Cannabis and psychedelic law

I’m of counsel to Hoban Law Group, the first boutique cannabis law firm with a network of attorneys across the United States.

New York City strategies
I have been part of the New York City cannabis political environment since 1993. The reform movement is still very small in relation to a metropolitan area of this size but, after many years of slow progress, the market here is heating up fast. Cannabis legalization issues are quickly achieving higher prominence in the local media. However, there is very little understanding, even among policy-makers, as to how implementation will work here in practice. I’m available to help you analyze cannabis policy developments here and plan for the future of legalization.

Here’s how to contact me to discuss what you need.

My background

Criticism of drug prohibition has crossed over from the fringes of public discourse to the mainstream. Cannabis market legalization in particular is a very hot topic. Unlike many – if not most – of the attorneys you will meet in the cannabis space, my engagement with drug policy dates back to 1993 when I began studying the bureaucratic history of drug control as an undergraduate political science student at Columbia. I offer a big-picture analysis you will not find anywhere else.

Psychedelic Law

In 2010 I coined the term “psychedelic law” and used it to define my blog, Psychedelic Law. In my April 2012 post “Madmen Rule You” I deconstructed the DEA’s legal theory justifying the permanent prohibition of cannabis. The occasion for this post was the upcoming appeal from the DEA’s rejection of the latest attempt to move cannabis out of Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. I explained that the appellants could succeed only if they succeeded in challenging the DEA’s interpretation of the statutory term “currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” Indeed, I predicted accurately, as I explained in a subsequent post. I continue to blog as often as my schedule permits.

Other relevant activities

As member and chair (2006-2009) of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Drugs and the Law I organized programming for the legal profession on cutting-edge topics in drug law and policy, including the federalism crisis in US cannabis law (2007), the New York City Police Department’s policy of arresting young men of color for amounts of cannabis decriminalized in the 1970’s (2008), physician liability for prescribing pain management drugs (2009), and the conceptual framework of  “regulated markets” as a tool for designing drug control policy (2010). In 2014, I co-founded a working group on New York City cannabis law.

I have also been one of the chief organizers of the New York City Cannabis Parade since 2011, among other things handling relations with the New York City Police Department and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.