SSDP2017: the Students for Sensible Drug Policy Annual Conference
- Educational programming. The core conference program will include prominent keynote speakers and panels addressing the hottest topics in policy, harm reduction, leadership, organizing, and advocacy.
- Awards Ceremony + Dance Party. SSDP recognizes outstanding network members with an annual awards ceremony followed by a dance party.
- Student Congress. Our annual student board member election and governing resolution process invites all SSDP members to participate in defining their SSDP.
- And more. An alumni gathering, regional meetups, networking meals, and other events offer nearly non-stop opportunities to connect with advocates and leaders of the drug policy reform movement!
Early bird registration is open now through February 10. After 2/10, registration rates will increase. Register through our secure online platform here.
The session proposal submission period has ended. The SSDP staff is currently in the process of content development.Please note, SSDP staff will only respond to those proposals being considered. This section will be updated frequently.
We’re thrilled to announce that Dr. Carl Hart will be a keynote speaker at SSDP2017. In addition to being a longtime friend of SSDP, Dr. Hart is an author, researcher, and professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University. Dr. Hart is known for his research in drug use and addiction, and for his award-winning book High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society.
January 30 – February 3: All air travel should be booked this week
February 9: Last day to register at early bird rates
February 28: Last day to use CAT points for conference registration, lodging, or travel
March 1: Last day to make hotel reservations
March 2: Last day to register at regular rates
March 10: Sponsorship deadline
Schedule is subject to significant change, please check this page for frequent updates. All events take place at the Red Lion Hotel on the River unless otherwise stated.
Friday, March 24
10:00am – 4:00pm Optional Pre-Conference Programming
5:00pm – 8:00pm Registration
6:00pm – 8:00pm Welcome reception
8:00pm – 10:00pm Congress I
8:00pm – 10:00pm Alumni gathering
Saturday, March 25
9:00am – 6:00pm Registration, Exhibitor Hall open
9:45am – 6:30pm Regular Conference Programming
8:00pm – 9:30pm Awards Ceremony
9:30pm – 1:00am Live music, dance party, photo booth
Sunday, March 26
9:00am – 6:00pm Registration, Exhibitor Hall open
9:45am – 7:00pm Regular Conference Programming
5:15-5:45pm KEYNOTE: Dr. Carl Hart
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register?
You may register through our secure online platform here.
How much does registration cost?
|Student||$150 or 150 CAT points||$200 or 200 CAT points||$250 or 250 CAT points|
*Alumni Association members in good standing are offered a 25% discount. Discount codes will be sent soon.
What is included in my registration?
Registration includes entry to all regular conference programming, a nametag, a swag bag, a conference program, and food (breakfast, lunch, and coffee both Saturday and Sunday and hors d’oeuvres during the Friday opening reception).
How does SSDP determine how much registration costs?
It costs SSDP approximately $290 per person to produce the conference. Making the conference affordable for as many students as possible is our highest priority. The cost for student registration (even at the most expensive rate, $250, which is for those who miss both the early bird and regular registration deadlines) is less than what it costs us per person. We offer early bird registration for alumni below cost, meaning we charge alumni who register before the early bird deadline less than what it costs us to produce the conference per person. All registration rates that exceed $290 per person help us subsidize student registration.
We make every attempt to offset conference costs through sponsorships and non-student registration income. We also eliminate costs that other conferences might splurge on. We selected a low-frills hotel that is located in northern Portland instead of downtown Portland. We do not pay honoraria for speakers, nor do we pay for speakers’ travel or lodging costs except in exceptionally rare cases. In fact, we ask that all non-student, non-alumni speakers pay for regular registration if they’re able.
When should I arrive?
The closest airport to the conference is Portland International Airport (PDX). The hotel will be providing a free shuttle to/from the airport for SSDP2017 attendees. You may also take an Uber or Lyft from the airport, which should cost approximately $20.
How do I use the free airport shuttle?
Once you arrive at the airport, call 503-283-4466 and the Front Desk agents will advise you of the estimated wait time. You will need to pick-up luggage and proceed to island #2 where the hotel shuttles are allowed to pick-up passengers. You will need to sign up at the Front Desk for their departure back to the airport. The shuttle service will leave the hotel at the top of the hour.
When should I arrive?
Conference registration will open at 5:00pm on Friday March 24, followed by the opening reception from 6-8pm, so we recommend arriving in time to attend the reception at 6:00pm. If your schedule allows, it would be wise to arrive earlier in the day on Friday to allow yourself some time to get settled, and if you are interested in pre-conference programming. You may consider arriving on Thursday or even earlier in the week if you’d like some extra time to go sightseeing. Our group rate on hotel rooms is available 3 days before and after the conference, so you’re welcome to utilize our discounted rate as early as 3/21.
