Edward H. Jurith, drug-policy lawyer

November 27, 2013

Edward H. Jurith, general counsel at the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy and a specialist in drug laws and enforcement and policy issues for 30 years, died Nov. 9 at his home in Washington. He was 62.

The cause was cancer, said his wife, Kathleen M. Healy.

Since 1994, Mr. Jurith had been an attorney with the Office of National Drug Control Policy. From 1981 to 1993, he was with the House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, first as counsel and later as staff director, serving for many years under chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.). In these roles, he helped develop the anti-drug abuse acts of 1986 and 1988.

In 2009, he chaired the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Conference of Parties to the convention on doping in sports.

Edward Howard Jurith was born in Brooklyn. He was a 1973 graduate of American University and a 1976 graduate of Brooklyn Law School. Early in his career, he worked for Reps. Frank Brasco and Leo Zeferetti, both New York Democrats.

Survivors include his wife of 29 years, Kathleen M. Healy of the District; two sons, Theodore E. Jurith and William C. Jurith, both of the District; and a sister.

CORRECTION: An earlier vesion of this obituary incorrectly reported the year Mr. Jurith chaired the U.S. delegation to the UNESCO conference; it was in 2009, not 1985. The obituary also omitted his work for Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) from 1983 to 1993 during the congressman’s chairmanship of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control.

— Bart Barnes