Board of Directors
Bryon Adinoff, MD
Bryon Adinoff, MD is an addiction psychiatrist and academician. He was appointed Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine following his retirement as Distinguished Professor of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and as a psychiatrist for 30 years with the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has published over 175 papers and book chapters on the neurobiology and treatment of addiction and is Editor-in-Chief of The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. In his semi-retired status, he is evolving from focusing on the consequences of substance use itself to the consequences of the drug war. As a Founding Member, his commitment to the goals of DFCR arises from his desire to ensure that the harsh, punitive prohibition of cannabis use is replaced by a regulatory system that protects both the individual and society.
Tanja Bagar, PhD
Tanja Bagar, PhD, is the co-founder, CEO and Chairman of the Expert Council of the ICANNA International Institute for Cannabinoids, a collaborative effort of Slovenia, Germany, and Austria. She lectures in microbiology, biochemistry and topics on ecology at the Faculty Alma Mater Europaea and is a lecturer for medical staff and patients at several international education programs on cannabinoids. Dr. Bagar is the author of The Hemp Medicine: How Hemp Helps with Pain, Rheumatism, Cancer and Stress, published in German and Slovene and soon to be published in English and Croatian. She is also the co-founder of an online consulting clinic for the medical use of cannabinoids and a member of the first group in Slovenia to use cannabinoids in an outpatient consultative setting. Dr. Bagar obtained her research training in the laboratory at the National Institute of Chemistry, the Faculty of Biotechnology, the National Laboratory for Health, Environment and Food, in the Topolšica Hospital, and abroad at the Institute of Microbiology and Genetics at the Georg-August University of Gottingen in Germany and at the Institute for Cell Biology, University of Edinburgh.
Arielle Gerard, MD, MS, MPH
Arielle Gerard, MD, MS, MPH is a board-certified preventive medicine and public health physician currently completing a fellowship in addiction medicine. She has a broad interest in matters of biopsychosocial-spiritual health and quality-of-life improvement, especially centered in prevention, harm reduction, and an ethics of care (EoC) as they apply to individual- and population-level health. Dr. Gerard earned a Distinction in Advocacy in medical school, specializing in medical cannabis policy and education. This project included work with Compassionate Care New York (CCNY, a collaboration of the Drug Policy Alliance and VOCAL-NY) to assist in on-the-ground legislative advocacy at the Capitol and Legislative Offices in Albany, NY in support of New York State's medical cannabis bill, the Compassionate Care Act. After 15 years of inaction in the legislature, the bill passed and was signed into law. From this community activist-led effort, she learned that when we actively raise our voices both individually and collectively, we truly can change and improve the trajectory of our lives, our communities, and the world one step at a time.
Peter Grinspoon, MD
Peter Grinspoon, MD, is a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of the memoir Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction. He spent two years as an Associate Director of the Massachusetts Physician Health Service helping physicians with addiction and mental health issues. He graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy with honors from Swarthmore College. He then spent five years as a Campaign Director for the environmental group Greenpeace before entering medical school at Boston University School of Medicine, where he graduated with honors. He completed his residency at Harvard’s Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, in the primary care program. He has been on national television including NBC, C-SPAN, and Fox and Friends, and his writings have been published in The Nation and The Los Angeles Times. He is a Contributing Editor to Harvard Health Publications.
Adriana Kertzer is a Brazilian-American attorney, born and raised in São Paulo. Adriana has a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, a B.A. from Brown University in Judaic Studies and International Relations, and an M.A. from Parsons The New School for Design. She began her legal career as a corporate associate on Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s Latin American capital markets team. Adriana has since drawn on her love of contracts as an entrepreneur in the fields of contemporary culture, real estate and cannabis, as well as in her role as Senior Advisor to the Senior Deputy Chairman at the National Endowment for the Arts under President Obama. Adriana is the author of the book Favelization: The Imaginary Brazil in Contemporary Film, Fashion and Design originally published by the Cooper Hewitt Museum (Smithsonian Institution). She is passionate about Jewish psychedelic culture, leads the interfaith working group Faith+Psychedelics, and founded JewWhoTokes, an Instagram account that explores relationships with cannabis and psychedelics in the Jewish community.
