The History of Drugs In Society

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25. Intelligent Speech Conference / An Announcement

I'm speaking as part of a Vice in the Victorian Age panel at the Intelligent Speech Conference this year. You can learn more and get tickets here: It takes place on Sat April 21st. I hope to see you there! 

Also, I'm putting things on hold prior to then. Feel free to reach out and connect @drugshistory on Twitter or

Be well!

24. A Cannabis Policy Case Study with Jared Moffat

This week’s episode featured an interview with Jared Moffat, who is a state campaigns coordinator for the Marijuana Policy Project. We talked about some of the previous and current efforts he’s been involved with. We then dove into South Dakota, both in terms of work done getting the ballot in place and in terms of what happens now. We also talked about where cannabis policy is headed and what the fight for further change will look like. 

Important to note, this episode was recorded before a judge in South Dakota ruled Constitutional Amendment A unconditional for violating the single subject rule. If you want to support the South Dakota efforts, go to 

To learn more about MPP, go to To get in touch with me, feel free to reach out on Twitter @DrugsHistory or via gmail ( 

Be well!

23. Harm Reduction and Cannabis Policy with Scott B. Cecil

Hello and welcome to the History of Drugs in Society with me, Eugene Leventhal. This week, I got to speak with the honorable Scott B. Cecil, who is a city council member in Mount Rainier in Maryland. In addition to that, Scott also runs two podcasts of his own - one called Prohibited which explores prohibition in various contexts, and the other is called the Outlaw Report, which is about cannabis policy and news in the DC area

Below are links to both of Scott’s podcasts and you can follow him on Twitter.

Feel free to reach out to me over email ( or via Twitter (@DrugsHistory). 

Be well!

22. Cannabis Policy Activism with Robert Hofmann

This week I speak to Rob Hofmann, who is the Movement Building Fellow for the Northeast, Midwest, and Pacific Regions with the Students for Sensible Drug Policy or SSDP. SSDP is “the largest global youth-led network dedicated to ending the War on Drugs.” (source

This is the first of the episodes on the topic of cannabis legalization. With Rob, we’re going to talk about cannabis policy more broadly and what constitutes well-thought out legislation in his eyes. 

The conversation with Rob starts with how he got involved in drug policy activism in the first place. We then talk about the ballot measures from election day in November 2020 and the MORE Act that passed through the House of Representatives on Friday, December 4th. Rob and I then talked about some general cannabis policy priorities going into 2021 and 2022. We also touch on the topic of coops and the role that they can play. 

If you’re interested in getting involved in SSDP, you can reach out to Rob on I also added links to SSDP in the show notes. You can learn more about SSDP on their site ( or by following them on Twitter (@ssdpglobal). 

Feel free to reach out to me over email ( or via Twitter (@DrugsHistory). 

Be well! 

21. Harm Reduction with Julia Hilbert

This week, I interview Julia Hilbert, who is the chair of the board of directors at Students of Sensible Drug Policy, the president of DanceSafe Pittsburgh, and works part-time doing direct service amongst other things at Prevention Point Pittsburgh. We talk about her journey getting into harm reduction and drug policy activism, how you can get involved if you’re interested, what harm reduction is, what role stigma plays, and what changes she hopes to see during her career 


You can learn more at:


Feel free to reach out over email ( or Twitter (@DrugsHistory). 


Be well!

20. End of Year Update, Happy Holidays!

Giving a short(ish) update as the year wraps up. I talk about some plans for next year:

  • narrative is on hold until I can release on a weekly basis
  • interviews coming up related to opioid harm reduction in Pennsylvania and cannabis legalization in the US
  • random interviews might still show up

I'm really grateful for all of the people who have tuned in since I launched earlier this year! Feel free to reach out if you have any content ideas or just want to chat about any of the topics we touched on in the first season. You can reach me on and @DrugsHistory on Twitter. 

Be well! 

19. Intoxicants and Memory with Lilian Kloft

This week’s interview with Lilian Kloft, who is a PhD candidate at Maastricht University in the Netherlands working in Neuropsychology & Psychopharmacology. As you’ll hear in this interview, she does a lot of work on the question of how different intoxicating substances affect our memory. We talked about how cannabis, alcohol, and MDMA all affect memory in different ways. 

18. Update - Oct 7 2020

Sorry I've been MIA, still dealing with some health issues. I'll get back to working on season 1 and some interviews (probably focused on cannabis legalization efforts in Pennsylvania) when I'm up to it. Stay tuned.

I do really appreciate every person who checks out the podcast. If you're ever inclined to connect, feel free to do so over email ( or Twitter (@drugshistory). I'd love to hear from ya.

Be well!

17. The ‘ndrangheta, Shipping, & Cocaine with Anna Sergi

This week I got to speak to Professor Anna Sergi, who is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Essex. We got to cover a few main areas of her research, including Italian organized crime overall, the ‘ndrangheta (both in Italy and internationally), as well as the role of shipping in global cocaine markets, an area in which the ‘ndrangheta is personally involved. 

If you’ve heard the ‘about the podcast’ episode, you might remember that Italian organized crime groups in the NY, particularly the Sicilian La Cosa Nostra, was what initially piqued my own interests in the world of organized crime and drugs. So it was particularly interesting for me to get to talk to Anna about the state of Italian mafias today and just how prominent the ‘ndrangheta has become in the last few decades. 

Some links:

16. The State, Drug Markets, & Violence with Angelica Duran-Martinez

This week, I speak to Professor Angelica Duran-Martinez, who teaches Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. We explore a few of the ideas and case studies in her book, The Politics of Drug Violence. The book explores the interaction of political structures, security structures, and drug markets and what the results on violence are, specifically in terms of the visibility and frequency of violence. 


More on Angelica -

Link to her book -


Also, please expect some delays with the subsequent episodes. Still not feeling my best but hoping to get at least one more interview out this month. Be well!

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