In thinking about the future of cannabis and action to address the overdose crisis, one recurrent obstacle is binary ways of thinking. Health and social policy, like media coverage, favors “either/or” categorization of all problems and solutions. We love stories with clear heroes and villains.This event will feature three thought leaders, healthcare attorney Harry Nelson, neuroscience journalist Maia Szalavitz, and harm reduction pioneer Joe Turner in conversation, addressing the interwoven topics of how we approach the Overdose Crisis and the cannabis reform, and the ongoing evolution of policy based on harm reduction approaches. Our panelists bring distinct perspectives on the underlying science, legal issues, and practical applications that will make this an illuminating event.

What can we distill out from the data? What are the implications? How can we address the multiple points of system failure? What lessons should we take in rethinking the crisis with more complexity? Join us for a conversation that will move beyond our binary modes of thinking to a deeper and more insightful conversation around cannabis and the Overdose Crisis — and towards solutions.


Moderated by Hannah Daphna, Founding President, Cannabis Law Association, President, Federalist Society Brooklyn Law School Chapter.

Welcoming remarks by Carol Katz Beyer, Founding President, FSDP


Harry Nelson, Healthcare Lawyer/Author, The United States of Opioids

Maia Szalavitz, Award-winning neuroscience journalist/Author, Unbroken Brain

Joe Turner, Attorney, Co-founder and CEO of Exponents, Inc. – since 1988, the first known harm reduction substance use program

Refreshments and snacks will be served.

This event is jointly presented by Brooklyn Law School, Exponents, and Families for Sensible Drug Policy (FSDP)

About Harry Nelson

Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Nelson Hardiman, Harry Nelson is the nation’s leading healthcare attorney and a top expert on the future of U.S. healthcare. In building the largest healthcare and life sciences firm in Los Angeles, he’s earned national acclaim for driving innovative solutions to the most difficult problems facing healthcare.

About Maia Szalavitz

Maia Szalavitz is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction, which is widely recognized as an important advance in thinking about the nature of addiction and how to cope with it, personally and politically.

About Joe Turner

Joseph R. Turner, JD, is the co-founder and current President/CEO of EXPONENTS, Inc., in New York City. EXPONENTS is the first known harm reduction substance use treatment program, beginning in 1988. EXPONENTS is founded on the principles of ‘engagement, community, and advocacy.