Crack at that Cocaine Law. The Los Angeles Times. Sterling highlights several problems with the crack-cocaine sentencing disparity and calls for Congress to fix this unjust and ineffective law. This article was also published in the Christian Science Monitor, the Qatar Peninsula, The Wilmington News Journal, The Nashua Telegraph, and the Milwaukee Sheperd Express.
Sterling, E. E. and Julie Stewart (2006, June 24). Undo This Legacy of Len Bias's Death. The Washington Post. Sterling reflects on the death of Len Bias and the creation of new mandatory minimums created after Bias's death. These mandatory minimums have increased the prison population by 527 percent and have not made any progress in lowering drug use. This article was also printed in the Hartford Courant, Juneau Empire, and The Spokesman Review.
Sterling, E. E. (2006, January 15). Our Dead-End Approach to Homicide. The Washington Post. Sterling explores the factors that have led to a growing murder rate in the DC region, such as untreated mental illness, the breakdown of the family, and an inadequate juvenile justice system. Sterling suggests that more effective policing and police management could help to lower the murder rate and increase the number of solved homicide cases.
Sterling, E. E. (2005, October 6). Drug Policy: Failure at Home. Foreign Policy in Focus. Sterling outlines a history of reactionary drug policymaking that has led to wildly escalating expenditures and harsh, but ineffective punishment without reducing deaths, drug availability, drug quality or the spread of disease. He advocates privileging rational private sector analysis over emotional political rhetoric, expanding drug treatment availability and other harm reduction efforts, and considering a comprehensive control structure that would include taxation, licensing and regulation.
Sterling, E. E. (2005, April 3). Mistake With Drug Sentencing Guidelines Need to be Resolved. Greensboro News Record. Current federal mandatory minimum sentences are ineffective because the Justice department focuses on low-level cases. Congress needs to make the Justice department focus on major cases.
Sterling, E. E. (2001, March 25). Stuck in a 'Traffic' jam. The Orange County Register. In the movie, "Traffic," the daughter of the drug czar (Michael Douglas), is a heroin addict. Knowing this, the drug czar, rather than unveil a "new" drug strategy of clichés, resigns. This op-ed lists 10-points for a drug strategy designed to save lives.
Sterling, E. E. (2000, December 28). A Time for Clinton Judges to Correct Drug-Term Injustices. San Diego Union Tribune. With only a few days left in the Clinton administration, how can he decide which sentences of the thousands of low-level drug offenders he should commute? He could ask every federal judge to send him the name of the one or two defendants they sentenced to a very long term that they are losing sleep over. The Clinton administration sent over 100,000 drug offenders to federal prison. Almost everyone knows that in general, many of them no longer belong there. The judges can act.
Sterling, E. E. (2000, December 20). Pardon Me, Please. Chicago Tribune. President Bill Clinton, leaving office in a month, ought to commute the sentences of non-violent low-level drug offenders, as urged by the 650-clergy members of the Coalition for Jubilee Clemency. Pope John Paul II recognized 2000 as a Jubilee year and urged "a gesture of clemency" to the imprisoned. (On Dec. 23, Clinton commuted the sentences of the two women identified in the article, Kemba Smith and Dorothy Gaines).
Sterling, E. E. (2000, July 3). Uncle Sam's 'Cookie' is Watching You. Christian Science Monitor. Violating federal internet regulations, the White House ONDCP was placing "cookies" on the computers of citizens visiting their website. Such surveillance violates the Fourth Amendment protection against warrantless searches, threatens political speech about drug policy, and counter-productively deters concerned citizens from learning about drug treatment and education.
Sterling, E. E. (2000, April 30). Sentencing is Perverse in War on Drugs. Chicago Sun Times, p.40A and (2000, May 9). …And Justice for All. The Baltimore Sun, p. 15A. U.S. Army Col. James Hiett was allowed to plead guilty to a less-serious offense for his role in helping his wife ship 15.8 pounds of heroin from Colombia to the U.S. Usually such a case would draw mandatory minimums of 10 years or more. The arbitrary application of sentences is a "stench in every federal courthouse."
