Day: May 2, 2024

Background Briefing: May 2, 2024

On the Brink of the Ethnic Cleansing of Gaza as Ceasefire Talks Are Deadlocked

We begin with the likely invasion of Rafah and the expulsion of Palestinians into Egypt as talks underway in Cairo for a ceasefire appear deadlocked, while Netanyahu’s right flank threatens to bolt from the ruling coalition if he accepts a ceasefire deal. Joining us is Paul Pillar, who served for 30 years as an analyst at the CIA, in which his last position was National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia. Previously, he served as chief of analytic units at the CIA covering portions of the Near East, the Persian Gulf, and South Asia. He has also headed the Assessments and Information Group of the DCI Counterterrorist Center, and was deputy chief of the center. He is currently a nonresident senior fellow of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University and a nonresident fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. We discuss his latest book, Beyond the Water’s Edge How Partisanship Corrupts U.S. Foreign Policy.


The DEA’s Decriminalization of Marijuana is Too Little Too Late

Then with the DEA considering moving marijuana from a Schedule 1 list to a Schedule 3 list of illegal drugs, we will look into this too-little-too-late move and speak with David Pozen, a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School where he teaches and writes about constitutional law, information law, and nonprofit law, among other topics. He previously served as special assistant to Senator Ted Kennedy on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and law clerk to Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Merrick Garland on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. His new book, just out, is The Constitution of the War on Drugs and he has an essay at TIME magazine “Do Americans Have a Constitutional Right to Use Drugs?”


Could a Change in DEA Policy Revive California’s Troubled Marijuana Industry?

Then finally we speak with Cat Packer, the director of drug markets and legal regulation at the Drug Policy Alliance, a distinguished cannabis policy practitioner in residence at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law’s Drug Enforcement and Policy Center and a contributing author to the Thomas Reuters Cannabis Law Deskbook. From 2017 to 2022, she served as the first Executive Director of the City of Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation and we will discuss how a change in DEA policy could revive California’s marijuana industry, which is stuck in legal limbo while facing competition from blackmarket growers and sellers.