School of Law Professor Ellen Weber and the Drug Policy Clinic, which she directs, were recently awarded a $350,000 grant from the Open Society Institute to support Advancing Access to Addiction Treatment, a two-year project. The purpose of the grant is to support the Drug Policy Clinicís research, education and advocacy efforts to ensure expanded access to addiction treatment services in Maryland as the federal health care reform legislation is implemented. The results generated will form a centerpiece of Professor Weber's sabbatical research.
"Health care reform provides a unique opportunity to integrate addiction treatment into mainstream medical care, and to ensure the delivery of comprehensive addiction services in both the public and private health care systems," Weber said in a recent email. "The generous support of the Open Society Institute will enable the Drug Policy Clinic to work with its partners to achieve these goals in Maryland."
Professor Weber is a nationally recognized expert on drug policy, and her interest in a multi-strategy legal practice, including legislative advocacy, individual client representation, and community organizing and education, is reflected in the Drug Policy Clinicís work. Her research interests include disability rights, the development and analysis of state and national drug policy, health privacy, women's health care, and the integration of addiction treatment in mainstream medical practice.
Professor Weber served on the National Academy of Science and Institute of Medicine committee that studied vaccines against drugs of addiction and the American Bar Associationís Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law. She has worked with an interdisciplinary team of UMB faculty to examine substance abuse issues within the professions.
Professor Weber joined the faculty in 2002 after serving as the Senior Vice President for the Legal Action Center, a public interest law firm that specializes in drug, AIDS, and criminal justice issues. At the Center, she litigated disability rights and privacy cases, participated in federal legislative advocacy on civil rights, health care reform, and appropriations issues, and conducted education and policy work on health privacy and offender re-entry. Weber began her legal career as a trial attorney with the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, where she litigated Voting Rights Act cases that challenged discriminatory state and congressional reapportionment plans and local electoral systems.