Sterling, E. E. (1999, December 6). Legalize Drugs or Expect More Mass Graves. Los Angeles Times and (1999, December 8). Mass Graves Tell the Story of our Failed Drug Policy. Houston Chronicle, pp. 45A. Violence is inevitable in the drug trade. The President's claims of success are hollow, and his desire to "work with" Mexican authorities, such as their corrupt drug czar is pointless. Regulation, licensing and taxation are needed to end the violence, and control drug use.
Sterling, E. E. (1999, September 3). The Untold Drug Bust. Washington Times, pp. A17. A drug bust found heroin in the food service coffee packets on a commercial airliner, along with a hand grenade. But such a headline grabbing drug bust disguises the failure of drug prohibition to keep hundreds of tons of drugs from coming into the country or away from high school kids.
Sterling, E. E. (1999, January 12). Lying is the American Way. Los Angeles Times.The U.S. Senate is preparing to try impeached President Clinton. Washington awaits the rumored testimony of admitted liar Monica Lewinsky to prove the President's perjury. Yet perjury is widespread in the criminal justice system as shown in the PBS Frontline broadcast, "Snitch," to run tonight.
Sterling, E. E. (1998, March 22). One Prescription Doesn't Cure All. Washington Post, pp. C12. Fairfax County, VA school's "zero-tolerance" policy doesn't make sense. It rejects the notion that children are educated by ideas, information and reason.
Sterling, E. E. (1997, August 4). Disparity in Crack, Powder Cocaine Sentences. Chicago Tribune, sec. 1 pp. 11. To address the glaring racial disparity in federal cocaine prosecutions, Attorney General Janet Reno and "drug czar" Barry McCaffrey propose raising the triggers for mandatory minimum sentence for crack from 5 grams to 25, and from 50 grams to 250 grams. But this is a debate about the size of minnows when the "big fish" drug importers who arrange multi-million gram shipments are getting away because the Justice department is focusing on the lowest-level offenders.
Sterling, E. E. (1995, May 22). Drug Policy of a Failed User. Legal Times: Law and Lobbying in the Nation's Capital. Nationwide polls show the public thinks the war on drugs is a failure, and teen drug use is rising dramatically. D.A.R.E. is ineffective. The Rand Corp. points out that international organized crime needs a higher emphasis than simply interdicting drugs in the "pipeline," or low-level domestic offenders. The public health community universally endorses sterile syringe exchange to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS. Marijuana is being used medically, despite the closure of the federal program that operated without controversy under President Reagan until 1992. President Clinton is offering no leadership, afraid that mentioning drugs always brings up his memorable "I didn't inhale" description of his youthful marijuana experiment.
Sterling, E. E. (1989, September 30). Harm Management, Not Drug-Free Nation, Should Become USA's Anti-Drug Objective. Law Enforcement News. (New York, NY). The national mantra of a "drug-free America" is immeasurable - it is not a goal. The many harms connected with drug use and drug trafficking can be measured and can be reduced if we focus on them, and end our obsession with slogans and "sending messages. A look at Dr. William Bennett's 5-point strategy shows that it is doomed to fail. We need to think about managing the problem.
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Sterling, E. E. (2009). Foreword. Cannabinomics: The Marijuana Policy Tipping Point. (pp. xi-xxvi). Chicago: Well Mind Books.
Sterling, E. E. (2004). The War on Drugs Distracts from the War on Terror. Opposing Viewpoints: The War on Drugs. (pp. 97-100). New York: Thompson Gale.
Originally published as Connect the Dots: You Don't Have to be an FBI Analyst to See the Picture.
Sterling, E. E. (2004). Drug Policy: A Challenge of values. Criminal Justice: Retribution vs. Restoration. New York: Haworth Press.
