Katharine Neill Harris, Fellow in Drug Policy, Rice University
Katharine Neill Harris, Ph.D., is the Alfred C. Glassell, III, Fellow in Drug Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Her current research focuses on the availability of drug treatment for at-risk populations, the opioid epidemic, and the legalization of medical and adult-use cannabis. She supports policy reforms that treat drug use as a public health issue, such as alternatives to incarceration for drug offenders, needle-exchange programs, safe-consumption sites, drug testing services, expanded access to medication-assisted treatments, and greater integration of substance use and mental health services with each other and with other areas of medical service.
Neill Harris received a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from George Mason University. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Old Dominion University before going on to complete her Ph.D. in public administration and urban policy. She received the Old Dominion University Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award in 2014 and the Simon Scholarship for Academic Performance in 2011 and 2012.
More than 300,000 people were arrested for cannabis possession in 2020, FBI records show. Meanwhile, the drug is being legally sold for a profit in 19 states. That arrest number may sound high, but arrests have actually been going down each year since 2010 as more states legalize medical or recreational use of the drug. […]