Evening update:

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This suggests that the DPA finds the matter of the Covington & Burling involvement with the drug policy reform organizations, to be a topic they would rather not address.  Indeed one so sensitive that they would be afraid to allow a comment about it, even though allowing the comment above critical of Nadelmann, as well as another about long time activist Chris Conrad regarding the recent controversy about the California AUMA.

The DPA has long displayed a narrow focus upon synthetic (patentable) pharmaceuticals, to the exclusion of non patentable natural alternatives.

"Notably the DPA promotes Methadone, see the blue pamphlet, yet strangely has no such publications for Coca leaf nor Iboga- that latter a particularly odd exclusion for a psychedelics conference."

And it has long undersold the concept of 'harm reduction' by focusing upon the drugs as they are available under prohibition, forgetting how prohibition ensures their availability as 'hard' - re: concentrated - drugs.

"Alas, the Drug Policy Alliance - successor organization to the Drug Policy Foundation - seriously short-sells the concept of 'Harm Reduction', limiting it essentially to the first stage: clean needles and safer crack pipes."

"NO Panels on Coca, Opium nor Ibogaine nor any plants other than Marijuana

NO Panels on how the drug war encourage more dangerous drug forms and how that was done to protect the most dangerous drug of all

NO Panels on History- even at this final conference before next year's 100 anniversary of the infamous 1914 Congress Harrison Narcotics Act..."
Nadelmann has squandered opportunities - such as an interview with FOX's notorious drug war apologist Bill O'Reilly - to explain to the public how drug prohibition is a self perpetuating problem, that breeds the very problems cited as its justification:
O'Reilly makes a valuable mis-step/half-truth, which Nadelmann neglects to answer
"cocaine and meth incapacitate" (3:23)
Nadelmann could have at least mentioned the interplay of pharmakokenetics and prohibition's iron law regarding Opiates and Cocaine in shifting markets to infinitely more concentrated forms of drugs and more problematic modes of drug taking.   For instance cocaine is a stimulant alkaloid found in small amounts in Coca leaves, as are caffeine and nicotine respectively in Coffee/other beverages and Tobacco.  But how much of the later two are consumed in white powder form, essentially unmeasured, of standardized potency, and in modes of taking that invite overdosing leading to the very incapacitation O'Reilly cites.   Do a tiny line of cocaine hci or crystal meth and perhaps one is still within a range of enhancement -- aka a milder effect not interfering with life but rather the role of a gentle uplift.  But do a slightly larger amount, and they do interfere, like with cocaine crossing the threshold to where one does not want to hear music, and prefer to be alone or silent.   And they are easy to over-do in these concentrated forms.   So why Mr. Reilly do you insist upon a scheme that makes Opiates and cocaine only available in their dangerous forms, and which only really bans the safe forms?  
Imagine replacing Coffee with white powder caffeine.   Imagine replacing Coffee drinking with caffeine powder sniffing - or smoking or shooting.   Look at the caffeine overdose stories of those that have killd themselves with recklessly large doses of white powder caffeine, akin to BLAST.
Why is it ok to make cocaine powder and crack highly profitable and inefficient uses of police resources, while really banning only the safe and effective products such as VIN MARIANI?

Why is it ok to ban Coca/VIN MARIANI?
 Yet it is ok to permit the mass sales of cigarettes and other Tobacco products.  Never-mind that they are more physically addictive than heroin, and are most chronically deleterious, taking nearly half a million lives every year in the U.S., and over 6 million annually word-wide.

Especially so.  Why are these Tobacco products and alcohol the two classes of substances EXEMPTED from ingredient retail labeling?   The initial 1906 U.S. Food and Drugs Act was predicated upon labeling some drugs, such as opiates and cocaine - but not others such as caffeine and nicotine.  Indeed it exempted Tobacco from its regulatory jurisdiction, by limiting such to substances listed in the U.S. Pharmacopeia which de-listed Tobacco in 1905, never-mind that this regulatory authority was vested with the U.S. Department of AGRICULTURE.   Wow!  the USDA gets to ban anything it declares as deleterious to health, yet could not regulate Tobacco- and apparently was never challenged in a suit over this denial of equal protection under the law.  
Coca is the safest stimulant.