Sterling, E. E. (2004). A Businessperson's Guide to the Drug Problem. The New Prohibition (pp. 69-84). Lonedell, Missouri: Accurate Press.
Sterling, E. E. (2004, October). Tales of a Recovering Drug Warrior. Under the Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs (pp. 80-94). The Disinformation Company.
Sterling, E. E. (1998). Principles and Proposals for Managing the Drug Problem. How to Legalize Drugs (pp. 485-538). Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson Inc.
Sterling, E. E. (1997). Law Enforcement Against Entheogens: Is It Religious Persecution. Entheogens and the Future of Religion (pp. 165-170). San Francisco, California: Council on Spiritual Practices.
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Sterling, E. E. (2000). Friendly Fire. Haverford Alumni Magazine, pp. 1-8.
Sterling, E. E. (2001, May). U.S. Drug Policy: Failure at Home. Foreign Policy in Focus, 6(16).
Sterling, E. E. (1995, January). A Roadmap to the Crime Bill. Public Management, 77(1), 6-16.
Sterling, E. E. (1995, November 2). The Sentencing Boomerang: Drug Prohibition Politics and Reform. Villanova Law Review, 40(2), 383-427.
Sterling, E. E. (1993, November). A Crime Prevention Vision. Christian Social Action, pp. 4-6.
Sterling, E. E. (1991, July). Trashing the Bill of Rights. The Progressive, pp. 34- 38. Describes how each of the first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, is being undermined by the war on drugs.
Drug Legalization: Now or Never?. (1990, May). The World And I, 108 - 119.
This is a debate between Edwin Meese, former U.S. attorney general; Reggie Walton, deputy director of ONDCP; David Boaz, senior fellow at the Cato Institute; and Eric E. Sterling of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation.
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(2013, March 13) Eric E. Sterling spoke at the Symposium of the Cardozo Public Policy, Law and Ethics Journal at Cardozo Law School (Yeshiva University) in New York City. Eric was on a panel titled "Alternatives to Prohibition."
(2013, February 21) Eric E. Sterling spoke at the University of Miami about the economic costs of drug prohibition and the recent developments in marijuana law reform. The event was collaboratively sponsored by the chapters of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at Florida International University and the University of Miami.
(2013, February 16) Eric E. Sterling spoke to a standing room crowd of over 100 participants at the International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C. The panel was called "Let's Talk About Drugs." Sterling spoke about current drug policy reform efforts, and about how the movement can continue to grow and win.
(2013, February 7) Eric E. Sterling spoke to 22 lawyers who were guests of the United States participating in the International Visitor Leadership Program of the U.S. State Department about American law, the survival of inequality in our legal system such as federal crack cocaine enforcement, and his role in the political activism that reduced those inequalities with enactment the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.
(2013, January 22) Eric E. Sterling spoke to a law school clinical class in Community Justice at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. Sterling gave each student his comments on their papers and oral arguments regarding their mock advocacy before an agency on behalf of a mock client proposing regulatory responses to implement a state marijuana legalization law.
(2012, December 6) Eric E. Sterling participated in an hour-long continuing legal education “webinar” hosted by Thomson Reuter on the impact of the marijuana initiatives of the November 2012 election.
(2012, December 6) Eric E. Sterling spoke to the December meeting of the Northern Virginia chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) about NORML’s history and marijuana activism.
(2012, December 6) Eric E. Sterling spoke to students at Washington, D.C.’s School Without Walls, a competitive admission public high school, about the “war on drugs.”
(2012, October 22) Eric E. Sterling spoke to two different groups at the University of Virginia. The first was the University of Virginia Law School SSDP Chapter, where he spoke about the failures and disparities of mandatory minimum sentencing. He then spoke to Students for Individual Liberty, a 25 year old undergraduate student group at the university, regarding the cultural challenges for redesigning effective policies to control drugs and reduce harm.
