Rachel Wissner ’11

Development Director

Rachel Wissner is the Development Director at SSDP.

Rachel’s career as a drug policy reformer began after she was expelled from high school in her senior year for marijuana possession. In 2011, she joined the SSDP chapter at the State University of New York at New Paltz as a college freshman.  In her time at New Paltz, she worked on harm reduction and drug education efforts as well as multiple campaigns for campus policy change. She led the campaign to equalize the campus alcohol and marijuana policy in 2013, coordinated and supervised weekly drug education and events, and worked on the successful SUNY-wide “Ban the Box” campaign to end discrimination against college applicants with prior felony convictions. The campaign resulted in a SUNY Board of Trustees vote to remove all questions regarding criminal convictions from the SUNY college application in 2016. Rachel served on SSDP’s Board of Directors from 2016-2018, serving as Secretary of the Board from 2017-2018.

Rachel worked as the Outreach Associate for Family Law & Cannabis Alliance (FLCA) from 2016-2017, advocating for families impacted by the War on Drugs. In addition to providing resources for parents facing Child Protective Services (CPS) actions for marijuana use, she worked to raise awareness on the unique issues parents and families face under prohibition and advocate these issues be taken into consideration by policymakers when crafting marijuana legislation and ballot initiatives. Rachel joined the FLCA team first as an intern through the SSDP Career Services program in 2015.

Outside of drug policy reform, Rachel is a very passionate environmental justice advocate. She got started on her career in fundraising knocking on doors to raise money for the New York Public Interest Research Group’s campaign to ban fracking in New York state in 2014, and worked the three following summers as a field manager for NYPIRG’s summer community outreach program. Rachel later worked with NYPIRG as a project coordinator, helping students organize around environmental justice, higher education affordability, voting rights, consumer protection, and hunger and homelessness.