Zara Snapp

24
Oct

Foro en la Facultad de Economía UNAM // Forum in UNAM Economics Department

*English translation below. Estudiantes por una Política Sensata de Drogas (EPSD), ReverdeSer Colectivo y la Facultad de Economía de la UNAM invitan al FORO RETOS Y PROPUESTAS PARA LA CONSTRUCCIÓN DE UNA POLÍTICA SENSATA HACIA LAS DROGAS. El análisis entorno al estudio de drogas es complicado debido a que el tema tiene una extensa diversidad de aristas. Además, no existe

Read more

4
Oct

The Caravan ends and the work continues!

Two weeks ago, Andrés, Amaya, Miguel and I, along with 120 other people and with the support of numerous partner organizations, finished the Caravan for Peace.  And although the marching and events might have ended, the work is only just beginning.  As activists for migrant rights, drug policy reform, ending arms trafficking and changing international aid, we recognize that it

Read more

1
Oct

Reform Resounds at the UN: Cracks in the Drug Policy Regime

At the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last week, three Latin American presidents spoke out, in varying degrees, against the current prohibitionist drug policy model.  The presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Guatemala each spoke about the impacts of the U.S.-led “war on drugs” and urged the need to explore alternatives, although none went so far as to mention legalization.  All

Read more

27
Sep

Studying Abroad? Join SSDP's Ambassadors Program!

Are you studying abroad this year? SSDP wants to know! You can help us build our  international student movement by introducing  SSDP at your university abroad and sharing how it has impacted your life.  Whether you are studying in Europe, Latin America, Australia, Africa or Asia, drug policy is a global issue that affects youth and students all over the

Read more

4
Sep

Dutch politicians appeal to pot smokers: get out the vote!

The September 12th elections in the Netherlands are heating up, and the issue of the weed pass is taking a front seat.  Leftist parties are calling on cannabis users to get out the vote and oppose the recently introduced pass, which could be overturned by the incoming government.  While the law has already been implemented in the southern provinces of

Read more

31
Aug

SSDP on the Caravan for Peace

  Miguel, Amaya and I are onboard Bus #2 of the Caravan for Peace organized by the Movement for Peace and Justice with Dignity. We are crossing the United States from the west coast to the east coast, going south of the Rio Grande to the Great Lakes area of Chicago, beginning in the August summer in San Diego and

Read more

29
Aug

What I learned at Summer School-Part 1

The summer has been flying by with the International AID’s conference, the Caravan for Peace and my participation last month in a two-week course presented by the Open Society Foundation supported Central European University on Human Rights and Drug Policy in Budapest, Hungary. The goal of the course is to “situate drug policies globally within a framework of fundamental human rights,

Read more

10
Aug

Decriminalize Youth on International Youth Day

August 12 is proclaimed the International Day of Youth.  To mark this day, we, Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), Youth RISE and Espolea take this opportunity to call on Member States to remove criminal sanctions placed on young people who use drugs.  Harsh drug laws are often established and justified to protect youth, however young people are disproportionately affected

Read more

6
Aug

An insiders look at Drug Policy in Amsterdam

The Dutch government has had a policy of tolerance since the 1970’s, which allows people to buy and smoke cannabis. Licensed cannabis cafés, called “coffee shops”, are allowed to sell up to 5 grams of cannabis to each customer every day. With this policy, the Dutch government has managed to keep the sale of cannabis out of the black market.

Read more

29
Jun

Further reflections on the United Nations from SSDP

The two speakers whose words resonated with me the most were H.E. Harold Caballeros of Guatemala and David K. Mineta of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). As Mahogany outlined in her earlier post, Caballeros stated that Guatemala is in the worst possible position for stability; the country is located between the biggest drug producer in the world

Read more

28
Jun

Attending the United Nations Thematic Debate on Drugs and Crime

On June 26th, 2012, I had the honor of attending the United Nations Thematic Debate on Drugs and Crime as a Threat to Development. As the newly elected Columbia University Chapter Vice President of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), I knew the insight gained from a meeting such as this would be invaluable for serving my term. The day

Read more

27
Jun

Six Former Presidents, Richard Branson and Other World Leaders: Criminalization of Drug Use Fuels the Global HIV/AIDS Pandemic

