The Politics of Difference, A conference in law

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I presented a paper entitled: “Marijuana Policy Contradictions at the International, Federal, and State Level” at The Politics of Difference and the Threshold of Law: A Conference in Law and the Humanities, sponsored by the Liberal Studies Program, University at Albany and Albany Law School. March 31–April 1, 2017. This research exams the what is needed to change at the international drug convention level in order to allow for the legalization of cannabis markets at the federal and state levels in nation-states. It also overviews how Latin American countries are leading the way towards decriminalization of all drug possession in small amounts and the hypocrisy of the United States’ conflicts of state and federal policy and its international responsibility.

Lady Ink Days, Berlin

Lady Ink Days

I was able to attend the all-women tattoo artist convention in Berlin on March 25-26, 2017 and write about it for the Needles and Sins blog. It was my first time at a convention outside of the United States, and of course, a rare one focused solely on women artists. My next research project will focus on women tattooists and collectors outside of the United States, focusing on Latin America, Australia, and Europe for now.

Marijuana legalization and racism article published in SIF

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-11-05-16-am I recently published the article “As Marijuana Becomes Legal, the Legacy of Structural Racism Still Haunts Many,” in Sociology in Focus. This article overviews how the move to legalize marijuana still leaves many marijuana act criminalized, leaving the most vulnerable to continue suffering criminalization of usage. Most importantly, the majority of states have not applied marijuana legalization laws retroactively–thus allowing those imprisoned before the new law to remain in prison or remain with a charge on their record. Also, those with drug crimes on their record are not allowed to work in the legal industry, maintaining structural racism which benefits whites over blacks in entering the profession.

Call for Participants: Tattooists

Screen Shot 2016-11-20 at 9.25.54 AM.pngWe are conducting a study of regulations around professional tattooing in the United States. We are interested in speaking with tattoo artists about their experience and knowledge of regulations around their profession and how they would like to see such regulations improved. We are seeking tattooists from a diversity of states and municipalities in order to gain a perspective on the diversity of regulations, from both the local, state, and federal government (OSHA, Health Department) and industry (APT, NTA).


Screen Shot 2016-11-20 at 9.37.20 AM.pngBeverly Yuen Thompson: Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology at Siena College, in Albany, NY. Research interests include: subcultures, activism, and gender. Her recent book was published with NYU Press in 2015: Covered in Ink: Tattoos, Women and the Politics of the Body. She also made the feature documentary Covered, about women and tattooing in the United States.

Screen Shot 2016-11-20 at 9.41.24 AM.pngSteph Tai: Associate Professor of Law at University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her scholarly research examines the interactions between environmental and health sciences and administrative law. These include the consideration of scientific expertise and environmental justice concerns by administrative and judicial systems, and as well as the role of scientific dialogues in food systems regulation, and the ways in which private governance incorporates scientific research.

In order to participate, email Beverly Yuen Thompson at and mention which state you practice in.