Saturday, July 11, 2015

Drug Policy Alliance - Covington & Burling 2015 Panel Proposal Invite Letter

Drug Policy Alliance
131 West 33rd St., 15th Floor
New York, NY 10001
                                                                                    June 30, 2015

Dear Drug Policy Alliance:

Enclosed is a suggested panel proposal for our Drug Policy Alliance International Drug Policy Conference this November 18-21, 2015 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott at 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202 “Covington & Burling And Drug Policy Reform”.

 Covington & Burling has a long and fascinating involvement in policy regarding drugs and other consumables.  The firms’ founder James Harry Covington was present as a congressman in deliberations regarding amendments to the 1906 Pure Foods and Drugs Act that lead to the crafting of the 1914 Harrison ‘Narcotics’ Act.  He subsequently became a judge who upheld the Harrison Act’s regulatory delegation of power to the U.S Department of Treasury regarding the supposed limits of ‘professional medical practice’ – a set of actions betraying medical freedom of choice.   He co-founded this firm in 1919, with its first client being the Grocery Manufacturers Association; since, Covington & Burling has been perhaps the single largest legal representative of pharmaceutical and tobacco interests.  As such, Covington & Burling’s involvement with the drug policy movement naturally raises eyebrows. 

Proposed invited speakers include the Covington & Burling pro bono program’s Marialuisa S. Gallozzi, in 1988 “assigned primary responsibility for advising the [drug policy] foundation”, a partner in the insurance coverage and food and drug practices. ... [who]… provides food and drug advice to manufacturers of medical devices, over-the-counter drugs, and dietary supplement, and author of a landmark paper on ‘“The (U.S.) Food Industry’s View About the Development of Plant-made Pharmaceuticals and Industrials” (GMO tobacco plants for growing patentable molecule pharmaceuticals) presented at the 2004 USDA conference panel “Perils and Pitfalls of GMOs”;  and  Joshua Greenburg , formerly with Covington & Burling and now with Womble Carlyle, also of Washington, D.C., who worked on Gonzales v Raich while he was working at Covington & Burling.

A panel as this would be invaluable opportunity for an exchange hopefully leading to an improvement with new and different initiatives to end the drug war.

I suggest holding this panel about the Covington & Burling involvement in drug policy/reform, along with my other longstanding panel proposals for such upon Coca; Tinctures of Opium, Wines Of Coca, Natural Plant Based Drugs Perverted by Prohibition; and the History of the Drug War.

I also suggest a panel to be held on the Therapeutic Benefits of Cannabis Oil and Ibogaine.

Such panels would go far to provide a fuller understanding of the general context of the drug war, specifically how it creates its very problems that its supporters use as its justification.  Such would go beyond the lamentable trend to simply focus upon such problems as somehow intrinsic with the drugs themselves (without regard to forms and the dynamics of pharmacokinetics), for the sake of more and more of the same narrow medicalization and bureaucratization being presented as somehow the only ‘solutions’ worthy of discussion.   

As if we can always hold panels on methadone, and crack, but neither Ibogaine, Opium, nor Coca.

                                                                                    Douglas A. Willinger
                                                                                    Freedom of Medicine and Diet

Cc: Marialuisa S. Gallozzi Esq. Covington & Burling
      Joshua Greenburg, Esq. Womble Carlyle