Yesterday was an exciting day for SSDP, several students and our executive director, Aaron Houston, participated in the United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (more on that in an upcoming blog post!) and the Global Commission on Drug Policy released a groundbreaking report highlighting the connection between the HIV pandemic and drug policy. The report is

Read more

9
Jun

Victoria University debates Medically Supervised Injection Centre

Students for Sensible Drug Policy at Victoria University in Footscray, Melbourne recently organized a debate to discuss the impact of Australia’s current drug policies and its effects on our community. We believe these policies ignore the empirical evidence supporting the harm reduction model of a Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSCI) and essentially, the human aspect of drug dependency. We were

Read more

18
May

The "Third" Way of the Federal Government

Last week, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy spoke before the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission.  As expected, he touted the effectiveness of the newly unveiled “Third Way” strategy that the U.S. government is currently promoting.  He framed the third-way as the “middle ground approach to drug policy” between legalization and regulation of

Read more

1
May

SSDP Mexico students participate in International Forum!

After the SSDP UNAM chapter read that the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) wanted to host a big international forum to discuss drug policy in Mexico, we knew we needed to be part of it—and act fast! Andrés wrote a letter to the organizers telling them that we wanted to participate at the forum, and it didn’t matter how. 

Read more

27
Apr

SSDP 2012 brings first International Board Member

In case we haven’t met, my name is Graham de Barra and I am a founding member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy Ireland and I attend the University College of Cork where I am currently campaigning for the acceptance of an SSDP chapter. A month ago, I attended the SSDP 2012 Conference in Denver. After a consecutive 30 hours

Read more

19
Apr

Building Leadership in the Drug Policy Reform Movement

On the weekend of Friday the 20th to Sunday the 22nd of April, Students for Sensible Drug Policy UK will be hosting its third annual conference at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. This year’s conference is about building on the re-invigoration of grassroots involvement in the drug policy reform movement and ensuring all who wish to

Read more

9
Apr

Experiencing the 55th Commission on Narcotic Drugs: A Student Reflects

At the Madrid Airport, the pc that a friend lent me stopped working. It was kind of funny, I mean, travelling was an exciting concept, and maybe that poor machine couldn’t handle that kind of stress. Not only was this my very first trip to Europe, the purpose for travelling was exciting in and of itself: attending the 55th meeting of the United Nations

Read more

27
Mar

More of the same or inching towards change?

Last week, SSDP made its grand debut at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna, Austria.  This wasn’t the first time that SSDP had participated in the proceedings (many NGO representatives remembered Kris Krane’s much-lauded intervention in the “Beyond 2008” discussions), however it was the first time that SSDP arrived bearing Special Consultative Status from the Economic and Social

Read more

22
Feb

Portugal's Innovative Drug Policies Face Austerity Threat

At conferences and forums around the world, the Portugal model of drug policy is lauded by academics, politicians and service providers and highlighted as an example of effective policy-making.  Ten years after decriminalizing personal use and possession of drugs and moving drug policy from being a law enforcement issue to one of public health, the results have been dramatic.  The future of

Read more

17
Jan

Drug war related deaths top 45,000 in Mexico

On January 11, 2012, the Mexican Attorney Generals Office (AGO) released the latest casualty figures in the government’s war against organized criminal groups.  The AGO confirmed that there have been 47, 515 drug related killings since December 2006—when President Calderon gave the military full rein to combat drug trafficking and organized crime.  To put this in perspective, in Afghanistan, there

Read more

21
Dec

Survey on Insecurity and Drug Policy in Mexico

In late November 2011, the results from the 9th survey on Mexican Citizens Perceptions of Insecurity was released.   This survey is conducted by Mitofsky Consulting, a U.S. based firm, and highlighted a series of questions regarding how to combat organized crime and the so-called war on drugs. When asked whether they believed Mexican President Felipe Calderon would win the war against organized crime,

Read more

19
Dec

The Story of Self, Us and Now

Yesterday in the weekly SSDP/UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) chapter meeting, each group member shared their story of “why” they are involved in drug policy in 2 minutes. The stories that emerged were powerful. Our UNAM students arrived to SSDP and drug policy in very different ways.  One student spoke about his fathers’ alcoholism and attending ALANON (family and friends of

Read more