Eric Sterling | LEAP | Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

About Eric Sterling

Former Counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary
Eric Sterling

Advisory Board Member

"The drug war amounts to an American Gulag - nothing more - nothing less."

Eric Sterling, president of The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, knows just about all there is to know about U.S. drug policy. Eric was Counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary from 1979 until 1989. On the staff of the Subcommittee on Crime, he was responsible for drug enforcement, gun control, money laundering, organized crime, pornography, terrorism, corrections, and military assistance to law enforcement. He was a principal aide in developing the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, and the Anti-Drug Abuse Acts of 1986 and 1988. In the 96th Congress, he worked on comprehensively rewriting the Federal Criminal Code. Eric has traveled to South America, Europe and across the United States examining, first hand, the crime problems resulting from drug prohibition.

Mr. Sterling is admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. He was a participant in the Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado for a decade and served on the faculty of American University. His analyses have been published in law reviews, periodicals and newspapers throughout the country. Eric served on the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Drug Abuse in Washington, DC and on the Baltimore Mayor's Task Force on Drug Policy. Eric was an assistant public defender in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. He is a liaison to the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Substance Abuse and a past chair of the Criminal Justice Committee of the ABA Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities.

Mr. Sterling's opinion is regularly reported by the national news media, where he has been quoted on the front pages of New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, and Los Angeles Times. His expert analysis is used by Members of Congress, legislators, nationally syndicated columnists, major network television news programs, NPR, Pacifica Radio, 60 Minutes, Nightline, ABC 20/20, PBS Frontline, etc. He has been a guest on CNN, FOX, COURT TV, Donahue, Gil Gross, Diane Rehm, Jim Bohannon, Oliver North, etc. Eric has debated U.S. Senator Joseph Biden, Jr., former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III; then-DEA Administrator Robert Bonner; then-U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, and other officials about the "War on Drugs." In 1999 he was honored with the Justice Gerald LeDain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law by the Drug Policy Foundation.

Mr. Sterling was Editor-in-Chief of NewsBriefs, the newsletter of the National Drug Strategy Network, for ten years. He helped found and served on the boards of FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) in 1991, Forfeiture Endangers American Rights in 1993, the Marijuana Policy Project in 1995, and the Voluntary Committee of Lawyers in 1997. In addition to serving on LEAP's advisory board, he also serves on the board of the Partnership for Responsible Drug Information, Inc. and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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