Rachel Knox, MD
Rachel Knox, MD, is a certified cannabinoid medicine specialist with the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine (AACM), building upon a background in family, functional, and integrative medicine. Along with her family, Dr. Knox founded the American Cannabinoid Clinics in 2015 to provide patients with comprehensive and functional care rooted in endocannabinology. As an educator and advocate, Dr. Knox travels the world to educate peer and lay audiences on the science of cannabis and the endocannabinoid system, to share her experiences as a cannabis clinician, to advance the recognition of cannabinoid medicine and endocannabinology as relevant and essential emerging fields of medicine, and to ensure that health equity remains at the center of cannabis policy reform. As a policy and regulatory consultant, Dr. Knox serves her home state of Oregon as chairperson for the Oregon Cannabis Commission, as a team member of the Cannabis Policy Oversight Team for Portland, Oregon, and as a member of the Oregon Cannabis Clinicians Group which she co-founded; she has also helped develop model state and municipal cannabis legislation in her role as medical chair for the Minority Cannabis Business Association.
David L. Nathan, MD, DFAPA
DFCR Founder, Past President
David L. Nathan, MD, DFAPA is a psychiatrist, writer, and educator in Princeton NJ. He is the founder of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation and served as our first President. Dr. Nathan is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. While maintaining a full-time private practice, he serves as Director of Continuing Medical Education for the Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) and Director of Professional Education at Princeton House Behavioral Health (PHBH). While serving on the steering committee of New Jersey United For Marijuana Reform (NJUMR.org), Dr. Nathan was surprised by the absence of any national organization to act as the voice of physicians who wish to guide our nation along a well-regulated path to cannabis legalization. This need was the inspiration for Doctors for Cannabis Regulation.
Kema Ogden has more than 10 years experience as a business entrepreneur and in business development in the Las Vegas community. As a passionate supporter of health and wellness, she began her business entrepreneurship in 2007 by opening a health and fitness facility. She also became the Founder and President of The Ogden Family Foundation, where she developed programs which help under-served children and families with health, wellness, and educational programs. Mrs. Ogden is also Executive Director of Community Outreach Medical Center, a 501 (C) (3) non-profit community clinic that provides medical and behavioral services for low-income and high-risk Southern Nevada populations. She recently developed and implemented a program called Holistically Positive, which educates high-risk patients on the benefits of medical cannabis, provides them with financial assistance to obtain medical evaluations, and access to discounted cannabis. To continue her mission in the health and wellness industry, she partnered with industry experts to start Global Harmony LLC, becoming one of Nevada’s first cannabis dispensary and cultivation businesses, as well as the first female African American owner in Nevada. While working with her partners on daily operations and as Director of Outreach, she actively advocates for women, minorities and business owners by speaking with elected officials and industry leaders on the importance of regulation reform, diversity and other social issues.
Genester Wilson-King, MD, FACOG
Genester Wilson-King, MD, FACOG is a Board-Certified Obstetrician and gynecologist with many years of clinical experience providing compassionate and research-driven care to patients. After years of providing full-service OB/GYN care, she founded Victory Rejuvenation Center (VRC), a private holistic and integrative wellness medicine practice that provides life-transforming management modalities and customized medicines to patients. As the Medical Director and Owner of VRC, she assesses where her patients are on the health and wellness spectrum, and, with the patient’s input, creates an individualized program which enables them to get to where they want to be on the health and wellness spectrum. She is Vice President of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, a non-profit that works to empower and educate healthcare providers on the use of cannabis medicine. A co-author of three research articles on the assessment of the impact of cannabis on female and male sexual function with the Female Sexual Function Index for females and the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) for males. Dr. Wilson-King is an expert on cannabis use in women’s health conditions, an experienced cannabis clinician for adults, and a master in Hormone Therapy.
DFCR Honorary Board
Chris Beyrer MD, MPH, is Professor of Epidemiology, International Health; and Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. He is the current President of the International AIDS Society. He has extensive experience in conducting international collaborative research and training programs in HIV/AIDS and other infectious disease epidemiology; in infectious disease prevention research; in HIV vaccine preparedness; in health and migration; and in health and human rights. Dr. Beyrer has done research in health and human rights concerns in Thailand, Burma, China, India, South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania, Russia, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan, and is the author of over 220 scientific papers.
