Building Community through Policy & Prevention

The 2011 conference was truly a success with over 500 people in attendance from throughout the Southern California Region. This included representation from local residents, youth, law enforcement, non-profits, faith-based organizations, education, businesses, and county and city officials.

Those in attendance were provided with an abundance of information, including excellent presentations regarding the addiction process, bullying, marijuana, and underage drinking prevention. Attendees enjoyed excellent presentations regarding how communities can stand up against drug legalization efforts, school safety, youth courts, and human trafficking and cartel border violence.

Many organizations in attendance made our goals of underage drinking, marijuana, and prescription drug abuse their goal. It is wonderful to know that we share the same priorities and have the support of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Tommy LaNier

Tommy has held the position of Directo of the National Marijuana Initiative for the Office of National Durg Control Policy through the California Border Alliance Group, Southwest Border HIDTA, San Diego, CA since his retirement in January of 2004. He retired from the USDA Forest Service as a Special Agent after over 33 years. During his career, he held many positions with the Forest Service Law Enforcement and investigations program. He was a Forest Special Agent, Zone Special Agent-in-Charge, Acting Assistant Director of Drug Enforcement, and his last assignment was as the National HIDTA Program Coordinator. Mr. LaNier’s portfolio includes 25 plus years investigating and or managing programs related to illegal marijuana cultivation on public lands. His current position provides oversight and direction to the HIDTA program regarding all marijuana related activities.

Julio Marcial

Julio Marcial is a program director at The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF), responsible for grant-making on the issue of violence prevention, gang intervention and re-entry. Marcial’s responsibilities include reviewing letters of interest and grant proposals and making funding recommendations related to the public health problem of violence against youth.  He joined the Foundation in July 1998. In his previous position as a communications officer, Marcial worked with the vice president of communications to establish news media partnerships and public affairs outreach to policymakers. Moreover, Marcial has authored “Reflections on Leadership.” Marcial is an active member of the Neighborhood Excellence Initiative committee of the Bank of America, a member of the policy committee for the California AfterSchool Network, and a member of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Council of Education Advisors. He serves on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Music and Art School, and the Communications Network and Hispanics in Philanthropy, affinity groups of the Council on Foundations. He is a former board member of AllForOne. He received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Before joining the Foundation, Marcial held a fellowship as a research analyst at the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Bertha Madras

Dr. Madras is Professor of Psychobiology, Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She has been on faculty since 1986 and is cross-appointed at the Massachusetts General Hospital. From 2006-2008, she served as Deputy Director for Demand Reduction in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), a Presidential appointment, that was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. A neuroscientist, she founded and chaired he Neurochemistry Division at the HMS Primate Center. Her research focused on the behavioral and molecular effects of therapeutic and addictive drugs. Cocaine was her primary interest, but she completed specific projects with methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), THC and opioids. She finessed her discoveries in the development of candidate medications for addition and of brain imaging probes. He current research focuses on whether drugs induce adaptive changes in the adolescent brain that alter the trajectory of brain development. She is the author of numerous scientific manuscripts, book chapters, and is co-editor of book “The Cell Biology of Addition”. She has 19 patents issued with collaborators. While serving as Deputy Director of the ONDCP, Dr. Madras advocated for a public health approach to address alcohol, illicit and prescription drug abuse. She has delivered over 200 presentations to the public, to government officials, and organizations on how drugs affect the brain.