Tobacco is the most dangerous.

Why the hell is Coca illegal and Tobacco legal?  
Who decided that we had to ban Coca so that people could not go to the trouble of chemically processing it into concentrated cocaine, so that they no long had the option of Coca products, but only concentrated cocaine and Tobacco products?

What was the social costs of the 20th century ban on Coca and this protection of Tobacco and cigarettes?  Given their overlapping uses, the fact that the U.S.D.A. was exploring the feasibility of growing Coca in the U.S., that the U.S. had taken control of the Panama Canal project in 1903 to be completed in 1914 that would have significantly shortened Coca supply lines from Peru to North Atlantic markets, and the U.S.D.A.'s stated concern specifically over the use of coca as a 'Tobacco Habit Cure', the drug war was anything other than about protecting the public's health.

That's a crime that's got to end.

Sadly, drug policy reform organizations as the Drug Policy Foundation now Drug Policy Alliance act fearful of addressing this point.

They act in deference to protecting existing markets, as part of Ira Glasser's 300 Year time frame to go as slow as possible, such as down-selling "harm reduction" as clean needles and safer crack pipes, bit don't talk about the parent plant drugs of Opium and Coca- never-mind their listing in the 1914 U.S. Harrison Narcotics Tax Act.  It is as if they were being yoked, perhaps in part by being feed some exceptionally questionable advice.
The matter of drug prohibition promoting its own justifications is long acknowledged, for instance the landmark Rich Cowan National Review article from 1986 about how prohibition spawned crack.
It is difficult to admit that the medicine we are prescribing might just be the poison that is causing the illness; yet the "energy crisis" was largely a creation of federal regulations meant to ensure adequate supplies at a reasonable cost. Infiation, a very real threat to any economy, is masked and then made worse by price controls. Forced busing, the statisticians now tell us, actually increased racial segregation, while wrecking many public-school systems....

First, from the supply perspective, it is good business to minimize the bulk of contraband. Smuggling beer and wine was less profitable than "rum running." Tiny pieces of crack are easier to carry than cocaine powder, which in turn is far less bulky than the coca leaves that are used legally by the Andean Indians. Heroin replaced opium for similar reasons. Obviously, the bulkiest illegal drug, marijuana, will lose out in the supply channels to cocaine and heroin.
Marijuana remains the principal target of law-enforcement efforts, despite the current crack-generated headlines. One result is that the weed, which can be grown anywhere, is being cultivated in more potent strains to justify a higher price per pound. The price must rise to justify the risk of transportation.

The same considerations also encourage the substitution, for marijuana, of its concentrates, hashish and hash oil, which are many times more potent. It is even possible that marijuana enforcement, with its effects on price and availability, is pushing marijuana users toward cocaine and worse. The New York Times recently quoted a Los Angeles narcotics officer: "I hate to say it, but we, law enforcement, may be driving people into the arms of the coke dealers by taking away their grass. But we have got to enforce the law."
Second, from the demand perspective, the more potent forms of drugs offer the user the same convenience of transportation that is of value to the supplier. However, while it is impossible to overdose fatally on the marijuana derivatives, precise dosage is at once more critical and more difficult to achieve with any synthetic or concentrate like crack. This leads us to an essential point. Though the anti-drug crusaders' self-righteousness, may imagine that most drug users are irrational and self-destructive, the reality is that most of them are People Like Us. Some drinkers drink to destroy themselves; the vast majority prefer to drink safely and happily and therefore moderate their drinking. The majority of recreational drug users would prefer to do the same