H. Westley Clark, MD, JD, MPH, CAS, FASAM, is a former Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, where he led the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ national effort to provide effective and accessible treatment to Americans with addictive disorders. Dr. Clark was the former chief of the Associated Substance Abuse Programs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (DVAMC) in San Francisco, California. Dr. Clark holds a Medical Degree and Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he completed a Psychiatric Residency at University Hospital, Neuropsychiatric Institute. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from Harvard University Law School and completed a two-year Substance Abuse Fellowship at the DVAMC-SF. Dr. Clark is a noted author and educator in substance abuse treatment, psychopharmacology, and medical and legal issues. His numerous awards include the 2008 John P. McGovern Award from the American Society of Addiction Medicine for his contributions toward increased understanding of the relationship between addiction and society.
Joycelyn Elders, MD, is a former U.S. Surgeon General and is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Born the daughter of poor sharecroppers in Arkansas, Dr. Elders earned a bachelor’s degree at Philander Smith College in Little Rock. She then spent three years in the U.S. Army, after which she attended the University of Arkansas Medical School. She completed her residency in pediatrics, later earning a master’s degree in biochemistry. After rising to the rank of Professor at the University of Arkansas Medical Center (UAMS), she became the first physician in Arkansas to receive board certification in pediatric endocrinology in 1978. Her career in public health gained much traction following her 1987 appointment as Director of the Arkansas Department of Health. Nominated by President Clinton to the position of U.S. Surgeon General in 1993, Dr. Elders became the first Black person and only the second woman to serve in this role. Among many controversial stands, Dr. Elders has called for research into drug legalization as a means to reduce crime as well as drug misuse.
Lester Grinspoon, MD, (June 24, 1928 – June 25, 2020) was Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He founded the Annual Review of Psychiatry and the Harvard Mental Health Letter, of which he was Editor-in-Chief for fifteen years. His interest in cannabis dated back to the 1960s, when recreational use of the plant was on the rise. Dr. Grinspoon’s research began in 1967 under the assumption that cannabis was a dangerous drug. He expected to write a book in which the many dangers of cannabis were scientifically supported. But as he learned more about the plant, its long history and unique properties, his plan changed. Published in 1971, Marihuana Reconsidered was the culmination of his early research and secured his place in history as a pioneer of the legalization movement. Following publication of his book, Dr. Grinspoon became one of the world’s most authoritative experts on cannabis. In 1990, he received the prestigious Alfred R. Lindesmith Award from the Drug Policy Foundation for his scientific contributions.
Carl Hart, PhD, is the Chair of the Department of Psychology and the Dirk Ziff Professor at Columbia University. Known for his research in substance use disorders, he is an internationally renowned advocate for evidence-based and humane drug policy. His laboratory seeks to understand complex interactions between drugs of abuse and the neurobiology and environmental factors that mediate human behavior and physiology, as well as translate their lab-based knowledge into more humane drug policies. Prof. Hart has published over 200 scientific articles in the area of neuropsychopharmacology. His book, High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society, was the 2014 winner of the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. “For advancing the science of addiction,” Fast Company magazine included Hart in its list of Most Creative People in 2014.
Julie Holland, MD, is the editor of The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis. She was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine from 1995 to 2012. Dr. Holland attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in the Biological Basis of Behavior, and earned her medical degree from Temple University. Dr. Holland runs a private practice in psychopharmacology in Manhattan and provides forensic consultations in drug-related legal cases.
David Lewis, MD (May 19, 1935 – December 2, 2020) was a Professor of Medicine and Community Health and the Donald G. Millar Distinguished Professor of Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University. Dr. Lewis earned his bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1957 and his medical degree from Harvard University in 1961. Dr. Lewis was the founder and a member of the Board of Directors of Physicians and Lawyers for National Drug Policy and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the United States’ National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. His awards included the American Medical Association’s Education and Research Foundation Award (1997) in championing the inclusion of alcohol and other drug problems in the mainstream of medical practice and medical education; the Distinguished Contributions in the Addictions award from Harvard Medical School (2002); and the John P. McGovern Award and Lectureship from the American Society of Addiction Medicine for his contributions to the treatment of addictive disorders (2004).