(2012, October 8) Eric E. Sterling spoke to the SSDP Chapter at the University of Maryland regarding the economics of drug prohibition.
(2012, August 22) Eric E. Sterling was interviewed on Al Jazeera International (english) about the racial aspects of the war on drugs. This was re-broadcast on August 23rd. A recording of the program is here.
(2012, June 19) Eric E. Sterling addressed the Koch Fellows of the Institute of Humane Studies at George Mason University regarding drug policy. A link to his lecture is here.
(2012, June 13) Eric E. Sterling was a featured speaker in the orientation of the summer clinical law program at the University of Maryland School of Law on “Drug Reform: Intersection of Policy and Lawyering.”
(2012, June 6) Eric E. Sterling was featured on Culture Shocks radio regarding Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to limit arrests for marijuana possession in New York. A link to the show can be found here.
(2012, June 6) Eric E. Sterling addressed students of police science at George Washington University regarding drug policy.
(2012, June 5) Eric E. Sterling testified before the Maryland Advisory Committee of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission regarding the role of police and prosecutorial practices in drug cases in creating racial disparity in Maryland’s prisons.
(2012, May 24) Eric E. Sterling was quoted by Debra J. Saunders in her syndicated column about congressional power and elderly incumbents in The San Francisco Chronicle.
(2012, May 4) Eric E. Sterling, in his role as co-vice chair of Montgomery County’s Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Advisory Council, was quoted in a Gazette article about drug abuse. (The article was printed on May 9, Page B-3)
(2012, May 4) Eric E. Sterling was interviewed by WAMU, American University Radio, about drug addiction in Montgomery County, Maryland.
(2012, April 16) Eric E. Sterling was interviewed on CTV's Power Play in an episode about alternatives to Canada's war on drugs. He spoke alongside Mike Moffatt with the Richard Ivey School of Business
(2012, April 12) The University of Maryland Carey School of Law, the Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class, and the University of Maryland Carey School of Law chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy hosted a panel discussion titled, "Cannabis: A Viable Treatment for Veterans with PTSD?" Eric E. Sterling spoke on the panel. A video of his speech can be found here.
CTV'S Power Play (2012, April 16), Eric E. Sterling was interviewed on CTV's Power Play in an episode about alternatives to Canada's war on drugs. He debated Mike Moffatt with the Richard Ivey School of Business.
The Marc Steiner Show (2012, March 19). Eric E. Sterling was interviewed about a medical marijuana bill in Maryland.
CTV's Power Play (2012, March 7). Eric E. Sterling was featured on CTV's Power Play, in an episode about the proposed mandatory minimums in Canada. He spoke about the unexpected negative impact of mandatory minimum laws in the United States, countering Justice Minister Rob Nicholson's arguments in support of such laws.
CBC Radio (2012, March 1). Eric E. Sterling was interviewed on The Current on CBC radio, broadcast throughout Canada in a 24-minute segment on mandatory minimum sentencing in the United States and Canada.
Cultural Baggage (2011, November 20). Cultural Baggage Show- Eric E. Sterling. Sterling debriefs his experience at the international Drug Policy Alliance conference and talks about his disappointment in Obama.
Sterling, E. E. (2011, November 2). Obama- Drug War Hawk or Dove? Current Policy and Prospects for Change. Sterling was invited to lecture at Pomona College by the school's history department.
Sterling. E. E. (2011, March 24). Life After the War on Drugs: Reviewing Past and Present Policies With an Eye Toward Legal Reform. Prepared for the University of the District of Columbia Law Review David A. Clarke School of Law Spring 2011 Symposium.
See video of the speech here.
Sterling, E. E. (2009, December 5). Eric Sterling on the Social History and Development of the Drug War. Northeast Regional Students for Sensible Drug Policy Conference at Brown University.
Sterling, E. E. (2008, November 22). Eric Sterling on the Environmental Effects of the Drug War. International Students for Sensible Drug Policy Conference at the University of Maryland.