Normal people have good instincts for self-preservation. Thus, without much pressure from the government, we have seen in recent years a powerful trend toward weaker versions of legal drugs_wine coolers in place of distilled spirits, filtered cigarettes low in tar and nicotine, even decaffeinated coffee and tea. To be sure, drunk-driving laws may have accelerated the trend; but, whatever their imperfections, the laws against drunk driving are far more rational than the drug laws in that they outlaw not substances but obviously reckless behavior. Just because drunk-driving laws are fairly rational, there is less rebellion against them. On the whole, the trend toward safer dosages of legal drugs gives massive testimony to the rationality of normal people.
Under current law. no such trend is possible for illegal drugs. The war on drugs is a war on rational behavior by drug users. With illegal drugs the trend is accelerating in the wrong direction, not because of the thrill-seeking or self-destructive minority, but because of the dynamics of the markets for contraband.
The DPA continues to neglect the coca issue along with that of the plants perverted into white power poisons of abuse- focusing upon Medical Marijuana and limited sanitary measures for the existing concentrated drug forms, thus pretending that MJ is the only illicit substance with therapeutic benefit, while maintaining the fear of the other drugs. Thereby, it serves to slow drug policy reform to a speed of progress best described as glacial.

Having attended the conferences of the DPA and it predecessor organization the Drug Policy Foundation since 1989, I noted that the DPF was more comprehensive until about 1993- for instance downplaying the very issue that inspired their creation -- the hysteria over cocaine --- eliminating the cocaine panel and folding that issue into a virtual woman's panel on Latin America.

Now this year - 2011 - Bolivia has DENOUNCED the 1961 U.N. "Narcotics" Treaty, yet the DPA still refuses to invite Evo Morales to its conference, let alone hold a Coca panel- lest it educate people that Coca has many benefits that remain widely unknown because of the drug war.

So what could be the reason, indeed the hidden hand, upon and strangling drug policy reform?
Naturally this has long inspired me to seek to identify the source[s] for this stranglehold on the pace of drug policy reform advocacy.  Clearly the issues involve markets worth billions of dollars, hence further raising the likelihood of some high level interference to control the pace and extent of drug policy reform.  Hence it is logical to look at the people placed high up in organizations as the Drug Policy Alliance, as well as those with an influence over such.

Ira Glasser is logically a person of interest, and has received attention from others for his acceptance of funding from within the Tobacco industry, and the potential of that to influence decisions that could affect that industry.

As Coca leaf's potential to reduce markets in Tobacco products was a stated concern of the USDA in the years between 1906 and 1914, the Ira Glasser - Tobacco industry connection is a plausible reason for the DPF-DPA reluctance to address the Coca issue, by keeping the cocaine related focus upon the concentrated forms of the drug supported by drug prohibition.  After all, the DPF had been founded in 1986 response to the drug war hysteria largely over "cocaine", and both the DPF and the DPA ostensibly stood for DRUG policy reform, rather than as simply an echo of NORML, which by definition had limited itself to Marijuana/Cannabis.  The narrow focus upon cocaine as a hard drug simply made no sense for the sake of meaningful reform rather than as a holding action to maintain the basic status quo as long as possible.

For that same reason, plus the broader issue of the drug war as a means to suppress the use of natural substances to favor markets for synthetic patentable drugs, the involvement of the law firm Covington & Burling is a fair issue to view as a plausible influence over drug policy reform to ask about.

That firm was founded by a man who played a role in the establishment of drug prohibition.

One who served as a U.S. Congressman from 1909 to 1914.

Was present as a Congressman in deliberations regarding amendments to the 1906 U.S. Food and Drugs Act that ultimately lead to the 1914 Harrison Act.

Who resigned from Congress that year to accept positions as a professor at Jesuit Georgetown Law School and as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia who upheld the supposed constitutionality of the Harrison Act's delegation of regulatory authority to the U.S. Department of Treasury to define what constituted legitimate medical practice: James Harry Covington.
Section 1 of that law provides, among other things: "That the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, shall make all needful rules and regulations for carrying the provisions of this Act" into effect."...

...It is quite true that the law cannot be amended by a regulation issued by the respondents in virtue of the power conferred upon them under section l of the law. The regulations must be in harmony with the law and in an appropriate proceeding a mere arbitrary and unwarranted exercise of power by the respondents might be held invalid by the court .

