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Executive Director, Criminal Justice Policy Foundation
Eric E. Sterling, J.D., has been Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation since 1989, advocating the legal regulation of controlled substances, community oriented policing, and sentencing reform, among other reforms of the U.S. justice system. In 2013, he was appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to serve a four-year term on the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, where he has been chair of the policy committee. He is immediate past-Chair of the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Advisory Council in Montgomery County, MD, on which he has served for seven years. He is active with the New York City Bar Association Committee on Drugs and the Law.
From 1979 to 1989, he was the Assistant Counsel, Subcommittee on Crime, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, responsible for writing federal laws dealing with drugs, firearms, pornography, money laundering, organized crime and other matters. He has been a co-founder of the Marijuana Policy Project, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and Marijuana Majority, and other organizations. In 2015 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He has been honored by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, for assistance to their law enforcement missions. In 1999 he was honored with the Justice Gerard Le Dain Award for Achievement in Law from the Drug Policy Foundation. He has taught at American University and George Washington University and lectured at universities around the nation. His analyses have been published in law journals, as book chapters, on newspaper op-ed pages, and on Huffington Post.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Religion in 1973 from Haverford College and his Juris Doctor in 1976 from Villanova University.