Sterling, E. E. (2005, October 21). The Camden Experience. Prepared for "Illicit Drugs - Burden & Policy" in Hartford, Connecticut.
Sterling, E. E. (2000, October 4). Opening Comments at the National War on Drugs Symposium, Georgetown University Law Center.
Sterling, E. E. (2000, August 1). Improving the Bottom Line. Prepared for The Shadow Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Sterling, E. E. (1995, May 15). Opening a Discussion About Effective Anti-Drug Strategies. Prepared for "American Cities Against Drugs" in Atlanta, Georgia.
Sterling, E. E. (1995, October 27). Music and Politics. Prepared for the Philadelphia Music Conference.
Sterling, E. E. (1994, June 7). Expansion of: "What Should We Do About Drugs? Strategies For Managing The Drug Problem." Prepared for the Delaware Council on Crime and Justice.
Sterling, E. E. (1994, July 14). Testimony of Eric E. Sterling, J.D. President, The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation Before the Committee on the Judiciary Council of the District of Columbia on the Resolution for a Federal Commission of Drug Policy of 1994.
Sterling, E. E. (1994, September 13). Local Government Programs in the Crime Bill. Prepared for the annual meeting of the International City/County Management Association.
Sterling, E. E. (1993, March 22). Testimony of Eric Sterling, President of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation Before the United States Sentencing Commission on Proposed Guideline Amendments for Public Comment.
Sterling, E. E. (1991, August 1). What Should We Do About Drugs?. Vital Speeches Of The Day, 57(20).
Sterling, E. E. (1991, November 9). Perspectives of the Narcotics Epidemic and the War on Drugs. Prepared for a national teleconference on the narcotics epidemic metropolitan Washington task force.
Sterling, E. E. (1990, November 1). The Bill of Rights. Vital Speeches Of The Day, 57(2).
Sterling, E. E. (1989, November 2). A Model for a Regulated Market in Drugs: Advantages and Drawbacks. Prepared for The Third International Conference on Drug Policy Reform.
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Sterling, E. E. (2010, September). Critique of Chamber of Commerce's "legal analysis" of Proposition 19.
Sterling, E. E. (2010, March). Statement in support of H.B.712/S.B.627 An Act Concerning Public Health - Medical Marijuana.
Sterling, E. E. (2010, February 23). Statement before the Council of the District of Columbia Committees on Health, and Public Safety and the Judiciary in support of B18-622.
Sterling, E. E. (2010, January 27). Statement on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition in support of House Bill No. 1134 Medical Marijuana.
Sterling, E. E. (2010, January 27). Statement on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition in support of House Bill No. 1136 Medical Use of Marijuana.
Sterling, E. E. (2009, December 3). Legal Use of Marijuana: A Slippery Slope to Legalization of Drugs?
Sterling, E. E. (2009, October 28). Brief before Senate of Canada Subcommittee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
Sterling, E. E. (2009, September 23). Comments at an advance screening of "Without Bias" a May3rd Film in connection with ESPN films.
Sterling, E. E. (2009, July 24). A paper prepared for the forum on "Rethinking Federal Sentencing Policy and the 25th Anniversary of the Sentencing Reform Act." The event was sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus, CBC Community Reinvestment Task Force, and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard University.
Sterling, E. E. (2009, July 14). Statement Submitted to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, at a Hearing on Mandatory Minimums and Unintended Consequences.
Sterling, E. E. (2009, July 9). Statement Submitted to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. House of Representatives at a Hearing on the Rise of the Mexican Drug Cartels and U.S. National Security.
Sterling, E. E. (2007, June 26). Statement Submitted to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, at a Hearing on Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws- The Issues.
Sterling, E. E. (2001, March 21). Center on National Policy, "The War on Drugs: Do the American People Have Battle Fatigue?"
Sterling, E. E. (1999, November 3). Statement on the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Leadership Conference.
