Lauren Mendelsohn first became involved with SSDP in 2009 during her freshman year at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she joined both the SSDP and NORML chapters. She held leadership roles in NORML her freshman and sophomore years, and then led the SSDP chapter as President and Outreach Director during her junior and senior years. She graduated from UMD in Spring 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. During her time with UMD SSDP, Lauren and her fellow chapter members succeeded in getting a comprehensive Good Samaritan policy passed on campus, and she used her role as a columnist for The Diamondback to write pieces in support of drug policy reform.After college, Lauren moved west to attend law school at the University of California, Irvine, where she
After college, Lauren moved west to attend law school at the University of California, Irvine, where she graduated from with her J.D. in May 2016. She founded the UCI Law chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy during her first year there, and the chapter has already become very active on campus. While at UCI Law, Lauren helped establish the first needle exchange program in Orange County, CA, and organized a day-long symposium on the drug war. She also earned experience working in the cannabis industry while at Viridis Law Group, a corporate cannabis practice that she helped launch in 2014. Lauren plans to specialize in cannabis law, and is also interested in policymaking and international human rights.