My summer as an SSDP intern in Washington, DC

My summer as an SSDP intern in Washington, DC

What a summer it has been interning with SSDP in our DC office.  I’ve had more fun and gained more experience than I could imagine over these two months! Whether it was helping organize the DC Vigil for the Victims of the War on Drugs in front of the White House, or attending Press Conferences with drug policy experts and celebrities, or delivering literature to members of Congress on Capitol Hill, or asking elected officials to support marijuana law reform, it’s been quite the adventure.


Stephen and Stacia at the DC vigil for victims of the drug war

It’s my last week in DC, and looking back at my time here, I have to say it was my best summer experience so far! I’ve gotten to meet amazing activists on the front line of lobbying, education, and organizing.

I attended events held by the Drug Policy Alliance, NORML, the Alliance for Justice, and Campus Progress to name a few. All of those events gave me fantastic networking opportunities, as well as the chance to learn more about these organizations and how they’re helping push for more sensible drug policies. Attending the 3rd Annual SSDP Northeast Camping Trip was also a blast, getting to meet fellow activists from the Northeast was really special!

Working with the national staff in DC has also been an educational and fun experience! From the get-go I was given real responsibilities and allowed to work on things that interested me. Whenever I needed something or had a question, Stacia and Aaron were always willing to help. It also doesn’t hurt that our office is only two blocks away from the White House; my walk to and from work was never dull!

Over these two months I’ve grown to love DC, and found that drug policy is something I’m greatly considering pursuing as a career. Without the contacts I’ve made and experience I’ve gained this summer, a job in drug policy after graduation definitely wouldn’t seem feasible.

I’m going to return to the University of Arkansas with a fresh perspective on how to grow our chapter even more, as well as push for even more policy change on our campus. All of these new ideas come from the confidence I’ve gained by working alongside our amazing staff, who I can say with a great deal of confidence are some of best drug policy activists in the world!


For anyone considering drug policy as a possibly career choice, or just genuinely interested in the field, I highly recommend contacting the national staff about internship opportunities.

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