Nadelmann, Ethan


Ethan Nadelmann is the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, the leading organization in the United States promoting alternatives to the war on drugs.

UC San Diego Student Left in Holding Cell for Five Days; Drank His Own Urine to Survive, Then Attempted Suicide

By Ethan Nadelmann
Drug Policy Alliance

Daniel Chong, UC-San Diego student, said he was forced to drink his own urine after he was left in a Drug Enforcement Administration holding cell for nearly five days. Chong was smoking marijuana at a friend’s house celebrating 4/20, when the DEA raided the house. The DEA agents brought him to their offices for questioning, but then told him he could go home. He was not charged with anything. But before Chong could leave he was placed in a cell where he was left for days without any contact. During this time, he survived by drinking his own urine, and eventually he attempted suicide by breaking his own eyeglasses and cutting the words “Sorry Mom” into his arm.

A DEA employee took Chong to the hospital, where he spent three days in intensive care and his kidneys were close to failing. Mr. Chong is now suing the DEA for $20 million.