Sterling, E. E. (1999, October 21). Drug Policy and the Friends Committee on National Legislation's 1994 Statement of Legislative Policy.
Sterling, E. E. (1999, July 29). Statement of Eric Sterling on Behalf of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation to the Subcommittee on Crime Committee on the Judiciary U.S. House of Representatives on D.E.A. Oversight.
Sterling, E. E. (1999, April 15). Racially Disproportionate Outcomes in Processing Drug Cases.
Sterling, E. E. (1997, February 25). Statement on the 1997 National Drug Control Strategy. National Press Club.
Sterling, E. E. (1997, February 20). Statement of Eric E. Sterling.
In this statement at the National Institutes of Health workshop on the utility of medical marijuana, Mr. Sterling makes six recommendations to NIH regarding medical marijuana.
Sterling, E. E. (1995, March). The Foundation of a Modern Drug Strategy: Twelve Principles for Managing the Drug Problem.
Sterling, E. E. (1995, October 27). Hemp Activism - A Short Manual for Lobbying. Prepared for the Philadelphia Music Conference.
Sterling, E. E. (1993, October 8). Memorandum to Joycelyn Elders, M.D., Surgeon General of the United States. Re: Public Health Dimensions of the "War on Drugs."
Sterling, E. E. (1992, March 13). Some Conditions for Effective National Anti-Drug Abuse and Anti-Drug Related Crime Strategies.
Sterling, E. E. (1992. February 26). Looking for a way out of the narcotics trap? Get a new "road map".
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Sterling, E.E. (2012, November 12). A Wait and See Approach to Marijuana Laws. The Washington Post. Sterling responds to the news that the Justice Department is not immediately challenging the newly passed marijuana legalization laws in Washington State and Colorado.
Sterling, E. E. (2011, December 15). A Bigger Danger to Police (Facsimile of print edition)(Post website). The Washington Post. Sterling writes about the effect of the slashed mental health service budget on policing.
Sterling, E. E. (2010, May 19). Obama's DEA Nominee is a Threat to State Pot Laws. The Denver Post. In this letter to the editor, Sterling argues that federal drug laws and the DEA are key obstacles to implementation of Colorado's medical marijuana law. He suggests that the Senate Judiciary Committee should question Michele Leonhart, the nominee for DEA Administrator, about her willingness to work with the growing number of states that have enacted medical marijuana laws. Her prior record in this area is one of marked resistence.
Sterling, E. E. (2010, April 26). An Obstacle to DC's Medical Marijuana Law. The Washington Post. In this letter to the editor, Sterling explains that a key obstacle to implementing the District of Columbia's medical marijuana laws may be the new nominee for DEA adminstrator, Michele Leonhart. He suggests that senators should question her about this issue during confirmation hearings.
Sterling, E. E. (2009, August 4). Legalize Marijuana. Tribune Review (Pittsburg, PA). Sterling briefly sums up why America should support legalizing and controlling the supply of marijuana.
Sterling, E. E. (2009, July 29). Wasteful Drug Prosecutions. The Washington Post. In this letter to the editor, Eric Sterling argues that federal resources must target international drug trafficking, not crack and other neighborhood drug cases that can be effectively managed by state authorities.
Sterling, E. E. (2007, December 11). Another Item for Mukasey's To-Do List. The Washington Post. In this letter to the editor, Sterling argues that the 5,800 prosecutors in U.S. attorney's offices and 5,000 Drug Enforcement Administration special agents are precious global anti-crime resources that Mr. Mukasey should not allow to be wasted on retail drug cases. Instead, the Attorney General should order that only drug cases with national or international significance be brought in federal court.
Sterling, E. E. (2006, November 28). A Crime Fighting Strategy That Works. West Hawaii Today. In this letter to the editor, Sterling comments on Hawai'i's high crime rate and the crime fighting role of a drug court he visited during the American Bar Association Annual Meeting in Hawai'i in August 2006.
