David Long | LEAP | Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

About David Long

Former Special Agent, U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Division of Labor Racketeering

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

“It has become clear to me that while we fill our prisons with low-level drug offenders, the illegal drug trade, drug abuse and addiction continue in the face of the 'War on Drugs.'"

David M. Long served for nearly nine years as a special agent with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Division of Labor Racketeering, working union corruption and related organized crime cases in Florida. Later, he transferred to Los Angeles where he began investigating identity theft cases tied to the Mexican Mafia. In Los Angeles, he also sat on a joint task force investigating Asian organized crime and human trafficking.

As an idealistic University of Pennsylvania Law student and young intern in the United States Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia during the 1980s, David witnessed first-hand how the lives of young men and women were drastically changed as they were sentenced to decades in prison as a result of their involvement in drugs. David also remembers hearing the misgivings of a particular assistant U.S. attorney regarding the impact of the “War on Drugs.” Years later, as a federal agent, David began to see the unmistakable link of how the drug trade fueled, funded, and helped to facilitate crimes he investigated. It became clear to David that many of the weapons and much of the money funding these crimes could be traced to the illegal drug trade.

Later, as a professor of criminal justice and legal studies, David became convinced that the “War on Drugs” is an unsound policy and is, in fact, doing great harm to our society in many ways. As a professor, David began to notice and conduct research into how our nation’s drug policies lead to prison overcrowding and a disconnect in our social priorities. His research is what led him to LEAP. “It has become clear to me that while we fill our prisons with low-level drug offenders, the illegal drug trade, drug abuse and addiction continue in the face of the “War on Drugs.” Until drugs are legalized and addiction and abuse are treated first and foremost as public health issues, the nation will face continuing problems resulting from overcrowded criminal dockets, overcrowded prisons, deaths as a result of drug overdosing, street violence, the spread of diseases, ruined lives, and lost potential.”

David holds a B.A., magna cum laude, from Howard University. He also was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia (inactive). Upon law school graduation, David served as law clerk to U.S. District Judge, Clifford Scott Green (deceased), of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. David currently teaches a variety of criminal justice and legal studies courses at Brandman University, part of the Chapman University system, where he is the program director for both the criminal justice and legal studies programs.

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