Carmen’s SSDP Origin Story

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Today is Giving Tuesday and it’s my one-year anniversary of working at Students for Sensible Drug Policy, so I am sharing my SSDP origin story with you. 

In 2012, shortly after my college graduation, I was arrested for cannabis possession. I was both ashamed of my arrest and fearful that I had jeopardized my future. After my experience with the criminal justice system, I began to understand the negative impact that the War on Drugs has had on Black and brown communities. It has led to rampant police violence, fed our expanding carceral system, and targeted politically active young people. Globally, people who use drugs continue to be subject to police violence, incarceration, lack of adequate health care, and community support. 

SSDP has helped me become a better advocate, organizer, and human. 

Every day I get to work with an incredible network of young people fighting for justice. With your help, our organization will be able to continue pushing for the MORE Act in the United States Congress and supporting congressional efforts to decriminalize all drugs, finally ending the war on our communities. 

In addition to our U.S.-based efforts, we are expanding our support for our international chapters making progress in drug policy reform around the world. This includes organizing a coalition to defund the aerial crop eradication of plant medicines in Colombia, empowering youth leaders in Africa, and our international office in Vienna mobilizing youth to speak at the United Nations Commission on Narcotics and Drugs. The War on Drugs was a war born in the United States but has impacted communities globally, and SSDP will continue the fight until all of our communities are treated with fairness, dignity, and compassion.

From now until December 31st, all gifts will be matched dollar for dollar up to $50,000, and today all gifts on Facebook will be matched, so your impact will be quadrupled. Will you join young people to end the War on Drugs once and for all and make a gift today?