Arka Gupta is a recent graduate of Yale University and an incoming student at Harvard Law School.
As a JURIST Digital Scholar, Arka hopes to leverage technology to make public policy more accessible. His research will analyze sentiment towards medical marijuana legislation over time in the context of the opioid epidemic. With overdose deaths steadily progressing since the early 2000s, Arka will investigate to what extent a public health crisis influences sentiments towards public policy, especially given marijuana’s history of criminalization. In particular, he seeks to examine whether growing support for medical marijuana can be attributed to an increased focus on criminal justice reform, its use as a tool in palliative care, or other factors. Using natural language processing, Arka hopes to extract keywords and trends in medical marijuana legislation and package this information into a format accessible to all.
Arka's interests span drug policy, criminal justice, and the intersection of law and technology. He is a former Institute for Social and Policy Studies fellow at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and Liman fellow at the Legal Action Center. He also founded a non-profit, Dose of Justice, to make stories from the opioid epidemic more accessible. In his free time, Arka is an avid runner and developed a new, quarantine-induced hobby playing guitar.