Sterling, E. E. (2006, June 25). West Hollywood Adopts Sane Policy On Pot. Los Angeles Times. Sterling commends West Hollywood for voting to make marijuana possession a low law enforcement priority, exclaiming that other cities and counties should follow its lead.
Sterling, E. E. (2006, June 14). Better Policing Through Better Management. Gazette.Net. Sterling responds to the recent robberies near the Silver Spring, MD metro station. He suggests that the police department should focus on violent crimes like these instead of wasting resources on drug arrests.
Sterling, E. E. (2006, May 28). Sentencing Law Has Led to Waste of DEA Resources. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA). Sterling explains how mandatory minimum drug laws have forced the DEA to focus on small-time dealers, wasting precious resources, instead of on high-level dangerous traffickers.
Sterling, E. E. (2005, June 7). Retail Alone Won't Help Prince George's. Washington Post. Sterling writes about Prince Georges County, Maryland, where he argues that crime, not race, is making property less attractive to retailers. He points out that police are attempting to arrest their way out of this problem by wrongly focusing on non-violent drug users instead of violent criminals.
Sterling, E. E. (2005, January 11). Setting the Story Straight on Marijuana. Washington Post. Sterling writes about Keith Stroup's accomplishments, rebuking negative comments written in a story about NORML.
Sterling, E. E. (2004, July 18). Outrageous Drug Sentencing. Washington Post. Sterling cautions against supporting HR 4547, a bill that would impose a five-year mandatory minimum sentence on those selling drugs near a drug treatment center.
Sterling, E. E. (2003, November 28). No Laughing Matter. The Boston Phoenix. Sterling writes about the immature jokes politicians make about their colleagues who support marijuana policy reform. He argues that politicians fear losing legitimacy more than they fear losing votes if they support legalization.
Sterling, E. E. (2003, March 10). Just Say Yes. Maclean's Magazine (Canada). Sterling clarifies that U.S. opposition to marijuana legalization should not hold back Canada from adopting a more rational marijuana policy.
Sterling, E. E. (2002, September 23). Change the Focus on Drugs. The Christian Science Monitor. Sterling explains that drug prohibition will never reduce the availability of drugs.
Sterling, E. E. (2002, May 30). Selling a Drug-Free America. The Washington Post. Sterling writes about the failure of scare tactics and propaganda and argues for a more honest drug education system.
Sterling, E. E. (2002, April 19). General Assembly Failed Many Ailing Marylanders. Montgomery Journal (MD). Sterling shares his frustration when Del. Don Murphy's Maryland medical marijuana bill fails to pass the Senate Committee on Judicial Proceedings.
Sterling, E. E. (2001, February 24). A Real Drug Strategy (Letter One). The Washington Post. Sterling points out that the movie "Traffic" not only depicts negative side-effects of drug addiction, but also the dangers of the war on drugs.
Sterling, E. E. (2000, May 12). Morhaim Has the Right Idea. Baltimore Sun (MD). Sterling commends Dr. Dan Morhaim for his belief that hospitals, not prisons, should be used to treat drug addiction.
Sterling, E. E. (1999 July 26). Partisan Crime Fighting. Tampa Tribule (FL). Sterling explains that most politicians try to look "tough on crime," seeking re-election, instead of doing what actually needs to be done to lower crime rates.
Sterling, E. E. (1997, January 10). The War is Over - If You Want It. City Paper, pp. 14. Commenting favorably on Paul Ruffins' strategy to fight crime in D.C. (Jan. 3, 1992), Sterling explains that we need to understand the results of drug prohibition: an all-cash business protected by violence and threats, making up the largest of non-government industries in DC. Sweeping enforcement is alienating the city's youth, not helping people who are addicted, and compounding the medical care crisis.
Sterling, E. E. (1989, December 26). War on Drugs Must Begin on the Poverty Front; Tobacco's Lessons. New York Times. Sterling claims that fear of legalization should not prevent us from examining it as a potential drug policy.