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Intended Consequences: A Symposium on Colorado’s Failed Drug Policies

October 14, 2022 from 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Colorado is facing major challenges with illicit drugs. Our state is #1 in America for cocaine use, #7 overall for highest drug use, and is facing record drug overdoses. Marijuana commercialization has led to an increase in crime, homelessness, and black market operations.  This election, Coloradans will face questions over decriminalizing psychedelic mushrooms.  Moreover, soft-on-crime prosecution theories continue to sow a culture where crime is rising and victims’ rights are ignored.

Join the Centennial Institute and the Heritage Foundation for a day-long symposium to hear from drug policy experts, educators, professors, law enforcement, and political leaders on how to address Colorado’s failed drug policies.

Lunch will be provided; please ensure your registration is accurate. Schedule is subject to change.

Intended Consequences: A Symposium on Colorado’s Failed Drug Policies
Friday, October 14, 2022
9:00 am – 4:30 pm MT
Leprino Hall, Room 170/172
Colorado Christian University
8787 W. Alameda Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80226


Sponsored by

The Heritage Foundation


Dr. Andreas Bienert

Dr. Andreas Bienert is the Assistant Professor of Counseling within the College of Adult and Graduate Studies School of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Colorado Christian University. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Substance Abuse Counselor in the state of Virginia, and a Nationally Certified Counselor.

Bienert has worked in the mental health field since 2005. He is recognized for his work within inpatient and outpatient levels of care with individuals struggling to recover from addiction and trauma, and has worked with children, adolescents, adults, in addition to couples and families. This experience has also led him to pursue further training and expertise, including neurofeedback and EMDR.

As a native of Austria, Bienert grew up in a country that has deep roots in psychological theory. His bi-cultural background and focus in clinical mental health has led him to a number of volunteer opportunities and leadership roles. As an Austrian with professional experiences and associations in the United States and Europe, Bienert brings a broad and rich cultural sensitivity to the counseling and other mental health fields. He carries a strong vision that includes the development of counseling services and access to counselor education and professional supervision in countries where these services are still in early developmental stages.

Bienert serves as a steering committee member of the International Registry of Counselor Education and Related Educational Programs (IRCEP), where he contributes to quality assurance efforts within International Counselor Education programs. Dr. Bienert is also part of a cross-cultural training team, which has led him to consultation and teaching efforts in Ukraine, and he continues to supervise students cross-culturally throughout their clinical training program.

Bienert holds memberships in the Association for Counselor Education & Supervision, American Counseling Association, Christian Association for Psychological Studies, Virginia Counseling Association, Virginia Association of Addiction Professionals and the European Association for Counseling.

Tim Doescher

Timothy Doescher (pronounced Desher) is an advisor for coalitions communications at The Heritage Foundation, tasked with maintaining relationships and promoting Heritage policy surrounding tax, energy, agriculture, budget, and economics in general.

Prior to this, Doescher spent two years as a research associate in Heritage’s Project for Economic Growth, supporting the work of economist Stephen Moore, and writing frequently on various economic issues.

Before joining Heritage, Doescher served as a representative to Lt. Governor Mary Taylor in the State of Ohio, focusing on regulatory reform for business, and speaking to several groups around Ohio. During the George W. Bush presidency, Doescher was an appointed member of the White House staff, serving as editor of Presidential Correspondence.

He has worked on two presidential campaigns including Sen. Mitt Romney and Sen. Rick Santorum, worked on legal reform issues at Lawyers for Civil Justice, and served as a law clerk focusing on immigration and corporate law.

Doescher is currently co-host of the Heritage Explains Podcast. His work has been published in Investor’s Business Daily, Fox Business, The Detroit News, The Washington Times, The O.C. Register, The Daily Signal, and he has also appeared on national radio and TV programs.

Born in Detroit, MI and raised in the surrounding suburbs, Doescher earned a B.S. in political science and journalism from Central Michigan University, and earned his J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy.

Doescher currently resides in Northern Virginia, and when he’s not training for an ultra-marathon, he’s drumming on the National Community Church worship team.

Heidi Ganahl

Heidi Ganahl is the founder of Camp Bow Wow, where she turned a lifelong passion for dogs into the largest pet care franchise in the world. She also founded its sister charity, the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation, which rehomed over 10,000 pups and helped franchisees raise over a million dollars for animal health causes during her tenure.

Ganahl has been named one of Fortune magazine’s 10 Most Promising Entrepreneurs, and Parade magazine included her in their list of the top women entrepreneurs in the country. In 2013 she founded Moms Fight Back, and later the Fight Back Foundation, to tackle the most pressing issues facing our kids today. She also created SheFactor, a community that aims to impact young women by empowering them to pursue a life that they love.

Ganahl currently serves on the University of Colorado Board of Regents. She has chaired several committees in this role and led major initiatives around free speech, diversity and addressing the cost of college.

Ganahl earned her a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Denver. She is married and has four children.

John Kellner

John Kellner is the District Attorney for Colorado’s 18th Judicial District, encompassing Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, and Lincoln counties. Prior to being elected DA, he worked as a prosecutor in the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office until 2013, when he joined the 18th Judicial District to start a Cold Case Unit. In 2016, he was named “Prosecutor of the Year” by the Colorado District Attorney’s Council.

