Marsha Rosenbaum is director emerita of the San Francisco office of the Drug Policy Alliance, where she spearheaded DPA's work on youth and drugs and created the Safety First booklet. She received her doctorate in medical sociology from the University of California at San Francisco in 1979. From 1977 to 1995, Rosenbaum was the principal investigator on National Institute on Drug Abuse-funded studies of heroin addiction, methadone maintenance treatment, MDMA (Ecstasy), cocaine, and drug use during pregnancy.
She is author of three books:
- Women on Heroin
- Pursuit of Ecstasy: The MDMA Experience (with Jerome E. Beck)
- Pregnant Women on Drugs: Combating Stereotypes and Stigma (with Sheigla Murphy)
- Just Say What?: An Alternative View on Solving America's Drug Problem
- Kids, Drugs, and Drug Education: A Harm Reduction Approach
- Safety First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens and Drugs (currently in its sixth printing and translated into Spanish, Russian, Hebrew, Polish, Ukrainian, Chinese, Czech, Portuguese and Romanian)
- Making Sense of Student Drug Testing: Why Educators are Saying No (1st and 2nd editions with Jennifer Kern, Fatema Gunja, Alexandra Cox and Judith Appel)
As well as numerous scholarly articles about drug use, addiction, women, treatment, and drug policy.
Rosenbaum has written opinion pieces for the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune, Chicago Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, The Detroit News, Newsday, The San Diego Union-Tribune, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, The Orange County Register, La Opinión, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, AlterNet, The Daytona Beach News-Journal, The Times (Trenton, New Jersey), and Pittsburgh-Post Gazette.
She co-chaired the international conferences:
- "Just Say Know: New Directions in Drug Education" in 1999
- "The State of Ecstasy: The Medicine, Science and Culture of MDMA" in 2001
- And organized the California Statewide Task Force on Effective Drug Education in 2003
Rosenbaum regularly speaks to PTAs, other parent groups, schools, drug treatment and prevention professionals and the media about teenagers and drugs, Ecstasy, and drug policy issues. She currently serves on the California Blue Ribbon Commission to study marijuana legalization in California.