This entry has been published on July 11, 2022 and may be out of date.
For Immediate release: SSDP & SMART Unveil First Cohort of HBCU Ambassadors for Cannabis Policy and Awareness CampaignWashington DC: Students for Sensible Drug Policy(SSDP) and the Student Marijuana Alliance for Research and Transparency (SMART) have selected their 11 Student Ambassadors for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The chosen ambassadors will receive a stipend, professional development and support, access to industry experts and our job board, 6-weeks of training to bring sensible drug education and policy to 10 different HBCU campuses this fall spanning 5 states and Washington D.C. The SSDP and SMART partnership kicked off this spring collecting over 100 interested HBCU students for 11 positions. All students will be able to access our workshops, job board, current events, and other resources beginning July 13th at our website — freetheplant.fyi. “SSDP is proud to bring responsible drug education and civic engagement training to HBCU campuses across the country” Said Jason Ortiz, Executive Director of Students For Sensible Drug Policy. “We still have a lot of work to do to end the myth based stigma and this pipeline will ensure that communities across the south will have empowered youth leaders and mentors who can provide a modern approach to drugs and drug policy.”“HBCU students are experiencing unique ramifications of the War on Drugs. In addition to seeing and dealing with residual effects of what generations before them went through, these talented and eager students are often left out of the cannabis industry boom happening around them. In some cases even their own schools are benefitting from the green rush.” Said Devlon “DJ” Howard, Program Lead for the campaign. “This program provides students the knowledge, skills, training and resources to confidently explore their interests and dreams while also destigmatizing cannabis on and off their respective campuses. “The Free the plant, Free the people” movement is creating conduits to careers and providing invaluable education about cannabis for HBCU students. I believe the greatest moving lever to combating inequality is education.” Said Trea’jure Dahl, student liaison. “I’m excited to see how this program will help eradicate the negative stereotypes surrounding the cannabis industry and perpetuate the importance of equity and justice.”Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is the largest global youth-led network dedicated to ending the War on Drugs. Founded in 1998, SSDP is comprised of thousands of members in hundreds of communities around the globe, including 100+ chapters in the United States. SSDP mobilizes and empowers young people to participate in the political process, pushing for sensible policies with a focus on those that directly impact students and youth.Established in 2017, SMART is a national collegiate network dedicated to providing college students with a trusted source of cannabis education, research, and professional development. SMART was founded at Brown University out of the necessity for trusted cannabis information and industry access that college students can rely on. SMART works with leading cannabis companies and organizations to help students access employment, mentorship, and networking opportunities. 2022 Cohort winners: Tobi Aderotoye – Howard University – 2023 – Washington D.C.Eve Ellis – Spelman College – May 2025 -GeorgiaAselah Greenwood – Southern University – May 2024 – LouisianaScotty Johnson – North Carolina Central University – December 2023 – North CarolinaKyra McKinney – Clark Atlanta University – 2024 – GeorgiaJustin Merritt – Tuskegee University – 2024 – AlabamaMark Randelson – Xavier University of Louisiana – May 2026 – LouisianaDeandre Smith – FAMU – 2025 – FloridaCaleb Sprowl – Morehouse College – May 2024 – GeorgiaMarquetta Watson – Savannah State University – May 2024 – GeorgiaEugenia Williams – Spelman College – May 2023 – Georgia
Aselah Greenwood – Southern University – May 2024 – Louisiana
Caleb Sprowl – Morehouse College – May 2024 – Georgia
Deandre Smith – FAMU – 2025 – Florida
Eugenia Williams – Spelman College – May 2023 – Georgia
Eve Ellis – Spelman College – May 2025 -Georgia
Justin Merritt – Tuskegee University – 2024 – Alabama
Kyra McKinney – Clark Atlanta University – 2024 – Georgia
Mark Randelson – Xavier University of Louisiana – May 2026 – Louisiana
Marquetta Watson – Savannah State University – May 2024 – Georgia
Tobi Aderotoye – Howard University – 2023 – Washington D.C.