In the past few years, there have been drops in the correctional population as a whole as well as drops in the incarceration rate. There have also been changes in the reported racial and ethnic demographics of the people in prison in the US. Unfortunately some of the statistics and analysis floating around can be misleading, especially when only some selected data are shown and presented out of context.

3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine is also known by its initials: MDMA, though it's better known to the public as Ecstasy. MDMA was first synthesized in the early 1900s in Germany, and began to be used in psychotherapy in the 1970s. In 1985 the Drug Enforcement Administration banned it, placing MDMA into Schedule One. A number of therapists and researchers feel that the DEA is wrong, and that the current schedule of drugs is based largely on misinformation, misunderstanding, and prejudice. One researcher who has been working for the past few decades to prove that MDMA is in fact a useful therapeutic drug is Rick Doblin.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy, (the Drug Czar's office), is required by law to produce an annual national drug control strategy report. Their deadline is supposed to be February 1st each year. The last annual strategy report was released in July of 2014. The federal fiscal year ended on September 30th, so for the feds, 2015 is over. To find out how the Drug Czar's office is doing, CSDP Research Director Doug McVay spoke with Sanho Tree, of the Institute for Policy Studies, in an interview recorded for public radio KBOO 90.7FM in Portland, Oregon.

CSDP Director of Research Doug McVay recently recorded an hour-long interview with Molly Gill, Government Affairs Council for the organization Families Against Mandatory Minimums. The program was broadcast on radio station KBOO in Portland, Oregon, on September 2, 2015. The show can be heard or downloaded from:

Learn more about mandatory minimum sentencing and the federal sentencing guidelines at…

CSDP Director of Research Doug McVay recently interviewed Johann Hari, author of "Chasing The Scream" for public radio. The full audio is available at

It is now 100 years since drugs were first banned in the United States. On the eve of this centenary, journalist Johann Hari set off on an epic three-year, thirty-thousand-mile journey into the war on drugs. What he found is that more and more people all over the world are beginning to recognize three startling truths: Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is. And the drug war has very different motives to the ones we have seen on our TV screens for so long.