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Yale Program in Addiction Medicine Presents: "Finding Solutions to the Opioid Crisis: Drug Decriminalization and a Public Health Approach to Drug Policy"

The Yale Program in Addiction Medicine welcomes Maritza Perez, JD, (Drug Policy Alliance) who will provide a brief overview of the U.S. drug war and describe its impacts across various systems, including exploring the impacts of the drug war in the areas of criminal justice, immigration, and public benefits. This talk will also explore the benefits of drug decriminalization and a public health-centered approach to drug activity.

Maritza Perez, Esq. is the Director of the Office of National Affairs of the Drug Policy Alliance in Washington, DC where she leads the organization’s federal legislative agenda to end the drug war. In this role, she lobbies Congress on issues pertaining to drug policy and criminal justice reform. Previously, Maritza was a Senior Policy Analyst for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress (CAP) where her portfolio included marijuana policy, policing, and prison and sentencing reform. Prior to joining CAP, Maritza was a Legislative Staff Attorney at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) where she worked to advance federal policies to end mass incarceration. A criminal justice policy expert, Maritza has been featured in various media outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Government, The Takeaway, Latino USA and more. Maritza is a graduate of UC Berkeley School of Law and the University of Nevada’s Reynolds School of Journalism.

This event is part of the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine's Finding Solutions for the Opioid Crisis speaker series made possible by generous support from the Sandgaard Foundation.


  • Drug Policy Alliance

    Maritza Perez, JD
    Director, Office of National Affairs



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Lectures and Seminars