In this case, however, the respondents have acted. They have exercised their judgment and discretion, and they have acted under the power given them to provide the appropriate administrative details for enforcing the "Harrison Narcotic Law," including, of course, section 6 of that law. The exercise of such a power certainly cannot be said to be ministerial. In Field vs. Clark, 143 U. S. 694, the court said: "The Legislature cannot delegate its power to make a law but it can make a law to delegate a power to determine some fact or state of things upon which the law makes, or intends to make, its own action depend. To deny this would be to stop the wheels of government. There are many things upon which wise and useful legislation must depend which cannot be known to the law-making powers, and must, therefore, be a subject of inquiry and determination outside of the halls of legislation."
In 1919, Covington, co-founded the law firm Covington & Burling.

Its very first client would be the Grocery Manufacturers' Association- today infamous for opposing GMO labeling.

Covington & Burling is not the average law firm.
Covington & Burling would become perhaps the premier Washington, D.C. law firm on behalf of major food, drug-pharmaceutical industries, as well as Tobacco- hence representing some major interests that benefit from the drug war.

In 1988 Covington & Burling established a relationship with the then recently established DPF via its pro bono program.
This relationship has been maintained over the years.

The Covington & Burling website (Health page, early 2005) acknowledged the law firm's work with the Drug Policy Foundation and other organizations involved with drug policy reform:

Commonwealth v. Hutchins. We represent Mr. Hutchins and the interests of similarly situated patients for whom the medical use of marijuana is necessary, in a variety of state and national initiatives aimed at decriminalizing such use. We work closely with the Drug Policy Foundation, the Marijuana Policy Project and sympathetic members of Congress and selected state legislatures. American Civil Liberties Union - Drug Policy Litigation Project. We were asked to assist the ACLU in preparing a letter to the Drug Enforcement Agency in support of an application by a professor at the University of Massachusetts for registration to manufacture or distribute controlled substances for the purposes of a scientific study on medical marijuana. Specifically, they requested that we opine on the consistency of the application with the United States' treaty requirements pursuant to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. We have continued to provide advice on related aspects of this matter.
That the firm would use the present tense
"We work closely with the Drug Policy Foundation, the Marijuana Policy Project and ... the American Civil Liberties Union Drug Policy Litigation Project"
in 2005, five years after the Drug Policy Foundation was superseded by the Drug Policy Alliance (by merging with the Lindesmith Institute in July 2000), appears to suggest that Covington & Burling works closely with the Drug Policy Alliance.

Notably, the Drug Policy Alliance has continued the Drug Policy Foundation's post 1992 malevolent malaise towards the Coca issue, and elephant in the living room' continuing mega boondoggle - public health disaster of pro Tobacco anti Coca Agricultural Mercantilism, embodied in U.S. statute since the 1906 Food and Drugs Act
The attorney assigned "primary responsibility for advising the [Drug Policy] Foundation" in 1988, was hired by Covington in 1987, and has worked there ever since, including participation in the firm's pro bono program.

Another attorney, who is no longer with Covington, played a prominent role in the 2005 Raich v Gonzales case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder who served under U.S. President Obama, has long worked at Covington, which recently re-hired him.

For the 2015 Drug Policy Alliance conference I submitted a panel proposal Covington & Burling- Drug Policy Reform and Creation , together with an invite letter.  Following Holder's return to Covington, I invited him to be added to this proposed panel.

Despite the potential popularity of such a panel, the DPA not only declined to hold it, but unlike as in the past, issued me no letter or other communication declining the panel.  Nor did I receive any reply from any of the 3 attorney's who I sent invites to all, including the Raich attorney who is no longer with Covington.

All of this, along with the DPA's failure to approve my recent comment, suggests a fear to answer questions about the Covington & Burling involvement with drug policy reform/organizations.

Never-mind that is relevant to ask just what sort of advice that Covington has given to the DPF/DPA.

Any future failures of the DPA to get its act together about addressing any of these issues after Nadelmann's departure are only going to further spotlight that the problem comes from higher up.