After graduating from law school, he served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he held various prosecutorial roles. Kellner later deployed to Afghanistan where he helped local government leaders resolve conflicts in the absence of a formal justice system, helped to build schools for girls who were previously denied access to education, worked to train the local police force, and participated in operational planning for military operations and local elections.

He continues to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel. Kellner received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida before going on to graduate with his law degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he met his wife.

Paul Larkin

Paul J. Larkin is the John, Barbara, and Victoria Rumpel Senior Legal Research Fellow in the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. Larkin works on criminal justice policy, drug policy, and regulatory policy.

Before joining Heritage in September 2011, Larkin held various positions with the federal government in Washington, D.C. At the U.S. Department of Justice from 1984 to 1993, Paul served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General and argued 27 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He also was an attorney in the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section.

In 1996-1997, Larkin served as Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and head of the Crime Unit for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), then the panel’s chairman. He worked in the Environmental Protection Agency from 1998 to 2004 as a special agent for criminal enforcement, eventually becoming Special Agent-in-Charge and serving as Acting Director of the EPA Criminal Investigation Division in 2004. His honors include the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service, which he received in 1994 for representing the military before the Supreme Court. In the private sector, he worked at two top law firms in Washington, D.C., and as assistant general counsel for Verizon Communications from 2004 to 2009.

Larkin received his law degree in 1980 from Stanford Law School, where he was a published member of the Stanford Law Review. He clerked for Judge Robert H. Bork of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In 2010, he received a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from George Washington University. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., where he graduated summa cum laude with honors in philosophy.

Born and raised in New York, N.Y., Larkin is a life-long New York Yankees and New York Giants fan.

Jo McGuire

Jo McGuire is the founder and Executive Director of the National Drug and Alcohol Screening Association, advocating for safe and drug-free workplaces and communities worldwide. She advises and trains professionals overseeing Safety Sensitive Employees in compliance of federal DOT guidelines for safe work screening programs. She is a featured speaker on the National Marijuana Initiative’s speaker’s bureau and as an accomplished writer and speaker, Jo has traveled extensively to conduct seminars, trainings, conferences, and leadership retreats for the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

She was appointed to the Colorado Governor’s Task Force, convened to recommend a legislative framework for Amendment 64. As a part of the Taxation, Banking and Civil Law work group, Jo lent her expertise in the form of recommendations for drug and alcohol testing in the workplace.  She also participated in the 1st annual Latin American Congress on Safe and Drug-Free Workplaces in Santiago, Chile, and represented the National Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry at the 2016 United Nations General Assembly to address world drug agreements. Jo works closely with national safety experts to educate state and federal policymakers on the importance of public health policies pertaining to workplace drug and alcohol testing.

Luke Niforatos

Luke Niforatos serves as the Executive Vice President at SAM, described by the New York Times as the “well-coordinated opposition” to legalization. Luke’s background is in nonprofit community healthcare, having helped manage Federally Qualified Health Centers and worked on health disparities. Prior to joining SAM, Luke was also the Co-Founder of DocBuddy, a healthcare start-up based in Denver, Colorado that he later sold. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Douglas County Public Health Advisory Committee and a member of the Lone Tree Police Advisory committee.

 At SAM, Luke serves as the principal deputy to the CEO in his roles, manages the day to day operations of the organization, and serves as a spokesman on marijuana issues. In 2018, he was the campaign manager for the successful ballot campaign to defeat legalization in North Dakota, and led SAM’s legislative victories in more than two dozen states. He has been featured at The Economist’s Cannabis Summit as well as the United Nations’ Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and in dozens of events and town halls across the country on the subject of drug policy. He has also been featured in many national media outlets, including Fox News and CNBC, and his op-eds are regularly published across the country. Luke graduated from the University of Denver, and his home state of Colorado gives him a unique vantage point on the issue of sound drug policy.

Zack Smith

Zack is a legal fellow and manager of the Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy Program in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

He previously served for several years as an assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Florida. Prior to that, he spent two years as an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, which he joined after clerking for the Hon. Emmett R. Cox on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Smith received his undergraduate, master’s, and law degrees from the University of Florida.  During law school, Smith served as the editor-in-chief of the Florida Law Review, and served on the executive boards of several student organizations, including the UF Chapter of the Federalist Society.

Chief Kirk Wilson

Chief Kirk Wilson took over as the Lone Tree Police Department (LTPD) Chief in January 2017. Since that time, the LTPD has implemented a successful Victim Advocate program, civilian Community Service Officers, and a Community Advisory Board.  Chief Wilson retired from the Colorado Springs Police Department after 22 years in 2016.  While at CSPD, Chief Wilson spent time in patrol, investigations, and internal affairs.  In 2015, Chief Wilson oversaw the investigation of the tragic mass shooting at the Planned Parenthood facility.  Chief Wilson grew up in Aurora, Colorado, and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Metro State, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from UCCS, and attended the FBI National Academy in 2012.  He is married and has two adult children.

Jennifer Yates

Jennifer Yates a Colorado native and mother of 3 teens, has been involved in local regulatory policy to advocate for strict nicotine and marijuana protections since 2014. She has passionately worked to educate and inform on the importance of protections for kids and was one of the earliest supporters of statewide youth protections when recreational marijuana became legal in Colorado. Jennifer joined One Chance to Grow Up in 2020 and brings 25+ years of business and management experience to the team.


October 14, 2022
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


Centennial Institute


Leprino Hall 170
8787 W. Alameda Ave.
Lakewood, CO 80226 United States
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