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Turner, Carlton

  • By: Kathrin Ritter & Todd Moore
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

Carlton Turner (1940-) is best known for his role as director of the Drug Abuse Policy Office during President Ronald Reagan's administration. During his tenure, Turner was referred to as the “drug czar” and was primarily responsible for directing drug-control policies in America.

Born in Alabama, Turner attended the University of Southern Mississippi from 1964 to 1970, earning a master's degree in chemistry and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry. He then served as assistant director of the University of Mississippi's marijuana research facility. At the time, the university's marijuana project was the only legal source of marijuana research in the country, and Turner was considered one of the world's leading experts on the drug. He also served in the university's Research Institute for Pharmaceutical Studies, becoming ...

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