When should I depart?
Closing remarks will be the last piece of regular SSDP2017 programming, which will conclude at 7:00pm on Sunday March 26. Scheduling your departure any earlier than ~9pm on 3/26 will cause you to miss part of the conference. We suggest staying until Monday March 27 if you are able (flights are typically cheaper on Mondays anyway).
Does SSDP offer scholarships for me to attend SSDP2017?
As of 2016, we replaced our traditional scholarship application process with a streamlined way for SSDP students to “pay” for their conference expenses through chapter activities. Essentially, this allows our students to register for the conference for no money out of pocket. Points earned through the Chapter Activity Tracker (CAT) can be spent on conference registration and hotel lodging during the conference.
There is one special scholarship fund that students and alumni with a specific dedication to psychedelics and/or harm reduction are welcome to apply for:
Daniel Jabbour, an SSDP all-star alumnus, passed away in April 2014. To honor and remember him, SSDP created this scholarship fund to help send outstanding activists to the conference. Daniel’s driving passion in drug policy reform was psychedelics, leading him to found the Psychedelic Society of San Francisco. Much like SSDP, the Psychedelic Society created a safe space for people to discuss their experiences, expand their knowledge, and work to change the status quo. This scholarship will be awarded to someone who has exhibited their dedication to harm reduction and policy reform for psychedelics. Use this form to apply for the Daniel Jabbour Memorial Scholarship to attend the 2017 Students for Sensible Drug Policy Conference in Portland, Oregon.
How can I use my chapter’s CAT points to attend SSDP2017?
All SSDP chapters in good standing are expected to use our new Chapter Activity Tracker (CAT) to track their activities, for which points are earned. Those points may be spent on a variety of items, including conference registrations and lodging. Once you determine how many of your chapter members will be attending the conference, take a look at your points balance and decide how you’d like to spend them. Your outreach coordinator will provide you with special discount codes to use for conference registrations. You may only redeem CAT points for lodging and travel after you have demonstrated that you made an attempt to secure funding. All conference arrangements using CAT points must be finalized no later than March 1, 2017, ideally much earlier.
CAT point values for registration, lodging and travel
- 400 points: One hotel room for 4 people, for 3 nights (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
- 100 points: $100 travel reimbursement*
- 100 points: Space for one person in a shared hotel room for 3 nights (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
- 150 points: One student registration (before the early bird deadline, February 10)
- 75 points: 50% discounted student registration (drops your cost from $150 to $75)
*Students will work with their Outreach Coordinators to determine travel reimbursement amounts on a case-by-case basis. The maximum travel reimbursement will not exceed half of your travel costs, or $250, whichever is lower.
Do I have to use CAT points to purchase my registration?
How can I use CAT points to pay for lodging?
Contact your Outreach Coordinator if you’d like to use CAT points for conference lodging. You may only spend CAT points on lodging if you have demonstrated that you made an attempt to secure school funding.
Do I have to use CAT points to pay for lodging?
No. You’re welcome to arrange your own lodging. You may book your room at the hotel using this link.
Is there anything else I can do to bring my costs down?
- Apply for funding through your school. Ask your outreach coordinator for help if you’re not sure where to start.
- Ask your friends and family to donate airline miles or cash to help you get to the conference.
- Set up an airfare price alert through Kayak and keep a close eye on prices so you’re able to book your flight at the cheapest rate possible.
- Set up an independent fundraising page through a platform such as Indiegogo or Gofundme.
- Conduct other fundraising efforts (bake sales, auctions, selling merchandise, etc.)
We asked attendees at SSDP2014 if there was anything else they’d like to share after their experience. Here’s what they said:
“This conference attracted the nicest, most passionate, down to earth people I’ve ever met. I made friends for a lifetime while gaining skills I know I’ll use to change the world. It. Was. Awesome.”
“I think that it is worth noting the amazing and brilliant atmosphere that the SSDP team helped to create. Everyone that I have talked to is still buzzing with energy. This was life changing for many people and I can’t wait to see the ripple effects of the aftermath as they go out and turn into some very real change. Personally, SSDP has deeply and fundamentally changed my life. This conference reminded me of exactly how powerful this unique organization is in that regard. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
“So much I’d love to share, but the most important things are experiences we’ve already shared together. I will be an SSDP supporter for life and am inspired by the incredible alumni and students around me to be the best I can to make the world a little more sensible.”
“I had the time of my life, I met so many people that shared similar values and care about changing our society for the better”
“It’s always so good to see old friends and make new ones. SSDPers are the best people on earth.”
“Met great friends. Saw so much potential in this movement. Saw so much potential for after graduation. I love the free-spirit, intellectual crowd.”
“The experience gets better every time, I love my SSDP family!”