Alison Holcomb

Alison Holcomb is the Criminal Justice Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, where her work focuses on advancing changes to our criminal laws that recognize that not every social problem can, or should, be treated as a crime, and that funneling people into the criminal justice system actually amplifies social problems and undermines public safety.  Professor Holcomb was the architect of Washington’s marijuana legalization Initiative 502 and campaign director for New Approach Washington, the committee that secured I-502’s passage in 2012 by a 56-44 percent margin.  Prior to the I-502 campaign, her work included successfully advocating for legislative and regulatory improvements to Washington’s medical marijuana law, adoption of the second 911 Good Samaritan overdose prevention law in the nation, and creation of Seattle and King County’s groundbreaking Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program that has reframed police thinking about drug use and public safety.  She also supervises and assists with amicus brief preparation and trial court litigation in public impact cases involving drug policy and criminal justice issues.

Before joining the ACLU in 2006, Professor Holcomb was an attorney in private practice with an emphasis on litigating drug, civil asset forfeiture, and civil rights cases in state and federal court.  She served as a board member and vice-president of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, member of the King County Bar Association Drug Policy Project and chair of its Legal Frameworks Committee, and member of the Seattle City Council’s Jail Capacity Study Advisory Group and I-75 Marijuana Policy Review Panel.

Professor Holcomb received her B.A. from Stanford University and her J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law.


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