Mark Thornton, described by the Advocates for Self-Government as "one of America's experts on the economics of illegal drugs", is a senior fellow and resident faculty member at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and the Book Review Editor for the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. Organizations including the Independent Institute, the Cato Institute, and the Mises Institute have published Thornton's writings on drug prohibition and prohibition in general. He has also been interviewed on the topic of prohibition by members of the mainstream press. Thornton's first book, The Economics of Prohibition, was praised by Murray Rothbard, who declared: "Thornton's book... arrives to fill an enormous gap, and it does so splendidly.... The drug prohibition question is... the hottest political topic today, and for the foreseeable future.... This is an excellent work making an important contribution to scholarship as well as to the public policy debate." Thornton has written extensively also on the economics of financial bubbles and public finance. He taught economics at Auburn University and served on the faculty of Columbus State University. Thornton received his Bachelor of Science from St. Bonaventure University (1982), and his Ph.D. from Auburn University (1989).
Eapen Thampy is the Founder and Executive Director of Americans for Forfeiture Reform where he researches and evaluate developments in federal, state, and municipal asset forfeiture law; advocating policy positions; securing appropriate counsel for clients facing forfeiture proceedings; and providing background to journalists and reform groups. He is also one of the founders of Show-Me Cannabis and is also involved in founding a third organization, Missourians for Drug Policy Reform. Thampy was born in Houston, and now reside in Missouri, where he works on drug policy issues.
Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason magazine, a nationally syndicated columnist, and a drug policy blogger at Forbes. Sullum is the author of Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use (Tarcher/Penguin) and For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health (Free Press). His work on drug policy and civil liberties has appeared in National Review, Cigar Aficionado, The New York Times, and many other publications.
Rob Kampia co-founded the Marijuana Policy Project in 1995 and has served as its executive director ever since. With 25 staff members and lobbyists in six state capitals and Congress, MPP is the largest marijuana policy organization in the world. Rob is the architect of most of the state-level marijuana laws that have been enacted in the United States since 2000. Most importantly, MPP legalized marijuana in Colorado in 2012. As a result, Colorado has the best marijuana law in the world. MPP decriminalized marijuana possession via a ballot initiative in Massachusetts in 2008. Since then, MPP passed similar laws through the Rhode Island and Vermont legislatures. MPP was also instrumental or entirely responsible for legalizing medical marijuana in Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia between 2000 and 2013. Rob has provided testimony before Congress twice, as well as testifying before nine state legislatures. Rob has been quoted in almost every newspaper in the United States and regularly debates prohibitionist opponents on national television, including on CNN, the Fox News Channel, the Fox Business Network, CNBC, and MSNBC.
Major Neill Franklin, a 34-year law enforcement veteran, retired from the Maryland State Police in 1999. He served also as an undercover narcotics agent to a commander within the Bureau of Drug and Criminal Enforcement. Major Franklin was recruited by the Baltimore Police Commissioner to command Baltimore’s Education and Training Division and was soon after promoted to Chief of Human Resources. In 2004 Major Franklin joined Maryland’s Transit Police Force as commander of the Detective Bureau and on July 1, 2010, he stepped away from his law enforcement career to serve as the executive director for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
David Borden is founder and executive director of StoptheDrugWar.org. Borden played the leading role in pioneering use of the Internet for education and organizing in drug policy reform after founding DRCNet in late 1993. Borden oversaw the organization's work on the Higher Education Act Reform Campaign, an effort to repeal a federal law that denies students financial aid because of drug convictions, and has initiated programs including the John W. Perry Fund scholarship program and the Out from the Shadows international conference series. In August 2003, Borden sent an open letter to the District of Columbia's chief judge, Rufus G. King, explaining his decision to refuse to report for jury service as a protest of the drug war, an action which was covered by the Washington Post. Borden earned an A.B. with honors in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University in 1988, and completed an M.M. in Jazz Composition from New England Conservatory in 1990. He is a native of Englewood, New Jersey, one of the first communities in the state to achieve racial integration in its school system.
Erik Altieri serves as Communications Director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and Manager of NORML PAC. He also administers NORML's social networks that reach over 1 million individuals. Mr. Altieri is one of National NORML's registered lobbyists and has lobbied - and helped write and run grassroots campaigns in support of - federal and state bills regarding marijuana reform. Erik also serves as one of the group’s spokesmen to the media and has been quoted or has appeared in much of the establishment print and televised media.
(Our America Initiative Drug Policy, Students for sensible drug policy, alcohol and drug policy)