Ethan Nadelmann, JD, PhD, is widely regarded as the outstanding proponent of drug policy reform both in the United States and abroad. Dr. Nadelmann received his BA, JD, and PhD from Harvard and a master’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics. He taught politics and public affairs at Princeton University from 1987 to 1994, where his speaking and writings on drug policy attracted international attention. In 1994, Dr. Nadelmann founded The Lindesmith Center, a drug policy institute, and later co-founded the Open Society Institute’s International Harm Reduction Development program. This organization merged with the Drug Policy Foundation to form the Drug Policy Alliance, which Dr. Nadelmann directed from 2000-2017. Dr. Nadelmann has played a pivotal role in most of the major drug policy reform ballot initiative campaigns in the U.S. on issues ranging from cannabis legalization to prison reform, drug treatment, and drug sentencing. He has served as a drug policy advisor to elected officials ranging from mayors, governors, and state and federal legislators in the U.S. to presidents and cabinet ministers outside the U.S.
David Nutt, DM, FRCP, FRCPsych, FSB, FMedSci is the Edmond J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology, Director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit in the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians; Royal College of Psychiatrists; Royal Society of Biology; and the Academy of Medical Sciences; and is past president of the British Association of Psychopharmacology; the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology; the British Neuroscience Association; and the European Brain Council; and is editor of the Journal of Psychopharmacology. He actively works for changes in drug laws to allow for more research opportunities. In 2007 and 2010, Dr. Nutt published historic studies on the relative harms of drug use in The Lancet. His book Drugs Without the Hot Air won the Transmission Prize for Communicating Science in 2014. Dr. Nutt was the recipient of the 2013 John Maddox Prize, which recognizes “the work of individuals who promote sound science and evidence on a matter of public interest, facing difficulty or hostility in doing so.”
Beny Primm, MD (May 21, 1928 – October 16, 2015) was an internationally recognized expert on addictions, HIV/AIDS, and community medicine. He was a paratrooper in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, serving as the U.S. military’s first Black officer in command of white troops. Unable to gain entry to racially exclusive American medical schools, Dr. Primm received his MD from the University of Geneva in Switzerland and completed a residency in anesthesia in New York City. Working in underserved communities, he observed how the misuse of narcotics was responsible for a range of medical problems. His interest in addiction and frustration with poor access to care led Dr. Primm to help create the Addiction Research Treatment Corporation (ARTC) in 1969, where he served as the executive director for decades. Dr. Primm was also the long-time president of the Urban Resource Institute, an organization that supports various community-based initiatives and social service programs for battered women, the developmentally disabled, and those with substance use disorders or infected with HIV/AIDS. As a national authority on drug addiction, Dr. Primm served as an adviser to the National Drug Abuse Policy Office starting with the Nixon administration. His presence and good works will be missed.
Andrew Solomon, PhD is a writer and lecturer on politics, culture and psychology, and a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University. He writes regularly for the New Yorker and the New York Times and his published several award-winning books. He is a member of the boards of directors of the National LGBTQ Force and Trans Youth Family Allies and serves on the National Advisory Board of the Depression Center at the University of Michigan. In 2008, Solomon received the Society of Biological Psychiatry’s Humanitarian Award for his contributions to the field of mental health, and in 2010, the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation’s Productive Lives Award. In 2011, he was appointed Special Advisor on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Mental Health at the Yale School of Psychiatry. He is also a fellow of Berkeley College at Yale University and a member of the New York Institute for the Humanities and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Andrew Weil, MD, is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care that encompasses body, mind and spirit. Combining a Harvard education and a lifetime of practicing natural and preventive medicine, Dr. Weil is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, where he is also a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health and the Lovell-Jones Professor of Integrative Rheumatology. Dr. Weil received both his medical degree and his undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard University. Dr. Weil is an internationally recognized expert for his views on leading a healthy lifestyle, his philosophy of healthy aging and his critique of the future of medicine and health care. Approximately 10 million copies of Dr. Weil’s books have been sold, including Spontaneous Happiness, Spontaneous Healing, 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, Eating Well for Optimum Health, The Healthy Kitchen, Healthy Aging and Why Our Health Matters.
Stephen Carter (Operations Manager) is an administrative specialist with a background in information technology, a writer and editor, and political activist based in Waco, Texas. He has operated news organizations, managed political campaigns, and works with non-profits. He serves as a director for the board of Texas NORML. His priorities center around advancing civil liberties.
Antoinette O’Neil (Financial Controller) is the Director of Human Resources & Financial Administration with the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP). Antoinette holds a degree in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute of New York and managed the bake shop in the world-renowned Boston Convention Center prior to joining LEAP.